Maybe I should have called this post, “5 Mom Must -Haves for a Toddler’s Car”?
Not sure. Either way, I have some great tips for you stemming from my crazy morning, which looked like any other morning: opening cereals, pouring juices, doing hair, getting dressed and make-up’d, feeding animals, putting shoes on for everyone, organizing end-of-year gifts to put where they can be grabbed, and on… Out of this mix, I loaded the boys into the car and gave them their juice and cereal for the ride… READ: Mother of the Year, feeds her kids breakfast in the car, not organized enough to get them out of bed and dressed and fed at home. Ugh.
Anyhoo…One cry and lots of tears later, the juice in hand was now covering my little guy’s shirt and dripping down his pants.
Awesome. Now 10 minutes late. I won’t go on to detail what happened next, but I was very lucky this morning. Lucky, because, I was at my own home when all became utter chaos; I could recover from a tantrum, spill, and all else while sitting perched in the driveway.
All of this chaos got me thinking, after all was said and done, about the emergency stashes in the car that have all but saved me from feeling helpless and mad too, in the midst of toddler crisis in the past.
Here is the list of my top 5 things to keep handy in the car, to avert disaster:
- Snacks: I can’t say it enough. I always bring snacks. I put some in the trunk, in the glove compartment, and stash some in my purse. Low blood sugar can bring all kinds of H-LL down to rain on you! A little cracker or pretzel can work wonders. An emergency lollipop is awesome for booboo’s and bribes. You get it.
- Extra Clothes: Like this morning, I am well aware of needing not just an extra pair of pants or t-shirt, but underwear, socks, pants, sweatshirt, and shoes too! I usually bring 2! It’s a twin thing. What one does, the next will surely try too, so spills happen in double-time around me! I keep a bag in the trunk, and another in the car!
- Wipes: My kids are past the diaper phase, but all those bribes (READ: lollipops) leave their messes behind. Great for wiping hands after a trip to the grocery carts too…or the rides…or the bathrooms. I know you’ve been there. Me too! Twice.
- Travel Potty: I have no shame in opening that trunk and letting my kids sit on the side of the road or in the trunk (for privacy) if they need to. Far easier for all of us, than pain, discomfort, or wet pants! **Along with this comes garbage bags to line the potty. These are a must, so you can toss any messes. I use double lined grocery plastic bags…You know you have hundreds of these. A training potty is the next best thing to a travel potty- So that you don’t feel like a jerk with a toilet in her car, maybe stow it in a cute crate or canvas bag!
- An emergency kit: Not the “What you need to survive in the wild,” kit. I mean, the one for boo-boos. You know this one? The one you mean to have but don’t? Get one. Band-Aids, water, bacitracin wipes, butterfly band-aids, kids Benadryl tabs, adult aspirin (for you!) are just some that I can think of that we need all the time.
I literally could go on about things that I love to have in the car with my toddlers, and also my big girls for having fun: Books, entertaining games, toys for the ride, drawing supplies, a garbage bag, good music, books on CD. Just so many things that can make a ride enjoyable, but the 5 listed above, are focused on keeping the ride safe and basically sane for most trips, short or long to avoid a problem that can turn a good ride, bad.