If you are new to the kids game, here is a rule that will never fail you. It is a mantra that I say to myself every time I am going out the door with one or more children. It goes like this:
“A drink, a snack, a handful of Kleenex”.
I know what you are thinking; that sounds a lot like a mom talking - I thought you said I'm not supposed to act like a mom! Well, this is one of those times when you can be discreet, but be prepared! I had a client once who seemed to pull an amazing array of life savers out of her tiny clutch-sized purse for her two little boys during their consultation. She had just enough things in there to cover boredom, hunger, thirst and a runny nose. I was VERY impressed.
You will laugh, but even though my step kids are 17 and 19 now, when I forget one of these things I want to slap myself on the forehead. Someone spills something on their lap in the car and, rats! No kleenex. During a weekend at the cottage we decided to go on a tame little hike in the woods. We dropped a cellphone and had to backtrack to find it (a total miracle!) but by then we were hot and thirsty and - you guessed it - no drinks!
On the flipside, I scored big time just a few days ago. I took the two of them to the mall for some back to school shopping. I stuck some apples into my bag thinking that as we were right between lunch and supper, we were going to end up needing a snack . I had just parked the car and I said “anybody hungry?”. I expected them to say no, and I got ready to bring the apples inside the mall for later. Surprise - they wanted them right away and said: “You think of everything!”. Except that we all had sticky hands and…you guessed it, no water and no kleenex. I’ll never learn, but you can!
p.s. If your kids are younger, I would include "a toy" in this list, meaning anything that could occupy a little person during an extra long wait at a restaurant or while stuck in a traffic jam!