On Using a Diaper Bag for my Computer

I have been collecting thrifted baby clothes for my future grandchildren (which I hope are several years off). Until then, I am enjoying kids that can make their own dinners, let alone wipe their own behinds!

On Using a Diaper Bag for my Computer

Repurposed from the thrift store,
I hardly noticed it was a mommy tote,
with its gold zippers and shiny grommets.
The dark olive fabric in a satin finish,
quite suited for a black tie affair,
is a far cry from the pastel purchases
I chose from twenty years ago,
the blues and pink fabrics at Babies R’ Us.

It shouldn’t surprise me,
my last glance at a Parenting magazine
in the waiting room at the pediatrician
(where my teen was getting a sports physical
and I was pushed the HPV vaccine for genital warts)
showed maternity wear in spandex,
a very pregnant model teetering in heels,
perhaps I was among the last generation of women
allowed to be frumps for nine months at least,
(but that is another poem).

Only the label teed me off,
Just One You by Carter’s.
A tagline I am still pondering,
do they mean to tell me,
as a new mother, having my every need
dwarfed by an infant,
feeling lobotomized as the body
directs neurons toward milk ducts,
I am still special?
Even while sleep deprived
and teary with hormones,
while losing my identity hourly,
while facing two decades of picking up socks,
waiting in a long line of minivans
until my children arrive
and ignore me on their smart phones,
I am still unique?

Upon further inspection, the sophisticated bag
does have a lot of pockets for a working gal,
eleven to be exact, one plastic-lined
for dirty nappies.
I want to jump into the nearby lake in my undies
and stash them safely there afterwards.
The cavernous cloth womb I once used
held spit up rags and changes of clothes,
diaper covers and pacifiers, sippy cups
and Ziploc bags of Cheerios,
I’d fumble for baby wipes with my left
the while holding the baby down with my right.

My computer fits nicely in the main compartment,
the pad meant for changing soft little bottoms
cushions my hardware.
I feel I should say I miss the years
when my world collapsed
to keeping safe the small and meek,
but I am no longer young and yearn now
for open space, blank walls, white rooms.
I have whittled my purse needs to a wallet,
car keys and Chapstick,
these all fit in the bottle pocket.
The other nine I leave empty.