From our contributor, Modern Boca Mom of Multiples
Ahhh… there is nothing like a tailgate party. It’s what always made the college football game or [insert other sporting event here] more bearable…at least for this MBMom!
Drinking, good food, more drinking, and friends… it couldn’t get any better. Early mornings back at school, we would set up our gear with friends and tailgate all day. We’d walk past other tailgaters admiring their adorably dressed babies and toddlers in their UCF gear and agree that our children would start their tailgating at a young age, looking impeccable in their college onesies and tees.
And then we had kids….
Those families with their adorable children made it look so easy…too easy. As football season commences, along with its companion the tailgate party, my husband and I sat down to evaluate the components of a successful tailgate with three small children as we embark on our third year with kids, and our FIRST year with twins.
Do these two look ready?
MBMom’s Essential Family Tailgating Tips
- Timing. Gone are the 6-8 hour tailgates, so bring on the 2-4 hour event. Our group of friends also has kids, so the men go a little earlier to pick a spot and set up a tent, while the women and children come after setup.
- Location. Close enough to the game, far enough from the college kids, preferably near shade, other families, and most importantly, a reliable/bearable bathroom station. There is nothing worse than potty-training a toddler who only gives you 30 seconds to get them to a bathroom, especially when you have to negotiate the port-o-potties with the 18-22 year-olds. To ensure the ideal location, send a mother from the group with the guys to pick a spot or require a photo/FaceTime before the men set up. All it takes is one bad location decision and the guys will agree to this… I promise.
- Setup. Camping chairs, grill, food, TENTS, perhaps a large, caged area for the kiddies and no ant piles.
Activities. Every family should bring something. Balls, buckets, books, even the forbidden iPad. After 3 hours of chasing your kid around, that iPad now looks like a godsend vs. that negative look you gave your husband when he packed it.
Food. Everyone should bring a dish and coordinate via group email the week of the game. This way you have diversity and you have snacks and food to keep the kids happy when that grilled bratwurst just isn’t on their menu for the day.
Drinks. Yours, your kids, and your husband’s. Why wouldn’t you have a different drink than your husband? Try to enjoy that beer/wine/cocktail while trying to keep the minions out of the street and harm’s way.
An Escape Plan. Very few kids can make it through a tailgate party AND a game, so have an evacuation plan. Set your expectations low. This season, I don’t plan on making it through any game with 3 kids, all 2 and under.
Cute outfits. No explanation needed.
Tailgating CAN be fun with your kids, with the proper preparation of course. And guess what? Now you’re the cute family that the undergrads can only hope to be someday. #winning