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Equipping The Perfect Parent’s Taxi

Cluttered Mums TaxiIf you have children over school age, you probably have to ferry them around to school, sports, parties, activities and heaps more. What’s more, given our busy schedules these days, it’s usually all done in a rush. Or at least getting everybody into the car with everything they’re supposed to have is done in a rush. Traffic lights and speed limits stop the actual driving being done in a rush.

Oh, the freedom that comes when your teenager gets their P-plate and can take themselves to activities!  Strange that they’re probably thinking the same thing.

However, while the madness is going on, it’s a wise idea to have your car well equipped with everything that you might need. All those family-sized SUVs, station wagons and MPVs come with stacks of storage space, so you may as well take advantage of it and put the stuff you are going to need in into it.  Careful planning will mean that your car and what’s in it will help save your sanity.

The well-equipped Mum’s Taxi or Dad’s Taxi should have the following:

  • Easily stored food that can be fed to small sports players after training who forgot to pack a post-training snack. This helps fend off the whingeing to visit McDonalds and grizzles fuels by low blood sugar.  Dried fruit and nuts store well.  If you have a diabetic in the family, a good supply of barley sugars, jelly beans or little sachets of sugar picked up in cafés are another must.
  • A first aid kit with plenty of sticking plasters. Vital when some kid decides to kill time at the traffic lights by picking off a scab and bleeding all over the place.
  • Paracetamol or aspirin. Make sure it’s the sort that doesn’t need to be taken in water.
  • A spare jacket or sweatshirt, preferably several. Inevitably, there will come a day when it suddenly buckets down with a southerly buster and someone failed to bring warm clothes. Sometimes, that person is you.
  • A few grooming tools – hairbrush or comb and a few hair ties. If you’re really in a hurry in the mornings and you have girls with long hair, the girls can brush their own hair in the car while travelling along. For that matter, so can you (not recommended if one member of the family has headlice).
  • Books to keep the troops amused if you break down or have to wait for ages for the road works. Large thin ones that tuck into back-of-the-seat pockets are easy to store. Have several handy to avoid squabbles.
  • Wipes. For dealing with the blood after putting a bandage on the child who picked off the scab. Also good for cleaning faces.
  • Hand sanitiser. Even if you find a public toilet when some child is busting to pee, said toilet may not have soap. Enough said.
  • A travel potty.  For when you are stuck in traffic on the M1 or Sydney Harbour Bridge or whatever and someone needs to pee.  It sounds disgusting but it’s a lot better than having someone wet their pants, as the smell will linger in the seat for ages. Just remember to empty it at the end of your journey. For Number 1 only, not Number 2.
  • A towel. For cleaning up vomit if someone throws up, for wiping down fogged windscreens, for protecting seats if someone fell into the mud at the park, for folding into a neck support when someone falls asleep, for using as a blanket… If you were into the sci-fi cult classic Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, then you’ll have heard of the usefulness of towels. Like Ford Prefect, know where your towel is. (Question: the alien Ford Prefect in that series adopted that name because these cars were so common on the roads. If the late Douglas Adams was writing his series today, what would he have called this character? Toyota Corolla?).

Safe and happy driving, whether or not you’re on Parent Taxi duty,