We never leave the hotel without Elise's pink and Nacho's blue spiral notebooks - the ones with the coils on top. I also have some pens for them, usually the ones given away at trade expos or company Christmas gifts. The ticklers cost P13 pesos apiece and have saved me tremendous time, energy, and face whenever we go out to public places.
Take errands to the bank, for example.
When I need to go to the bank, I need to deposit checks, pay bills and withdraw money. At the bank we go to, clients who have multiple transactions have to line up separately from clients who only need to do a single transaction. This makes the wait of multiple "transactioners" longer. And it becomes excruciating when the "transactioner" has two restless little children with her.
On our first visit, I just let them loose to see what would happen. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Elise filling out withdrawal forms, signing them and getting one (or three!) of each kind of form, accumulating her own little file. Nacho could not reach the top of the counter so he noisily dragged one of the monoblock chairs from one corner of the waiting area to the counter, stepped on top of it with his dirty shoes and started following what Ate was doing... with some growling exclamations here and there. They started getting a bit noisy and I saw the security guard with his humongous rifle speak sternly at them. I watched them take their seats on the sofa quietly. Elise was so embarrassed and angry at the same time that she had a dagger look towards Nacho, who was looking at me with his beady eyes, and I could read,"Help!" written all over his face.
I wonder what the effect of that security guard encounter had on them. Later on, I asked Elise what he said. They were just told not to play with the forms and to please sit down. Whew. I am glad it wasn't any of those power-trippin' gun-slingin' fellas picking on my kids! I know some people who have had weird encounters with security guards when they were younger and consequently developed serious issues towards authority.
After that episode, we talked about it on the way to NCCC Mall to do our groceries. On the third floor, there was a stationery section. We bought their ticklers and talked about the different places where they could use them.
So now, those notebooks are safely in my handbag. I bring them out when we eat out, when we go to the barbershop or salon, when we are falling in a long line... and of course, when we go to the bank.