Thursday, January 13, 2011

Dual Purposes

I love how household items can have a dual purpose.
For instance, I have used dental floss wrapped around a stubborn nail to get it out of the wall.
A good, strong wrench makes a nice hammer.
Then again, how many times have we used a butter knife as a screw driver?
Our family has used a belt as a dog leash in a pinch.
Instead of hauling out my food processor, I will pulse bread in the blender for bread crumbs.
And who hasn't used a magazine rolled up to swat at an insect?
I always make sure I grab an old one.

In the art world, dual purposes abound.
Paint brushes are used at both ends, palette knives are for glue as much as paint and paper towels-well! There's a doozy of a multi-tasker if I ever saw one.
I keep little, tiny tasting spoons from ice cream stores for glitter or glue.
Don't even get me started on a pencil....

Now this handy, dandy tool I got in my starter kit for soldering.

I have always known it to be a hemostat, used in the medical world for clamping of various things like veins, etc.
Now, however, I use it for holding jump rings, and soldered pieces, as a soldered piece will heat up all the way through in no time at all. I use clothespins for this as well. But there is just something about a hemostat.

I found a new use for it tonight.

For the uninformed, these are rubber bands. Not just regular rubber bands, oh no. These rubber bands are about as big as the tip of an eraser (maybe). Their dual purpose on this earth is to make one's life an absolute misery.
Right now, it's Brenna's life.
And mine.
Sometimes Doug's.
Mostly mine.
They go around two braces on her bottom teeth on the teeniest, tiniest hooks you have ever seen and attach to yet another miniscule hook on a brace on one tooth on the top, both sides of her mouth, in a triangle fashion.
No. This is not Brenna's mouth. I don't know who has a child with teeth this clean and braces, but I can assure you that I don't.
NOR does Brenna's hook on her top tooth look like this. Noooooosireeee.
Hers is clear.
Special, huh?

Guess who gets to put them on and take them off right now?
Considering it took her two years to tie her shoes, that would be my job.

When your fingers get wet with saliva, the rubber bands become very slippery. Add to that the fear from Brenna that I will snap one of these puppies into her mouth which makes her jerk her head back,  and add to THAT the fact that I am going blind and need my glasses each time we do this, and add to that scenario that Brenna has the smallest mouth you have ever seen and, well, we have ourselves a little problem.

Enter the hemostats.

It was a stroke of genius, really. 
Doug and I were taking turns struggling to put the rubber bands in place last night, trading glasses back and forth and Brenna not being the most cooperative I have ever seen, when Doug said, "we need some pliers." To which Brenna howled, "NOOOOOO!"
Being the resourceful, dual-purpose person that I am, I ran into my art room and came back with the hemostats.

I think this poor kid will need therapy soon.
She was backed into the corner of the sink and the wall and I'm coming at her with hemostats in my hand saying, "No really, Brenna. I'm not going to touch your teeth, just the rubber band."
 Lord help us all.
Now, if you get an o.k. grip on these fabulous things, you don't have to snap them shut. If you can't get a good grip, or put the slightest bit of pressure on the handles, they slide together and make a "clickclickclick" sound until they lock into place. After that happened, I just slid the rubber bands around the teeny-tiny hooks and up...around the top hook and....
Sometimes they are a tad bit hard to unlock.
I could have just left them hanging off of the rubber band until morning, when she needs the bands to come off for breakfast, but for some reason Brenna didn't want to sleep with them plastered against her cheek.
So, with a little twisting and a circular motion with my thumb, I unlocked the hemostats and Brenna fled upstairs to bed.

These (the rubber bands, not the hemostats) are SUPPOSED to be worn 24 hours a DAY, with exception of meal times.
Can you hear me laughing?

Me either. 
But maybe I can inspire someone at Vanessa's since I'm linking up for 
(o.k., maybe now I'm laughing...)


  1. I think I would just lose it, Lynn. Putting in those little rubber bands looks much more frustrating than soldering anyway! I won't tell you what the med students used the hemostats for...
    We are now in Sebastopol visiting our friends. So nice to be away from the hospital. Jud had an endoscopy yesterday to insert little gold nuggets into his pancreas. Apparently the radiation will guide by this. Kind of incredible!
    Can't write letters on my IPad for some reason!
    Love you!

