After introducing a little one into the family everything changed from date nights and travel arrangements, all the way to my morning routine and even my car's glove compartment. It's taken me over a year and half to properly equip myself with the tools necessary for touting a toddler all over town.
I'd like to think that we've all been there - trapped in the grocery story, the aisles of Target or desperately searching the dark corners of a restaurant for the high chairs when our little one breaks out into hysterics. The reason is typically unidentified so finding a solution in the mists of this parenting-chaos is next-to impossible. People look at you with judgmental eyes, and then they are whispering what you can only assume are comments about how you need to learn to get "control" of your child. And isn't that funny? I don't I'll ever have "control" of my little guy. He is a year-and-a-half old he's behaving as every other 18-month old has before him. He's testing his limits and communicating in the only way he knows how to, by screaming. So to all you onlookers I'm sorry.
For you parents, I've come up with some suggestions you can keep handy to help you in your time of distress. I keep these essentials in my car because I've been known to "accidentally leave my diaper bag at home" which is kind of like chopping off a hand and trying to play Beethoven on a piano. Plus my car is almost always in the same general area as my son and the worst kind of meltdown occur after you've crossed state boarders.
Baby Wipes, Hand Sanitizer and Clorox Wipes
Babies are walking, crawling, sitting messes. They seem to gravitate toward all things germy and dirty. There is no limit to the amount of baby wipes, hand sanitizer or Clorox wipes necessary to keep these little guys free from all the nastiness they attract. They are essential for diaper bags, stroller cubbies, changing tables and especially vehicle emergency kits.
Blowouts and stink bombs are unavoidable, even the best diaper changers must face these poorly-timed smellies, having diapers handy is a must when you want to take your tiny tot out and about.
For my little guy, few things can stop a temper tantrum in its tracks like a "cookie." In reality these pop tarts, crackers, breakfast bars and apple sauces - all commonly referred to as "cookies" at our house, can provide five minutes of sweet, sweet relief during a car ride meltdown. Nonperishable, that won't melt are your best options for in the car. If you happen to find something that won't produce tons of crumbs that's going to be your winner. Most important, is to make sure that you child likes it and will eat it - remember this is almost always in case of emergency, so it needs to work.
Snot, tears, running mascara - you should never leave home without some trusty tissues.
When in doubt hand your little one a toy. Give them something to distract them. It may only work for a couple minutes, but that's long enough to think of your next plan of attack.
Sign a check, a permission slip, write down the number of a good babysitter - you never know when you might need a pen.
To be Used in Emergency Situations Only: You might not be an advocate of the Paci, bink, nook but when push comes to shove - almost all of us cave at some point. Even batman has a sidekick. Keeping a Paci handy isn't going to stunt your child's growth but it may give you 15 more minutes of sanity.