Newbie parents get all kinds of cool lists – what to pack for the hospital, what you need in a nursery, and even what to put into a diaper bag. The lists are endless. But as my kids get older, there aren’t as many lists. And it’s time to change that.
As a mom to two school aged kids, here is a list of things that I think are essential to have on hand:
- A book. For you. Your life is now spent in waiting. In the carpool lane. For piano lessons to finish. At the doctor’s office. I am currently reading unNatural Mom: Why You Are the Perfect Mom for Your Kids by Hettie Brittz.
- A book for your kid. Because when you are waiting, half of the time you are waiting for something with your kid. Top picks: Diary of a Wimpy Kid, The Kane Chronicles and oldie but goody Mrs. Piggle Wiggle.
- A cool app on your phone for your kid. This is for those times that you forgot the book for your kid and you have 40 silent minutes to kill. My personal favorite is RoboLogic because it teaches my kids how to code AND you can turn the sound off.
- A cool app on your phone just for you. My preferred app is the Starbucks app. Mobile ordering is the bomb, baby. I am a podcast addict, so my runner up is the iTunes podcast app. Lately, I have been listening to “So Money” and “Have a New Kid By Friday.”
- A snack and a water bottle. You thought toddlers get hangry? They have nothing on a nine year old boy who just outgrew the tennis shoes you just bought. Last. Month. And supersize it because they suddenly have bottomless stomachs.
- Tissues in your purse and in the car and everywhere in the house. Because cold season lasts forever. And you also want them to Please Stop Picking Their Noses. Eww.
- On that note, hand sanitizer and wet wipes. They never outgrow the need for either.
- A decent pencil sharpener. Have I mentioned all of the homework? So much homework. You will need sharp pencils for math and spelling and Spanish and reading…and a kids dictionary, math dictionary and atlas are great to have around.
- A substantial stack of dollar bills. Because elementary school requires money (please send cash!) for field trips and picture day and “hats for teachers” day and popcorn day and…just be ready.
- A camera. To capture these sweet moments of childhood: kindergarten cuteness and second grader toothless smiles. Braids and best friends and grown up looking 5th graders.