Back to Basics During the Blizzard of 2011

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Don’t get me wrong, I love all of Baby J’s “things” that soothe her and keep her warm, dry, calm, and happy. At any given time we have many options to keep her stimulated and entertained: the mamaRoo, The Skip Hop play mat, toys from Tiny Love, Baby Einstein and Lamaze, and as many of you know, I couldn’t live without my Little Lamb Swing from Fisher-Price. But the Blizzard of 2011 has given me new perspective to the meaning of “Going Back to the Basics.”

 
When the storm hit I was home alone with Baby J and our dog. My husband was on a weeklong business trip. Great timing I know. We were hunkered down on Tuesday night and with a flicker of the lights we lost our power.
 
Thankfully I had made a few preparations: gathered some warm clothes, made a few bottles, and took out a flashlight. But I couldn’t help but panic. I knew that the house was going to get cold—it was only 11pm. I wondered how long the power would be out and when we would be able to get out of the house. I figured I could bundle J and put her in the bed with me; but then I would have to stay up all night to make sure she was kept safe. For the first time in a long time I was very scared.
 
My cell phone wasn’t working, but BBM was. I had a couple friends trying to figure out what I should do. I thought quick and got a hold of my friend who lives very close and has a Pathfinder. Without a second thought her husband jumped in the car and came evacuate all three of us to warmth and safety.
 
Before he came it was dark and I couldn’t see very much—so I threw J’s basic necessities in a bag: diapers, wipes, diaper cream, the bottles, formula, and a few changes of clothes. I grabbed my breast pump and piled it into the bassinet from her Stokke Xplory which I figured she could sleep in. It sounds like a lot, but given what is in the usual arsenal, this was nothing. With some quick thinking I remembered all of my frozen breast milk in the freezer and grabbed that too. I sure as hell was not going to let all of that hard work go down the drain (literally) because of some snow!
 
We weren’t even gone for 24 hours before the power came back on and we were able to get the Pathfinder out of the garage to return home. J was a little out of her element–instead of the lamb swing we laid on a blanket on the floor or I held her; instead of her crib we napped in the bassinet which was a little too small for her long legs, and instead of music from the ipod, I sang her some songs (which probably made her cringe).
 
It all made me realize that while all of the “things” are great—-we all definitely have a tendency to over prepare, over stimulate and over purchase for our babies. Going back to the basics was a great exercise. Maybe now when I leave the house I won’t take everything but the kitchen sink? (Really, who am I kidding?) If anything, this all made for a great story for J when she is big enough to understand.
 
And the best part of the story? J basically jumped out of my arms into her Little Lamb when we got home; and of course I was thrilled to put my feet up and watch her for a few quiet moments.