The other day my friend Melissa was telling me about her husband's plan to build a rather enormous shed. Why the hell does he need a six-bay shed? I questioned. 'Well,' she said. 'He's got the tractor, the ride on mower, the boat, the camper-trailer, the normal trailer plus a spare bay for all the other crap he accumulates.' (Given they do live on a farm, their storage requirements are substantially more than average.) Then, rather poignantly, she declared: 'A man's shed is like a woman's handbag, the bigger it is, the more shit you collect.'
I don't know much about sheds. Mr D, thankfully, is not a shed kinda guy. We don't have a shed. We have a garage with a car and a lot a crap in it. But handbags. I do know about handbags. And mine, is like a 'Lady Shed'.
Looking inside a lady's handbag is akin to reading her secret diary. A handbag is a cavernous treasure trove of necessities, non-essentials, ancient receipts and used tissues. It's where memories of long forgotten purchases and consumed chocolate bars are laid to rest. I'm not a designer handbag kind of girl. I don't see the point of re-mortgaging for what is essentially a crap carrier. (I don't get the whole shoe thing either, or massages for that matter, which in my opinion, are both merely expensive and painful.) In my pre-kid days I would tote around a tiny bag containing not much more than fags, lippy and a credit card. But when you have kids, there's a whole lot of excess baggage to consider.
Much like a school-girl swat, on anticipation of the arrival of my first baby, after attending ante-natal classes and devouring the library of baby books, I dutifully assembled the required list of approximately seven million 'essentials' and stuffed them into my pristine Cath Kidston nappy bag. What they don't tell you (and don't get me started on the stuff they don't tell you in those books,) is that you need to employ a Sherpa to lug all that crap around. And that as soon as you forget to take it out with you, chances are, your baby will have a volcanic bowel eruption of such violent magnitude that you, and the kid, will end up with shit in your hair.
By the second child, I required a small village of Sherpas to assist in the hauling of the double load of baby and toddler paraphernalia. Kid Two was a chucker so I spent most of his first year of life being showered in curdled milky vomit. This necessitated the lugging of several changes of clothes and spew cloths in addition to the two different sizes of nappies, toddler snacks and assorted instruments of entertainment and distraction for Kid One. My back hurt. A lot.
As they've grown up the essentials to crap ratio has dramatically shifted. With only one kid in nappies (who now has a functioning esophageal sphincter) I can leave the house without resorting to a Girl Scout 'be prepared' style handbag stock-take. But like your average shed the bulk of its contents is now a vast accumulation of non-essential crap and three-year-old sultanas. Perhaps it's time to give my Lady Shed a good clear out.
************************I am an extremely nosey person by nature. I love those bits in the newspaper where you see what's in people's shopping baskets or 'My Day on a Plate' (Do real people actually snack on chia seeds? What wrong with doughnuts you healthy essential fatty acid eating freaks?) So here, for your voyeuristic pleasure, is the (slightly blurry) contents of my Lady Shed.
- Sunglasses (one pair for me, one for a kid)
- Small plastic rabbit
- Lid of orange texta
- Orange bouncy ball
- Wind up caterpillar
- Plastic doll
- Red convertible
- Kid-sized lipstick
- Nappies x 2
- Empty packet of wipes
- One sock
- Kid's handbag
- Empty box of mints
- Bottle top
- Assorted receipts and sweet wrappers
- Kid's necklace
- Lid of water bottle
- Assorted pens
- Magic light-up wand
- Purse (with it's own sub-ecosystem of crap)
- Map of Werribee Zoo x 2
- Kid's hat
- Bird pendant with broken necklace
- Book (Paris Wife- un-read)