Sunday, 20 July 2014

The Essential Survival Kit for Dads

You’ve read the books, you’ve scoured the internet, you’ve done all you can to ensure your kids’ well-being for every contingency imaginable, from floods to haze to a zombie invasion. All that is left is to keep the following items on hand to cement your Superdaddy status to your kids.
Ziploc bagsThese bags are the best small-toy transport solution around. Action figures? LEGO bricks? Hot Wheels vehicles? Zip them up and you would never have to fret about losing one tiny piece when you are out. Better yet, it seals in the odour when you got a stained diaper on hand with absolutely no bins in sight—don’t you hate it when that happens?
Batteries, batteries and batteriesHow many times did I have the unpleasant task of telling my kids that I have ran out of batteries to power back up their electronic toys? Enough times for me to rip my hair out. So now I ensure I have a healthy stash of low-cost sustainable power for the dozens of non-essential playthings scattered throughout the house. And yes, I would rather have that back-flipping toy dog go yapping incessantly. It’s a lesser of two evils kind of thing.
Small screwdriversAlmost exclusively for battery replacement and toy repair. And that activity alone ensures that you’ll be reaching for one at least once every week. Oh and while you are at it, it certainly helps to keep a small needle-nosed pliers on hand too. Toys in kids’ hands means breakage and a significant percentage of child-initiated violence on harmless toys puts an excessive amount of strain on limbs, joints, springs and other essential small moving parts. Needle nosed pliers will be able to do what your elephant fingers could never accomplish.
SuperglueEverything about this product is scary. The smell that can kill house pets. The oh-gosh-how-do-I-stop-it-from-over-flowing when all I ever did was to give the tube a gentle squeeze. The eerily smooth feeling when it dries on your fingertips. But this is also one bugger that can help you alleviate and avert potential disasters when your kid breaks anything that can be broken. And you know what the funny part is? They only break the toys they love. So it is in every dad’s best interest to get that toy back into play-ability.
An ‘Instructions’ folderLet me tell you something: the moment my sons finish constructing that huge Ninjago playset, they will most certainly break it when they start to wage wars on one another’s creations. So to keep my sanity intact, I maintain a file folder where all the LEGO instructions and other toys’ instructions go to rest. In the likelihood that my kids demand their playthings be reset to their original form, I whip that folder out and go make myself a great cup of coffee.
$2 Daiso toysThe obvious functionality of a stockpile of random small toys is for spur-of-the-moment gifts. But the true intrinsic value of such toys is their ability to buy you 15 to 30 minutes of peace. 45 minutes if you are really lucky. It will be like that “break glass in case of emergency” item in your bag of tricks. Unexpected traffic jam? Stuck in the plane and facing a meltdown? Stuck in a painfully long queue? Whip that out and you will be able to complete whatever you need to do before the excitement of this new distraction wears off.

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