Some more, please: Toddler daytripping survival kit

2011-05-12 12:31

Time is relative and 20 minutes in the back of a car engaged in a loud, tear-soaked battle of wills with a hungry, tired toddler is a lifetime.

It only happened once. Now, like the Boy Scouts, my motto is “be prepared”.

The tantrum-prevention armoury that all veteran mums have worked out through bitter experience is all about getting your second guessing right, combined with a little bit of crystal-ball gazing.

Armed with a ridiculously big bag – the rule goes, the smaller the person, the bigger the bag to carry the stuff they might need – these are my top five peacekeepers.

1. Two full bottles of water – I never know if the toddler fancies drinking out of a pink cup or an orange one. Tantrum prevention: take both.

2. Two changes of clothes – one warmer, one cooler – in case the toddler falls into a pond/slips in the mud/drinks out of the dog’s bowl/wipes her lunch on her jumper or something completely unforeseeable. In my house wet sleeves or soggy trousers make for an unhappy toddler.

3. Other shoes – considering I wear one pair of shoes until they are full of holes, I can only imagine that dad’s love of shoes is the cause of the toddler’s fascination with footwear. So I always take a spare pair or two – boots and sandals if she’s wearing tackies. The fire-engine red gumboots are always a winner.

4. A minimum of four different snacks to choose from – and plenty of each one; you just never know what the toddler will have a taste for. I always travel with a good supply of grapes, slices of apple, and naartjies. Then there’s cocktail sausages – always a winner. As for biscuits, I am morally opposed to sweet ones, but water biscuits are great toddler fillers – even if the calories are devoid of anything good, there’s very little bad either. And finally, as a last ditch effort to stop a full-scale tantrum – chips.

5. The final item in the tantrum prevention kit – activities. A colouring-in book, crayons, a teddy bear that is currently in favour. Hell, once a plastic (empty) watering can was fascinating enough to get us home without tears.

Happy daytripping...

Follow me on Twitter @GayleMahala. Follow City Press: @City_Press

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