Anyway, I grew up in the country for the first decade of my life. And in West Virginia life in the country is – different. You make do with what you’ve got for as long as you can. And if you can figure out a way to make something last even longer or accomplish something without using the typical method – all the better! Duct tape and bailing twine can fix nearly anything!
When my pants were loose and I didn’t have a belt, bailing twine did the job just fine. No house for your action figures? Just turn a barbie car on it’s side and you had a house! OR, you could arrange all the fallen leaves in the yard to make an entire community for your action figures!
My childhood was filled with improvisation. Making do with what you had. It’s not a bad thing.
It’s carried over to my house and my parenting. The grown kids rarely had a store-bought halloween costume. And now that Buddy is running amuck in my house, I’ve begun improving where I can to keep him contained and safe.
For example: We have lever-type handles on all our doors, interior and exterior. They’re really pretty, but they’re not great for baby-proofing. And I guess you could just lock the doors to keep the kid in, but then you’ve got to get up and let people into your house instead of just yelling “Come on in!”
So, when Buddy grew tall enough to pull the lever handles down and open the door to escape outside I had to come up with a plan. Plan #1: Install something that makes it harder for him to get out undetected. That was a simple solution: I added a bell to the door so that it rings when the door is opened. Plan #2: make it so Buddy can’t open the door on his own. That took a little more thinking and compromise on appearance, but I figured it out.
Buddy can’t push the handles UP to open the doors, though they can be used to release the latch that way. So, I only had to come up with a way to keep him from pulling the levers down. And it didn’t need to be permanent. Though it doesn’t really seem like it now, I KNOW this phase will pass soon enough. My solution: twine extending from the handle on one side of the door, over the top, and down to the other handle! And it works! I’ve had twine attached to all our door handles for a couple months now and we’ve prevented escapes as well as limited access to Buddy’s favorite water-filled play hole – the toilet.
|Toddler Containment System|
Then we got Buddy a wading pool to play in and filled it up. Except, our water comes from a deep, cold well and the pool water was so cold that Buddy screamed, literally, the first time I tried to put him in it. We’ve got plenty of sunshine, so how can I put that to use to heat up the water faster? Float black trash bags on the surface of the water to attract the sun’s rays! It really works!
Covered in sand from playing in the sandbox or a day at the beach? Did you know that a light dusting of baby powder will make the sand fall right off your skin? It will! And Buddy LOVES his sandbox! So what was I to do? Put baby powder in a mismatched sock and tie it up by the front door – right where we’d be needing it! Give Buddy a quick tippity-tappity from the sock and the sand falls off and there’s no powder cloud to breathe in, either!
And, finally, do you have itty-bitty short little tyrannosaurus rex arms? Well, Buddy does! He can’t reach far enough back over the bathroom counter to reach the running water in the sink to wash his hands. And the boy’s got some dirty hands! So, how to make it so he can reach the running water and rinse away the filth? A repurposed empty body wash bottle cut just the right way adapts the sink nicely!
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not delusional – I know none of these “solutions” are inventions that anyone is going to run out and demand from a store. I won’t be getting rich, or even slighty more wealthy, from any of these ideas. BUT, they didn’t cost me a dime and they solved problems I had. So, call me a redneck and laugh all you want – they work for me!
Have you ever invented something? I’d love to hear about it in the comment section below!