Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Duct Tape

Today I am singing the praises of duct tape.  Until I had a child with special needs, I never really gave much thought to it.  It was just sitting on a shelf in the garage, a big ugly gray roll.  Ah... but then came "the moment" that I discovered this treasure for what it really is.

Lily was attempting to climb out of her crib.  I was attempting to keep her in the crib.  I installed one of those nifty crib tents and thought to myself, "My work here is finished."

I know what you're thinking.... "Ha, when will she ever learn???"  Hey, a girl can always dream....

I gently and sweetly laid my child in the crib, zipped the tent closed and turned out the light, already thinking ahead to the uninterrupted hours of sleep I was about to get.

OK, let's take a little stroll down memory lane now.

Do you remember the book  "Madeline" by Ludwig Bemelmans?

In an old house in Paris that was covered with vines,
Lived twelve little girls in two straight lines.
They left the house at half past nine.
The youngest one was Madeline.

Remember???  Stay with me....

Well, Miss Clavel is the nun who is in charge of the girls.  She is asleep one night and the line goes like this:

In the middle of one night
Miss Clavel turned on her light
And said, "Something is not right!"
Just call me Miss Clavel.

I stumble into Lily's room and while she is still in the crib, she has effectively chewed an enormous hole in the crib tent.  

Did you hear that???  I'll repeat it once more.

My sweet child has chewed a hole in her crib tent - with her teeth!!!  And with just a few more bites, she could manage to crawl through this hole and make her escape. 

Keep in mind that it's the middle of the night and my brain is not functioning at 100% but my first thought is, "wow -  I bet that could be a handy skill in prison!"

My next, and more rational thought was, "how can I get back to sleep as quickly as possible???"

I needed something to close up the hole, preferably something not made of lightweight mesh fabric!  And then it hits me.... duct tape.

I go fetch the ugly gray roll from the garage, tear off some strips, and seal up the hole.  Plenty of mesh still exposed on the opposite side of the crib but against the bedroom wall ensured that Lily had plenty of fresh, circulating air. (that's my fine print statement so no one thinks I wrapped my child in duct tape!)

Ahhhhh.... blissful sleep.  Until the next night, when she figured out how to peel off the strips of duct tape.  Then the quickest path to sleep was to put her in my bed!  Sigh....

While the crib tent & duct tape relationship wasn't built to last, I have found a few other uses that seem to be working longer than one night.

Did you know duct tape:

is an effective seat belt release protector?  No more pushing the red button!

can seal up holes in a play tent or tunnel?

can be wrapped around bags of flour, sugar and salt to make blocks for heavy work?

can seal up your sad little inflatable pool when your child decides to take a bite out of it?

can stand in for those tiny screws on the little "doors" on battery operated toys, as well as remote controls?

I have discovered duct tape does not just have to be ugly and gray.  I am the proud owner of a rainbow of colors, as well as a roll of tie-dye tape.  It makes me happy when I can make it match!

In the words of Martha Stewart, duct tape.... it's a good thing.
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