Here are a few tips I have learned the last few years as I negotiated the tricky roads of carpool hell.
1. Never carpool with a kid prone to car sickness. The time saved driving is so not worth the time you get to spend in a car adorned with that new vomit smell.
2. Always have plastic bags on hand. (see #1)
3. Have a DVD player in that Suburban Vehicle? Then for goodness sake don’t forget the movies. Rotate often.
4. If you are setting up a regular carpool to Brownies or Swimming every week, don’t be all casual, all loosey goosey with the rules! Don’t be all “We could carpool.” BE SPECIFIC!
“You would like to carpool? Great!” “Would you like take turns driving every other week or drive there each time and I will pick up?”
Get a solid answer. Get a commitment. Trust me. If you don’t create some rules some of those User Mommies out there will NEVER take her turn. You see, what you don’t know is that some of us nice Mommies have invisible ink on our foreheads that only the user Mommies can see! I think mine says something like “USE ME..or SUUUCCCKKKERR”.
5. Snacks. Never a bad idea. Nut free of course.
6. Caffeine. duh.
7. Music. By the time you reach the carpool stage the days of music for the kids …well it’s gone. No more Old MacDonald, or classical to stimulate their little brains. Forget it. Each woman and child for themselves. This music is for you. This is about your survival! When the screaming and giggling gets to a decibel that could break champagne glasses it is time to pretend to be the “cool Mom”. Crank the tunes and drown them out.
8. You know that iPhone/Sidekick/ Crackberry you have that is so much fun to surf the net on and send texts to your friends on? Guess what? It is also a phone! I know! Do yourself a favor and store each and everyone of those little brats phone numbers in there and their Mamas work numbers too. Then when you hustle and scramble to make sure you pull into their driveway at exactly 6pm to pick your carpool up for Gymnastics, Volleyball, Soccer and the sweet darling is not home…..AHHH…. you can call that Mother and leave them any kind of message you want.
9. One word. Tylenol.