(By guest contributor Dana Brookes)
I just read the article 10 Things Every Sports Parent Should Have In Their Car and I felt the need to respond. I suppose extra socks, a sharpie and a hair tie are items that may come in handy. However, I am not sure how much help they will be at an all-day tournament in 100-degree weather in between thunderstorms and torrential downpours. Below is a more practical list of Sh** that needs to be put in your car to survive a sporting event.
The REAL 10 Things Parents Need to Survive A Sporting Event
- Food, and a lot of it. Not snacks, not diet bars, not dehydrated apples. Face it, you are going to be at the fields for hours. Start with a breakfast sandwich in the morning, bring some donuts for the team, add in some chips and dips for the 1st game, get a sub for the 2nd game and pray you have enough Oreos and popcorn to make it through the championship. Remember, no one likes the mom who doesn’t share. Throw in an extra bag of pretzels and peanut bars for others.
- Tanning products. Do I need to remind you that you will be sitting in the sun for hours and hours? Why waste that time? Apply some SPF and get to working on your tan. Leave-in conditioners also do really well during the double headers. You don’t want Timmy or Tommy to get burnt, so you may want to up your SPF to 50 and share with the team as well.
- Advil. Some games have really early start times and you may still be feeling the hangover from the night before. A little Advil and a Red Bull will help you out for the long day ahead. If your games are going into overtime, or you are sitting by the loud-ass parent who won’t stop screaming for little Junior, you will definitely need the Advil. Also, there is always a kid who doesn’t feel well. Pop an Advil for him and you get a few more innings out of him/her.
- Cell phone and cell phone charger. We all love to watch our children play their sport. But there are plenty of times when the game turns into a train wreck and you just can’t watch anymore. Having your Netflix nearby is a great way to kill some time and distract you from the game. Remember, apps drain your battery life, so be sure to have your portable cell phone charger ready.
- Umbrella. This is one item that truly is useful. If there isn’t any shade at the field, you can pop it open and create shade. Plus, it is always handy when a rain storm comes through. Another great use for the umbrella is when you are a bit too tired, you can prop it up and take a wee bit of a nap under it. If you put on your sunglasses and prop your feet against the fence, you will have a nice siesta.
- Cooler with ice. While it is important to keep your child’s drink cold for game day, it is also important to have cold beverages for the parents. The games are long and proper hydration is key. I particularly enjoy a sparkly beverage served over ice during a double header. Some dads prefer a cold brew. What better way to provide a chilled experience than an ice chest in the trunk?
- Tervis Tumbler or Yeti cup. See above. The hot summer days melt your ice really quickly and a watered-down drink is no fun at all. Pack an extra cup or two so you can enjoy your beverages with friends.
- Febreeze. There is absolutely no way to get the stink and stank out of your child’s uniform without a deep clean in the washing machine. However, a large dose of Febreeze will help make your drive home more enjoyable. For road trip games you may want to pack Lysol and Febreeze and kill the smell with a one-two punch.
- Cash. No matter how much food, water, bug spray, sunblock, candy, chips, etc. you pack, your athlete is going to want something. And in the “want something” way that is like “mom, I just must have this or I will die without it” way. To make matters worse, most of these vendors are cash-only. Save yourself the headache and say yes to that most important thing and take cash with you.
- Siblings. Yes, it is true that you can’t store the siblings in the car during the games. However, it is a scientific fact that no one sibling can sit still and pay attention to an entire game. Do yourself a favor and bring more than one of your kids to the field, or invite a playmate to spend the day. Kids are super annoying when they are bored, so better to keep them busy with a friend or two.
Dana is a single working mom. In between her 12-year-old son Samuel’s sporting events, they can be found at the beach. Dana believes in humor, giving back to her community through volunteering, and that being a parent is life’s greatest adventure.
Dana is the author of the blog “Duh! Someone just has to say it” which chronicles the trials and tribulations of a being a single mom in South Florida.