Grandma’s got a brand new bag!

This Grandma keeps a big ole bag of extra clothing in my car for emergencies…

As a young Mom, I realized rather early-on that kids spill things, kids spill things on their siblings, kids get dirty, kids vomit, kids have bathroom accidents, kids bleed, kids get chilly in stores/restaurants/movie theaters/outdoors, kids love to stomp in rain and puddles and mud – and the list goes on.

SO, I’ve been keeping a big ole bag o’ clothing in my car for… well, as long as I can remember. I’ve stashed all kinds of things in the big bags I’ve kept; and I’ve washed, replaced, stuffed, un-stuffed, re-stuffed over the years for my love of my kids’ comfort sanity.  This stuff has no rhyme nor reason; it’s just unisex, dry and clean and big enough and small enough to fit someone (including Barry and me!).

I don’t know if you know this, but kids complain when they are wet, cold or dirty; or, at least, mine did.  SO, into my bag, I stuffed extra socks, t-shirts, sweatshirts, underwear and pants.  Old stuff, mostly; but clean, dry stuff.  If I had a nickle for every time I dragged some article of clothing out of my magic bag… well, you know the rest.  I’d be one rich old lady.

SO, now that my 4 kids are all grown up and out of my car, why do I still stuff and re-stuff a big ole bag o’ clothing?

9, soon-to-be 10, grandkids, that’s why! It’s a funny thing, but grandkids spill things, spill things on their siblings, get dirty, vomit, have bathroom accidents, bleed, get chilly in stores/restaurants/movie theaters/outdoors, kids love to stomp in rain and puddles and mud – and the list still goes on.  SO, I keep my new bag stashed… I’ll admit it, for my grandkids’ comfort sanity.

Take last Friday, for example.  4-year old Henry had his Family Fun Day at his pre-school, all decked out in his original t-shirt masterpiece…

… but it became SO hot that day, that in addition to the scheduled activities, the YMCA opened its spray park for the kids, parents and guests…

Ben, a friend, Henry…

Everyone had a blast, a water wonder-world blast!

But here’s the problem.  When it was time to leave, Henry’s spontaneous water wonder-world fun had left his shorts and underwear soaking wet; as in so soaking wet that no towel or 95 degree air or brilliant sun could possibly dry them in time for our every Friday standing-lunch-date at our local Newport Creamery; and going home to change was even more impossible.

But that’s OK, because Grandma has a big ole bag ‘o stuff in the very back of my car.

Henry was skeptical, even though he’s many times been the recipient of a nice warm long-sleeved t-shirt or sweatshirt or a pair of clean pants or socks.  Henry was worried about me having SHORTS on this ga-zillion degree day…

Nah, you can’t go to Newport Creamery in a towel, wet shorts and a twisty balloon crown!

Hmmmmmm. We headed to my car, opened my Santa-like stuffed bag and I began to pull stuff out.

Inventory. Inventory. Hmmmmmm. There were long-sleeved t’s, sweatshirts and fleece pants (yes, it’s been a frigid spring here in Rhode Island). Ah, a couple of pairs of socks. And wait! A black Batman short-sleeved t-shirt.

Now we’re getting somewhere.

By now, Henry’s eyes were glued on every article of clothing popping from the bag. “Are there shorts in there, Grandma?”

“I’m looking, Honey,” I answered.  “I sure hope so!”  But there were so many winter things in that bag.

More inventory.  A winter hat. Rolled up gloves.

And then… something cotton peeked out. Green plaid cotton. I pulled out the prize.

Henry looked puzzled.

“Grandma, those aren’t shorts.  Those are boxers,” he said.

“But they look like shorts!” I said. Excitedly.

“But they’re underwear,” Henry explained. Matter-of-factly.

I would not be dissuaded.  “The Batman t-shirt is nice and long, so it will cover most of the boxers… that look like shorts!” I said. But… convincingly?

Henry squinted his eyes.  Thought a moment. “I have to check with my brothers,” he said.

NOTE: Henry’s 3 older brothers are William (8), Alex (7) and Ben (6). His fashion advisers, I assume.

“But, Honey, your brothers are all at school. And don’t you want to go to Newport Creamery?” I asked while simultaneously thinking about those 3 older brother Fashion Advisers.

Henry was not convinced.  “Is there anything else in there, Grandma? Like shorts?”

Ah, ha!  Yes!  There was one lone pair of briefs. Gray ones. The long kind.  And I had an idea.  “How about we put the gray underwear UNDER the boxers so the boxers FEEL like shorts?”

Holding breath.

“OK”, Henry resigned.  I guess the thought of no Newport Creamery began to supersede the thought of his brothers’ fashion advice.

And there we go.

I bagged the day!

And off we went to our standing-Friday-lunch date at Newport Creamery, had a wonderful time and arrived back at Henry’s home no worse for the wear.

But as Henry hopped from my car, he announced, “I’m still gonna ask my brothers if these look like underwear.”

And I’m off to stuff some summer shorts and t-shirts into Grandma’s bag!










Grandma’s got a brand new bag! was last modified: June 6th, 2013 by Sharon Couto
SHOWHIDE Comments (9)
  1. I love that he has to check with his brothers! This post made me realize just how much laundry must be going on any given day at your house (and Audrey’s) lol

  2. I love it! For Mother’s Day, my husband had my car cleaned and detailed (it had been 7 years) and in the process took EVERYTHING out of my car. I am so lost these days, I got to the Shaw’s in Barrington and I had none of my reusable bags because he put all my stuff in the garage! I had to have them pack everything in paper – it was so unsettling. I need a car FULL of supplies for any kind of event. Good job Grandma!

  3. I do remember you ALWAYS having just what we needed in your car when we were growing up, whether it was a change of clothes or just a sweatshirt for days that became chilly! You are amazing and the best mom and grandma EVER!

  4. Ha! I am going to show this to Dom as he is always asking me why (and removing) the bag of extra clothes from the back of the van. Also the stash of snacks, extra plastic bags, toilet paper and water.

  5. I have a bag in the car also!!!! I’m often asked when I will get rid of the diaper bag?? Never, is my answer. Neither of my children are in diapers but that doesn’t mean that they do not need a change of clothes, complete with socks, underwear and even shoes. As the children have gotten older I have also included barrettes, various snacks, even cutlery into my bag. I love knowing that these things are available “just in case”!!! Kudos to you for always being prepared 🙂

Grandma’s got a brand new bag! was last modified: June 6th, 2013 by Sharon Couto