This past weekend, Mr. Sally J was installed as an honorary commander at a local air force reserve base. We got up earlier than usual, made ourselves presentable, traveled to the base and made it there for the 8:30 a.m. start time. We parked in the lot outside of the base, and were transported by bus into a secure location.
Cool? Yes. A little stressful? You bet.
A secured location meant that, um, we were contained inside the air hanger until we were instructed to leave. As in, there were armed airmen at the doors.
I’ve been a mom long enough to know that if we were transported by bus, and obligated to stay in one location for more than 10 minutes, that’s when a crisis will happen. Be it a digestive mishap, temper tantrum, or bloody impalement, a secure location with no chance to make a run back to our van nearly guarantees a disaster will happen.
So I packed a bag of tricks I hoped would see us through the ninety minute meeting. I packed this bag with a three year old and six year old in mind, and it actually came in handy. I didn’t include electronics, since they hate headphones, and no one really wants to hear the sound track to Angry Birds (nor was it appropriate).
Dry cereal and fruit ropes for snacks
Coloring books and crayons
Magnet story book
Activity pad with hangman, tic-tac-toe and dot games
Two Rapunzel dolls with ridiculous hair (and a hair brush)
Did I feel like a pack mule? Yes. But we made it through the entire ceremony/meeting which included recognition of all reservist promotions, a review of off-duty accidents from the past year, special announcements, and the recognition of the honorary commanders. There was no crying, there was no bathroom emergency, and there were no embarrassing, “MOM! Someone farted!” announcements.
What do you like to bring along when your kids need to sit through an adult event?