It amazes me the amount of preparation it takes to get ready for something when you have a two year old. The things we never used to think about when we were childless are now things that are in the forefront of our mind. Questions must be answered like do we have enough diapers, extra clothes, wipes, pull ups, swimmers, blankie, binky (in a pocket of course) sippy cup, drink? How long is the drive? What stops should we make? Where is the best bathroom to go to? What is on the route that is easy to pull into? How long can we be in the car? Do we have the right toys, books, movies to take with us? It is almost like moving every time we go on more than a 20 minute drive somewhere. Has mom had enough coffee?
Preparation is not always about the things that we must have with us it is about mentally preparing too. This process begins when the idea of doing something pops into our (Byron and I) heads and continues up to the time we give a verbal direction to Ty. For example we give Ty a pre-warning about everything that we do, "Ty when we get to the daycare you will leave your binky in the car." Or, "Ty in 5 minutes we will be at ....... I will need you to listen to directions." Surprisingly I have found that if I give one or two pre-directions in preparation for the action Ty has a seamless transition (most often but not always). As a parent our brains continue to prepare before one event and during another. It is constant.
Being prepared as a parent provides us and Ty the structure to successfully make it through, and enjoy any activity even as mundane as grocery shopping! Ty is a big helper so when cleaning the house if I prepare Ty before a major project and have something that he can help participate in things go smoothly. Boy does he do well. He is prideful in his work and has a good work ethic. He works on things that we have not asked him to work on or fix! (Not that they need fixing or worked on ;-))
Parenting requires us to be prepared mentally, physically and with tangible things. It is certainly an art in which most mom's and dad's would agree is tiring but well worth it!