Sunday, September 1, 2013

Fatherhood changes a man

Some time ago, like many, many moons ago, I was living with my parents like most out of college kids (I may even still have been in high school at that point).  I didn't have enough money for the finer things in life.  Namely new audio cables.  (Hey what can I say.  I'm an audio geek.)  So to combat the lack of funds I started to fix and/or make new audio cables that I had around.  My ever attentive father got me this sweet precision screwdriver set and soldering iron.  One of these gifts is used more than any other tool I have ever used; and it doesn't even get hot.

Since my children have grown, toys break.  It is a part of life; just like the sun rising and the weather changing.  I can remember my father hot gluing wheels on my General Lee.  It turns out that that super car really can't fly.  Sometimes parents say a prayer when a toy breaks.  "Finally, we don't have to listen to that noisy toy at all hours of the day." or "Thank God!  Time for some peace and quiet."  We all want our children to have good, educational toys, but a line has to be drawn at the annoying factor.  And most toys the kids want have an annoying factor of one million.

So yesterday we were at the fair (because it is now fair season and what better way to spend the day eating and buying crap than a fair) and the kiddies get their eye's on some of the finest toys the World Famous Goshen Fair has to offer.  To our defense, it was a little noisy when the light up butterfly was purchased for an ungodly amount of money, but a mid afternoon tantrum in front of a packed fair wasn't in the cards.  When we finally get to a nice quiet spot with our french fries doused in catsup and vinegar (my wife likes the vinegar on her fair fries) we are serenaded by the lovely, never ending, not annoying at all sound of this seizure inducing insect.  Oh joyous day!

Fast forward to bed time and the kids are all riled as if they were mainlining pixie sticks.  They finally settle when from up stairs I hear a voice that informs all that her butterfly is broken.  "There is a God!"  But like any good father would do, I inspect and see if it can be repaired, tell her it will take time and hopefully she will get it back tomorrow good as new.  Upon my inspection, I come to the conclusion that there is no saving this high quality piece of crap and give up to finish watching Breaking Bad to hopefully return in the morning with a fresh mind and some bright ideas.

The morning comes and just like it happened seconds ago, she inquires about here busted hunk of overpriced plastic.  Again I tried to fix it the best way I could think; taking it apart, super-gluing the tinniest of tiny plastic piece that won't stay put unless I had an injection mold for this one part.  Defeated, my mind began to improvise, trying to bring joy to my little angle's life.  Then I remembered the best tool ever made.  Duct Tape!  A gift from the heavens.  Before I venture down the new repair road, I ponder if the aesthetics of the dull grey adhesive would be acceptable, but forge on anyway.  After some strategically placed miracle tape, the fake crystal looking bug on a stick is back in action and joy is returned to a three year old's psyche.  Score one for dad and Duct Tape.

The moral of this story is there are things that we used PC (pre children) that are just as important, if not more important than they are today (AC- After Children).  Who knew a set of tiny screwdrivers would single handedly bring so much joy to my children.  Such is life.

On a related note, the other toy, the stuffed dog on a stick, ripped in three places.  No screwdriver is going to fix that.  That one is up to her mother.