You know why most moms are habitually late? It is not because we sleep in or are spending excess amount of time fixing our hair. We can usually even wrestle our children into clothes and get them into the car without too much fuss. However, it is the ten million trips back and forth from the car to retrieve the forgotten sippy cups, extra diapers, blankies and snacks that slow us down.
In an attempt to save myself some time and unnecessary frustration, I have come up with a solution to save me running this house-to-car mommy marathon. By keeping a stockpile of the following things in your car you won’t have to keep backing out and pulling into your driveway like a dumbass because you have to go back to collect this or that forgotten item. Who knows? You might actually make it to a play date on time for once (ahem, Alice)!
10. Wipes – I know this one seems obvious, but you wouldn’t believe the amount of times my children had to use my car’s upholstery as their own personal napkins because I didn’t have a wipe on hand. And you don’t want to know what I had to use to wipe their asses with. Sufficed to say, if you need a ride somewhere, ask Alice, because my passenger seat belt still smells.
9. Diapers – How many times have you had to rush home from somewhere or other because your kid had a shit and you didn’t have any clean diapers on you? This is what the glove compartment is for ladies. Let’s just decide here and now to rename it the diaper compartment and be done with it. Just be careful not to hand the police officer a diaper the next time you get pulled over. They may take that the wrong way.
8. Random Toys – When you get stuck in traffic and your child is having a major meltdown, the best thing you can do for your sanity, not to mention the safety of other drivers on the road, is to pull out some random long-forgotten toy (you know you have a box of them in the basement) to make your child stop screaming long enough for you to get the hell off the highway. Trust me, this is the one time you will actually be glad to see a Teletubbie.
7. Stroller – You never know when you might have to take a detour to the mall, park, or just have to park a long way away from your destination. It is always better to have a stroller available then to have to somehow transport a toddler, a baby, a diaper bag, a tray of cupcakes and a breakable birthday present the two blocks from where you parked to the birthday party. Believe me – carrying shit on your head is not as easy as it looks.
6. Extra clothes – I don’t know how they do it, but children always know when you want them to be clean and then do whatever it takes to get themselves dirty. Whether you are on your way to church and they spit up in the car or they forget to use the potty and have an accident at the park, it is always best to have a change of clothes in the car for each child. On the other hand, it can be a bit of a bonus if they are dirty – other kids tend to think twice before pushing your kid down the slide when they are really sticky.
5. Hand Sanitizer – Let’s face it, kids touch everything. From toilets to other children, they seem to have radar that leads them to the most germ-filled items. So do yourself and them a favour and sanitize them after play group, day care, or a trip to a public bathroom. E. Coli is not your friend people.
4. Snacks and water – So the random toy got you off the freeway; now you are stuck at a red light and the kids are late for dinner. Time to whip out that banana or cereal bar to prevent the all out I-am-going-to-die-if-you-don’t-feed-me-right-now meltdown that will no doubt take place shortly. Trust me on this. When you are driving home in a rainstorm and your driver’s side wiper flies off, what you don’t need is your child out-screaming Mariah Carey on the radio because he is hungry. (Yes, this actually happened to me, and no, I don’t know why I seem to constantly have crazy shit occur in my life unless it is to provide humorous stories for y’all.)
3. Garbage Bags – What with all the snacks and diapers, your car will turn into one giant garbage bin on wheels if you don’t have another garbage receptacle handy. Grocery bags will do, it doesn’t have to be fancy. Just remember to actually remove the full garbage bags from your vehicle once in a while. Same goes for the empty sippy cups – there is nothing worse than week old milk congealed in a sippy cup under your seat. It kinda smells like puke in case you were wondering.
2. Kids DVD’s/Music – Best thing we ever got for the car was an in-car DVD system. It is not built in – it just straps to the back of each of the front seats and plugs in the cigarette lighter. Now I know some of you consider strapping your kids down in front of a TV screen for a three hour car ride akin to child abuse, and I can understand that. But you are not allowed to judge me until you spend three hours alone on a highway with my children without the TV’s – that’s not just abuse, it’s torture.
1. Sunscreen in Summer, Scraper (and gloves) in Winter – These are the number one items that moms have to re-enter the house in search of. Putting sunscreen on children is like trying to shave a monkey – they don’t take well to the idea. In my experience it is always best to do it when they are securely buckled in their car seats so they can’t run away and smear the half-rubbed in sunscreen you just put on them into your suede couch. As for the scraper and gloves, if you have never had the pleasure of clearing off your windshield with the arm of your coat and your bare hands while braving the MINUS 30 degree temperatures in the Wal-Mart parking lot, then there is not much I can say to make you realize the craptasticness of this situation. You will just have to take my word on this one.
No more excuses ladies. The next time your playdate buddy is late, refer them to this post and/or get them a gift basket of the items mentioned here. That and make sure to sign up for my new support group MAD ASS: Moms Against Driving Anyone Screaming Someplace