Have a Checklist
How do you remember things? What is your preferred method? Some people go to repetition, others to forming a story about the things they need to remember. When I was performing stand up, I would have a keyword or phrase I would recall that told me what that bit was about. "Mom's car" would be my bit about my mom driving me to school, "vacation" would be my joke about my last trip to Chicago, etc. The method to increase your memory varies from person to person, but its a no brainer we all need to remember things all the time. This is multiples upon multiple times more important when you are a parent. So how do you keep from forgetting your daughter's lunch for school the third day in a row? Have a checklist.
"I believe it is hard enough to remember all the things that you need for yourself without trying to remember everything each toddler needs[...]", explains Ted in his book. In the last post, I talked about knowing where your piles are, now its a matter of knowing what you need from those piles. So why not have a list of the things you need to better help you when you might be frazzled by the morning rush. A checklist does not have to be elaborate or overly complicated. "It should just list the basic items that you would consider 'must-include-items'[...]", says Ted. This could include: bottles, diapers, blanket, a toy, book, among other things.
Remember, this list is just things you need for this particular trip. Try not to bog it down with items that would make a person think you are leaving the country for an undisclosed amount of time.
The key part to your checklist will be making it nice and big, then eventually printing it out. Your checklist will then live on your wall next to the door you and the kids usually leave out of. Anytime you are about to leave out the door, you will not be able to hide from your list, and you will be able to recognize anything you might have forgot. In fact, Ted advocates for reciting the list before walking out the door. Getting in this habit will help with taking a tally of all the required items your have in your possession before loading up the van and driving off. Your kids may even begin to join in on this ritual, and having a second person to help with pointing out something you missed could be beneficial for the future.
Ultimately, its about remembering all the crucial things your toddler needs to survive that trip to the grocery store, or spend a few hours at Uncle Jimmy's without getting antsy. Customize it however you like, include whatever you need that is most mission critical, and print it as big as you want. At the very least though, have a checklist