Saturday, May 3, 2008

Tools Every Mom Needs

I'm not talking about a sense of humor, a cast-iron stomach, or enough band-aids for a school full of children - although these are certainly important. Nope, today I'm talking about a literal tool box. Whether yours is red, black, or yellow; metal, plastic, or just a cardboard box, there are a few things you MUST have:

  • Tape - clear, for repairing books; packing, for repairing puzzle box bottoms. You will certainly encounter many more items that need taping - these are just the things on my "frequently repaired with tape" list. Notice I left off duct tape - it's only needed by men for on-the-fly repairs and boys of scouting age who are using it for the duct tape wallet craft.
  • Batteries - lots of them, in all different sizes. More AAAs than anything, but also AAAs, Ds, Cs, and the occasional 9 volt. NOTE: If your toys don't sing, dance, read aloud, flash, or need a remote to perform, skip this one - but I bet you think this should be at the top of the list.
  • Screwdrivers - assorted sizes. You will need them to replace all of the batteries, since every battery cover screws on. It's a great safety feature - especially since kids think batteries are a delicacy. I use a Phillips head (the "not flat" one) and a mini Phillips most often. Of course, you probably need a flat head, too - toy companies are always throwing you a curve ball - it's entertainment for their R&D departments. Note: You can get a great set of mini screwdrivers (3 flat and 3 Phillips head) from Walgreens for about 2 bucks right now. Another note: DO NOT get a cordless screwdriver. Although it's convenient, you'll just have more batteries to change.
  • Pliers - needle nose and regular. Toys need some interesting repairs.
  • Valium - For after you fix all of the toys, install all-new batteries, and listen to the singing, flashing, buzzing, dancing toys, and your child's gleeful giggles and squeals.
I'm sure there are many more things you must have. In fact, I know there are - I just want you to have at least the basics handy. My toolbox (red and black plastic, by the way) has all of these things plus: picture hanging hardware, assorted screws, fishing line, a small level, a ruler, a pencil, a pen, stick-on felt pads, stick-on cork pads, a mini wratchet-type set, allen wrenches, and more. I also keep a box in the closet under the stairs (i.e. - very easily accessible place) that's full of assorted batteries, wood glue, an extension cord, one of those measure-your-wall-and-mark-the-hanging-spot tools, and a staple gun, among other equally groovy tools.

So, what's most important? Screwdrivers, batteries, a sense of humor - and perhaps some earplugs.

No comments: