So in the tradition of Batman’s utility belt or a great Bond gadget here are some Tools Of The Trade (TOTT) I try to keep close and handy in case I need assistance in the never ending battle against evil and keeping my kids alive.
Hand Sanitizer – dads are guys first. Dads with sons are guys with great wingmen who can’t drink beer. But I have daughters so I had to keep them looking clean. It’s 99 cents at Duane Reade, Walgreens, CVS or Rite Aid. And when you’re in the park it’s a godsend buy about a six pack of corona’s worth. You’ll thank me later.
DVR – So while it didn’t exist when I was 7 DVR is a great way to load yourself with kid ammunition should you ever get ambushed. Depending on age find favorite shows or programs your little one enjoys. Set your DVR to record them whenever they come one (and to delete them after 7 days because they can pile up quickly). So should you ever be in a predicament where there is nothing [appropriate] on television, weather outside is horrific or you have to impromptu babysit/entertain little ones you have a fail safe! DVR – Dads Video Rescue!
Living Social/Groupon– I can’t tell you how many activities I have found for myself and my kids to do through each. They usually have great deals on classes, sporting events and even special plays/concerts. I always check both websites religiously before planning a weekend. They also have great deals on places to eat. The mobile app is available for both apple and android smartphones so you have no excuse, except if you don’t have a smart phone in which case you’re probably not reading this blog anywho…..
The Web – Yeah I am not really sure WHAT parent’s did before the early 1990s when they were tasked with the impossible feat of entertaining their kids for 72 hours until they returned to school. Imagination and word of mouth were crucial ingredients to parenting back then in say….1984. Luckily a small invention called the INTERNET has made finding things to do with your kids a tad bit little easier, just a tad. Below are some of my go to websites to figure out my weekend plans.
- Mommy Poppin – My absolute “go to” in finding things to do.
- Time Out New York Kids – This is usually a hit or miss for me but when I find something it is usually awesome.
- New York Magazine – I haven’t found much here lately but there is a “Find events for kids” search at the top of the page see what you find.
- A Child Grows in Brooklyn – New “it” place this is a Brooklyn themed site for parents.
- New York Family – a website dedicated to families here in the Big Apple. They have a things to do link!
- Google – Yup a good old “things to do with my seven year old this weekend” internet search is never out of the question.
Babysitters – I don’t care how much you love our children, how cute they are or how much they fill your life with joy if you do not take a break from them either they will kill you or vice versa. The rules of any other relationship applies to the ones you build with your kids. You can’t work 7 days a week (though you feel like it at times) because you would literally have to strangle your boss and co-workers. Same for your girlfriend or significant other and same for your kids. Trust me they probably get sick of you to! So its really healthy to have breaks from parenting to spend out with your own friends or fulfilling your own interests. They is accomplished most readily by BABYSITTERS!! They are the people who allow you to remember what being kid less felt like!
These wonderful people can be but are not limited to:
3. Friends with their own children*
4. Paid employees
5. Friends without children
6. God Parents
7. Close relatives/Family friends
8. Anyone that will sacrifice a Saturday night for your sanity.**
* This is a favor from one parent to the other and should be returned at some point in good parent Karma. Like babysitting rotations…
I am very selfish with my children and actually only really feel comfortable leaving them with their grandmother or my sister. Anyone else will cause me to call/text every half hour and stare at my phone like a maniac. I don’t encourage you to be like this but remember everyone that interacts with your children ultimately plays a role in their development as people. You want to try to manage that were applicable.
Plan B (not the pill): ipad/videogame/book/change of clothes
These are backups or things that fill the “kid ether”. If you are out and need a few minutes its always better to have something on hand that you can pull out in case your planned activity goes haywire, an ice cream cone explodes or worse yet you don’t feel like talking to your kids all day!
If you are out and an event you had planned is cancelled your back up should be your staples. Neighborhood and citywide staples work best for met, one of my favorites — don’t tell anybody — is Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Sanitary Napkins: These can be in a small pocket size but like hand sanitizer they are God sent when you are somewhere out in public and there is a mishap…
These small tools are just a few things that I have come to keep within arms reach at all times. They almost always come in handy.