  2. Suz, you don't have to tell her what the med students use the hemostats for, her sister used them for the same reasons in the'70's and I wasn't a med student :-)
    Lynn, you really need to go to a local news/media group and pitch your 'columns.' Your writing just amazes me...and your sense of humor...to go from spoken work to written humor? Well...amazed. Brenna has been trussed up for so many years. When will it be over?! As she would say...THE END

  3. This time, I feel really guilty giggling. It definitely has to be very high on the list in the "if I don't laugh about this, I'll cry" column.

    For some oddball reason I pictured the whole thing with you wearing scrubs and a surgical mask, too.

    And I pictured you saying, "Stat".

    BTW, is THAT what "they" mean when they say it? I thought they meant "fast". Dunno....

  4. Those certainly came in handy. I was laughing at you having to do all that. I am so glad my daughter could do hers herself. I used a knife as a screwdriver just the other day because my husband took my screwdriver down to his garage.

  5. Thanks for the dose of othodontic memories!
    I love unitaskers too!

  6. Whatever works, Lynn! LOL! And I agree with Carol...you should write!

  7. I guess we know why God gave us a sense of humor. Poor Brenna. I've never had to put rubber bands on a squirming teenager. But I have had to shove pills down the throat of a pissed-off cat. I hope, at least, that Brenna didn't bite you. LOL!


  8. I have a serious case of the giggles here Lynn! I can totally picture the entire experience and it reminded me of when I had to extract a bead from my daughter's nose and the look on her face of just sheer terror. Oh the things we do as moms! I agree with everyone else who said that you have a serious gift for writing. You make us feel like we were right there...which, quite honestly, I'm glad I wasn't! :-)
    Thanks so much for linking this up to Inspiration Friday and being such a great start to my morning!
    Blessings to you my friend,

  9. You're hilarious! I am so glad we are done with those darn tiny things. I used to find them everywhere. It was disgusting. So, at least with you doing it they can go in the trash and not on the end table in the living room to welcome guests.

  10. Lynn, Vanessa told me I HAD to come over and read your post today. As a former braces wearer and as a mom with a kid in braces I totally get the rubber band thing...this story has taken that up a notch! I laughed and wanted to cry all at the same time. I know this is going to be quite the task for you. You are such a wonderful mom to look at it with humor, understanding and sympathy all at the same time! Praying those darn rubber bands aren't needed for very long.

    Heather@Gourmet Meals for Less

  11. OMG! I didn't know whether to laugh or to cry! What a dilemma! Honestly, it was a walk down memory lane. We had three kids who needed braces. I remember those tiny little rubber bands coming loose and popping off - if only I'd know about hemostats years ago!!! Hugs, Terri xoxox

  12. Quite a mind picture going on here......

    Tending sheep is looking easier all the time, isn't it???

    And I was worried that you couldn't handle the docking.....

  13. I bet that is quite the challenge :) Good for you for finding a solution!

  14. Wow, that is a creative use--I'm sure your daughter is relieved there aren't tools from the garage near her teeth :).

  15. I am so sorry. But this post did make me Laugh. So glad it seemed to work out for you!

    I can kinda feel your pain. In a different way. We just found out my Kitty has a Thyroid problem.. She has to take 1 pill. Two times a day.. It is quite the chore. I can't even hide it in her food cause all she will eat is kibble. Now she know when It is time and I she hides. It takes me so long just to find her, and just as long to get her to take her pill.. I asked the Vet How long will we have to do this.. THE REST OF HERE LIFE! YIKES!

    I just keep saying I can do this!

    Well thanks for giving me a smile today! I hope you are enjoying your weekend.. Hugs, Linda

  16. MOL!!! Are you a genius or what?!?! Even if Brenna doesn't like those "pliers" right now, in time she will come to love them because she doesn't have to hold her mouth open forever! Of course this is with the hope that you will win the fight with those rubber bands! And more good news for you.....Miss Party will not be looking for braces anytime in her life time. Promise! I mean after all, one can only have so much fun right?! Speaking of which...we're off, Miss Party said she's found the toilet paper stash......