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Saturday, 28 July 2012

Bag Lady
Got anything bigger?
Dear Jesus, the drudgery of motherhood. The sheer drudgery. And you know what the symbol of that drudgery is? The change bag. The bag that every fucking mother on the planet has to lug about in case their offspring performs anything from shitting and puking to raging boredom. Why, when you find yourself knocked up, does nobody tell you that from birth onwards you'll be contractually obliged to carry a bag so large that it'd make sherpas weep into their own frostbite?
When Kraken Junior was a squalling sprogette I took to carrying a bag that, up until that point, I had used as a weekender. God, how I hated that fucking sack. Not just because it was heavier than an elephant's leg and fitted with a small outlet of Mothercare but because it was my first (and only, if I have anything to do with it) ball and chain. So vast was it that strangers actually laughed and joked about whether I was going on holiday, all while I smiled benignly and secretly wished them a slow and painful death. I muttered endlessly about dousing it in petrol and lobbing its burning form into the nearest playground.
Why in the fuck do we have to lug about so much shit when we have babies? I can honestly say that I backpacked through the Himalayas and the Costa Rican rainforests with less stuff than I when I just took Kraken Junior to buy a loaf of Hovis. You don't see women in Nigeria wrestling with small suitcases as well as their infants do you? And you never see the Inuits stuffing dead shoulder-seals with fistfuls of nappies, bibs, wetwipes and other associated tat. Why? Because they seem to have a grip on mothering in the same way we Westerners seem to have a grip on producing shit sit coms. 
It's a control thing I reckon. Having a child rips control from your hands a if it were the last vol-au-vent at an obesity celebration. Stuffing the nearest suitcase with Sudocreme and dummies makes you feel as if you've wrested back said control. The kid shits? Got it. The kid sobs? It's covered. The kid shows an aptitude for astrophysics? There's a map of the universe in here somewhere...
Personally speaking, there are two things that would never, ever make me spawn again. The ripping sound emanating from my vagina is one. The splitting seams on the change bag is the other. And yes, they are remarkably, agonisingly and messily similar. As are the obscenities I've spluttered at each. Vag? Bag? Bag? Vag? Believe me, I never want to see either again.


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