If you've read Cormac McCarthy's "The Road," you'll recall that it is about a father and son trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world and find "the good guys," all the while pushing a shopping cart full of their belongings. If you haven't read it, thank you for choosing my blog over, quite possibly, America's greatest writer.
We're reading it for class right now, so it's on my mind. The book says a lot about a father's love, cannibalism, and the best way to carry all your stuff in a cart. The familial love part is nice and meaningful, but Dylan, probably by listening to me yammer on about the novel, has learned how to fit her belongings not in a cumbersome shopping cart with a wonky wheel, but in her arms. She'd kick ass in post-apocalyptic America. Or in a McCarthy novel.
Trips in the car, walks around the yard, even moving from one room to another, all require a transfer of supplies that resemble a US military exit strategy. We call it "Operation Toy Grab." A ride in the truck requires, minimum, one pacifier (mi-mi), one small blanket (night-night), and often a book, pencil, small Diego toy, Diego's puma, and anything that resembles a kitty. Around the house, Dylan usually packs a small piano, her Leap Frog caterpillar, a recorder, and anything else that will fit into her arms.
Regina's started calling her the Bag Lady. I'd call her something from "The Road," but none of the characters are named. Dylan's greatest achievement in supply-carrying comes at bedtime. To sleep properly, we must have mi-mi, night-night, a stuffed cat she got in a trade with Malcolm, a dolly, Hello Kitty pillow, and in the tight grip of her hands, a Baby Barbie and a Hello Kitty ring. It's exhausting to even remember what she needs, but if I've forgotten just one item, I can't get to to the door without her calling out, "Daddy. Ring? Ring?"
Oh sure, you're wondering why we allow it, right? Or are you still wondering if we read Cormac McCarthy novels to Dylan before bedtime? We don't, yet. And to answer the first question, we've tried to "forget" some of her swag on road trips, and the hell unleashed from the back seat made us turn around for whatever trinket we'd left behind.
I hate pushing Dylan into growing up too quickly, but I won't miss having to run a mental checklist of everything required to travel/sleep/walk. I've gotten so good at remembering exactly what situation requires which toy that I usually forget A) my necessities (wallet), or B) Dylan's real necessities (diapers). And heck, when she's just a little taller I'm going down to the WalMart parking lot and swiping her a real cart of her own.