Monday, September 8, 2008

Errands with Kids or: How Not to Lose Your Mind

Saturday Aaron was out of town for a church event most of the day.

Faced with another day of managing the kids, I could be routine as usual, meaning no lovely BREAK from routine for either the kids or me, or I could try for an actual weekend.

I opted for Plan B. Here was my plan for the day:

1) Stop by a friend's house to swap my packing paper for her bags of kids' clothes
2) Go to a garage sale held by 3 MOMS club friends
3) Head to Old Navy for their Baby Sale
4) See if The Children's Place in the mall had tights for Leah.

And accomplish all this with 2 mobile children in tow. Mission ACCOMPLISHED! With precautions in place, we arrived home happy and ready for naps/rest times. And what precautions did I take?

1) Do not leave home without a diaper & wipes. And snacks. And water (lately my personal water bottle has filled in for all 3 of us - less things to carry). But I did make sure the kids had sippy cups in the car.

2) Do NOT let kids out of car for a short stop. Which in this case was our 1st. Leah rebelled a bit, but...

3) DO let them out when feasible - the garage sale. It was held at a friends', and I knew there would be kids for Leah and Ben to play with. This went even better than expected, though, because although the kids were in the house, MY kids were totally occupied with the toys displayed for sale on the driveway.

4) Advance bribery works VERY well. I bought them each a couple of toys at the garage sale (plus 2 nice coats for Leah) so everyone was in a happy mood with new toy in hand when we arrived at Old Navy.

5) Time for snacks - and a cart to stash the kids in.

6) And make it snappy. This is not the time to be examining the clearance racks. Keep it moving, and make a trip to the bathroom and the dressing rooms to change the scenery.

7) The mall has fun stuff for kids to watch - make use of it! We stopped first at the fish tank before heading to TCP. Ben left obligingly after throwing the beginnings of a fit when I promised we'd return before heading home.

8) Have lunch at McDonald's. Need I say more on this one? You don't have to use it as a bride, either. Unless you DO have to. It's always nice to have it already planned in your head, though, right?

9) Keep your promises. Yes, we went back to the fishtank. Of course, by this time, Ben was so tired he pretty much just sat on the couch eating his apple slices, and was fine with leaving when it was time.

But here are the biggest two rules:

Take Your Time.
Let the Kids Have Fun.

Don't just try to rush through everything - if you need to skip something, skip it. Being able to be flexible starts before you leave the house. You just need to decide to have fun WITH your kids, instead of seeing them as an obstacle.

Now if I can remember to go back and read this the next time I'm "stuck" with the kids.

For those of you interested in actual purchases/deals: At Old Navy I got jeans for myself and jeans and a top for Leah for $24. Thanks to my "50% off an adult item with your ON card" (which I have) and my $10 coupon for using said card. I also got Leah these and these tights for $5 each, which she may end up wearing for 2 winters.

1 comment:

Noel said...

Looks like a well orchestrated trip. Kudos.

Saturday I was chatting in the church parking lot after the mens' breakfast at church as all these worship people were arriving, but not going into the building. This seemed odd and then I found out they were off to Glendalough State park on a very beatiful afternoon. Talk about a primo destination on a primo day! Aaron owes you some sort of get-away ;-)