Those of the queasy of stomach may not want to read further.
Heaven knows I'm not in any position to give advice on parenting, but when it comes to planning ahead, I have a few tricks up my sleeve that make parenting a little easier. My best tip deals with vomit. I've always said that you know you're a mother when you catch vomit in your hands rather than letting it land on the child/carpet/couch/bed/car upholstery. And I've done my fair share of catching.
Rather than doing the 2 am scramble for a bucket or garbage can for the return of my child's evening snack, I've gotten in the habit of keeping an ice cream bucket under the side of their bed. You may still have to catch the "first wave", but at least you won't have to carry it dripping across the carpet to the bathroom. Once your child has gotten over their current bout of illness, toss the bucket and put a new one under the bed, ready and waiting for the next inevitable stomach bug.
Then there's the car. No one wants the lingering stench of sick to hit as you open the car door on a hot day. Since, for most families, car space is at a premium, carrying around an empty ice cream bucket is a waste of space. I have an alternate solution. Next time you fly, bring home the "air sick" bags that are tucked in the pocket in front of you. Then pop one of these bags in the side pocket by each car door, ready to be pulled out at the first sign of tummy trouble. As long as your child has decent aim, all you have to do is fold over the top and toss it in the nearest roadside garbage can.
Also, if you have a child with croup, like I do, it's handy to keep a humidifier under the foot of the bed or in that child's closet, so that when the barking begins in the middle of the night (why does croup never hit in the daytime?) you won't be digging through boxes in the storage room, searching for the rarely used steamer.
Do you have any parenting tricks or tips you'd like to share? I'd love to hear them!