Skyrocketing to the top of the “Things I Didn’t Know About Parenting” list, is how MANY things get broken. In just the last twenty-four hours, I have been asked to:
1.Disentangle a grotesquely wound bobby helmet chin strap (picture English police officer) from the axle of Grave Digger
2.Remove a pointy crayon that was broken off inside the rectum of another pointy crayon (Visual here:)
3.Fix a Nerf football that had its face chewed off by the dog. (A football does not have a “face,” but if you were to stand the football on one of its pointy ends, the point touching the table would be its feet and the portion pointing upward, its head. The face is the portion just below the uppermost point, and I am pretty sure that without some sort of foam epoxy and melting apparatus, I CANNOT FIX THAT!)
A fixer’s essentials: tiny screwdrivers, tweezers, and duct tape.*
I bought a set of very small screwdrivers that have been indispensable for the removal of battery covers, electrical control panels, and such. They are on a two item “NO TOUCH” list in our home along with the private parts of others. Getting asked to fix the toy can be irritating enough, not being able to find the tiny screwdriver when I stop everything to fix the toy, causes me to despair. More important than the screwdrivers, is where you keep them. They need to be readily accessible at the worst of times. The insurance adjuster is at your door, someone has just pooped themselves, you have shampoo in your eye, and the toilet is overflowing. Yeah, it can be THAT bad. (Click here for a bonus Overflow blog) Why would you need a tiny Philips Head in a moment like that? I can’t answer that for you, but I can say you will, and you better know where those (expletive) screwdrivers are—this might be your only tether to sanity. And you better have a flathead and a Philips because if you don’t, you are going to need the one you don’t have.
Did you know that a lego minifigure head can become trapped inside its own helmet? After doing a few hundred bucks worth of damage to your dental work, you’re going to want to admit defeat and grab those tweezers. The tweezers, unlike the screwdrivers, do not hold pride of place. They could be almost anywhere: on the rim of the sink from when I was plucking my eyebrows, on the windowsill because the natural light was best for splinter removal, in the school supply drawer on account of the aforementioned crayon operation. Or maybe they are next to the screwdrivers.
Duct tape: I know it’s gotten all hip and trendy, ignore that. We aren’t going to be making bill folds or mini skirts; we are going to save the day. Being both optimistic and bootleg, I am all about the crude fix.
-It’s generally fast.
-It almost always lasts for the amount of time the child is interested in the item.
-It tells people what they need to know about us. At the park, kid one fires a duct taped Nerf gun. Kid two wears a t-shirt turned jersey with the addition of a duct tape number on her back. (Nearly always an eleven.) Kid three bikes laps around the park gripping a duct taped handle bar. Kid four spins and reveals a duct taped princess dress hem. Other kids on the playground see all this duct tape, and they know what’s up. These kids are going to be fun to play with, but don’t let them touch your stuff—they can’t be trusted. And duct tape tells you all that.
There are times when I know the item I am being asked to fix is beyond repair, but I try anyway. And, then, to my surprise, it’s fixed! There are times when I declare something broken, then Riley comes home and puts the batteries in the correct way, (I was never one for all that + and – stuff) and ta-da! It’s fixed! There are times when the kids are absolutely certain that the end of the world is here, and there is no way that toy, or the world, will EVER be alright, but still they ask, “Can you fix this?”
*Honorable Mention goes to zip-ties. They have really done us a solid on a number of occasions. No lie, the under bumper of my van is held on with them right now.