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I’m writing this from a hospital room. Sam has just had his adenoids removed. “His nose was completely blocked. Really yucky. It was a mess in there,” said the surgeon in delight.

I picked Sam up from the recovery room. He was freaked. I last saw that look on a face when a pigeon flew into my kitchen last summer and had no idea what had just happened or how to get out.

Sam fell asleep after a bit of an episode – who can blame him – and I’m now just waiting for him to sleep off the drugs. I’m pretty envious. He’s snoring his head off. I’d love someone to knock me out. I’ve properly loved all the generals I’ve had. I can see why people get into it, on a long-term basis.

But this is not about my dalliances with opiates.

The picture with this post is of the suitcase I packed for our 6 hours in hospital. Initially I was only going to pack in the flowery canvas baby bag I use for trips out with the kids. I am a bit bored with people being all snide and judgey about how much stuff parents seem to need to cart about with them and I briefly toyed with packing light just to show them. (Who? Where?)

But then I thought, no, fuck it. I want to take everything. I want my laptop, and brown bunny, and some snacks, and all the chargers, and some books, and a big pack of wipes, and the little DVD player. AND the iPad. All of it.

And some stuff for Sam, too, of course.

I didn’t want to have to make any choices, to find myself suddenly without a thing.

It strikes me, often, that a trait that experienced parents have, and especially those with a lot of children, is that they don’t expect too much from their kids. My friend Jo, who has four children, drives around in a sort of A-Team van. “It’s essential that they can’t touch each other while we’re driving,” she said, matter-of-factly. Yes, because otherwise they just hit each other and scream. There’s no point in pretending that they won’t. They will fight and squabble and make the journey ghastly. So just get a massive great van to cart them around in. Done.

So I packed absolutely everything I could lay my hands on. And I’m pleased I did because we used pretty much all of it.