Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Ten things everyone needs in their handbag

I remember a scene from the movie "One Fine Day " in which George Clooney and Michelle Pfeiffer play roles as single parents desperately trying to come up with last-minute costumes for their respective kids.

Michelle, who plays an architect, grabs her hand bag and retrieves the following items: duct tape, a scarf, some makeup, and clip on earrings. She deftly whips up superhero suits for her young son and George Clooney's daughter.

George Clooney wonders aloud, "Where can I get a bag like that?"

I admit it, as a mom of four, my handbag has some pretty bizarre things inside of it. I am the family Sherpa because it is I who carry the bag. It's a holdover from the days when I carried a baby bag. Crushed juice boxes, hair bows, dog treats, a coffee cup, a movie I need to return, and a key to something I can't remember have all seemed to find a home there this week. All are useless to me (unless I need to whip up a last minute Halloween costume.)

There is one item in my bag, however, which I never leave home without. I have a "ready for anything" kit in my purse, and this is the one item I am always replacing. They come in handy no matter what the occasion: Unscented baby wipes. I keep an extra pack in my glove compartment I go through them so quickly. It is my weapon of choice for virtually any situation.

At least once a day, one of my children either spills something, gets their face dirty, needs to sneeze, or needs something to clean a skinned knee or bloody nose (the dry air causes makes this more common here in Tucson). Baby wipes to the rescue!

I take my kids to Starbucks for cider. The table is sticky. Voila! A baby wipe & you don't have to wait for a new table.

My shoes are scuffed, and need a quick shine. Behold, the humble baby wipe.

The inside of my car is dusty and I'm picking up my mother-in-law at the airport. A baby wipe for the dashboard! Meanwhile, I've used one at home to quickly polish and shine sinks, bathroom fixtures, and followed up with a dry washcloth. It looks as though I spent all day cleaning. (Just don't try this on windows and mirrors, the oil leaves smear marks). I also took a shortcut with polishing furniture. I use a damp one to pick up the dirt and a dry one to buff.

Here in Tucson it's still in the mid nineties during the day. If I'm overheated, waiting in the car for my kids to get out of school, a baby wipe on the pulse points makes me feel a lot cooler. And if I'm perspiring or need to remove errant makeup smudges, I can use it on my face.

And finally, at the end of the day, I use it to remove my makeup.

Just tonight, I was assisting with our Northminster mid-high church group doing a "toe painting" exercise (like finger painting... with their toes.) Guess what I happened to have that came in soooo handy? :)

You know, I always admire a woman who can whip out a safety pin, power bar, bandage, or cough lozenge out of her purse for a friend in need. I do love handbags, but I do realize it's what's inside that counts.

So: If you could keep 10 things in your handbag (guys, glove compartment?) what would they be? I need a "ready for anything at home/school/work" kit. Help me out?



  1. Great post, Laurel! I have been carrying smaller purses as the kids have gotten older, but I always carry the following things:
    Alleve-D (my go to for any type of headache from tension to migraine, hair elastic, restaurant coupons, a pen, and, lately, an extra finger splint the orthopedic surgeon gave me in case Justin misplaced the first one (which has happened a few times).

    Pretty mundane. I do have a "kit" in the console of my truck, though. Ironically enough, an old baby wipe container. In it are baby wipes, more Alleve-D, paper clips, extra prescription medication for one of the kids, bandaids, a small pocket knife, various OTC medications, hand sanditizer, and a few other things. Also nothing exciting there. But practical. :)

  2. You sound prepared for YOUR life, though! And that's what matters. :)