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whatimeant2invent #4

So, the other day I mentioned my intention to enlist my 9 year old daughter into “Mom Camp” for the summer.  Then, the other other day, I was with my mother-in-law on a tour of a potential independent living facility (for her, not me), and suddenly – poof! – two ideas met and married each other within seconds in my brain.  It was a match made in heaven.

Actually, it was a match made in the Catholic chapel at the independent living facility.  And if you have followed me for awhile, you will probably be quite surprised that it was only an idea that struck me, and not a bolt of lightning – what with my Harry Potter nativity at Christmas and my attempts to join the Order of the Temple of the Jedi.

Anyway, here’s the idea.  I guess it’s not technically an invention, but oh well.  And I must give some credit to one of my commenters on the Mom Camp post, Time to Be Inspired, who thought, for just a moment, that I was talking about a camp for moms instead of a camp run by Mom.  Easy mistake to make when you think about it.

So, as we were being shown all of the lovely facilities at the independent living site, I grew increasingly convinced that this peaceful place, with all of the amenities (hair salon, library, three dining areas, heated pool, etc…) was exactly the type of place to which I needed to immediately move.

Of course, there’s the problem of the 9 year old daughter.  And the Wonderbutt.  I think I could sneak Mrs. P.I.B. in as a therapy dog – at least until the first thunderstorm, during which the residents would see that she is the one who needs the therapy.

O.K.  So, I can’t live there.  But a month week weekend there would be just the kind of camp  I need.  A camp of peace and quiet with three meals a day and an emergency pull cord in my room in case I get bored am attacked by my viciously inefficient colon.

So, here’s my idea:  PLACES LIKE THIS SHOULD RENT OUT ROOMS TO MOMS!  WHO NEED PEACE AND QUIET!  And don’t want to do archery and karaoke and make a craft like those other “mom” camps advertise.

Think about the money they could make!  They could even have some kind of Frequent Trier Program, where the more times you “try” the place out, the better chance you have getting permanent residency when you’re actually old enough to live there.

Every mom who is reading this KNOWS that this is a great idea.  And someday, when someone else implements it, and makes millions of dollars, you can point out to them that I, Mrs. Cap’n Firepants, mother of Dimples, Wonderbutt and Mrs. P.I.B., was the first one to think of it.

Yet another reason that I am advocating for next month to be Google Search Trauma Awareness Month. Why did this pic show up when I searched for MOM CAMP?
photo credit: ialla via photo pin cc


whatimeant2invent #3

A spray on Knox gelatin for synchronized swimming competitors.  That is my next invention.

When we first got our 9 year old daughter involved in synchronized swimming, we had absolutely no idea what we were getting into.  The first time one of the parents mentioned “knoxing” to me, I thought it was her way of hazing the gullible new mom.  Since then, though, I have found she was not making this story up.  Knoxing is only done for shows or competitions – not for practices.  Which meant that Dimples had two months to fall in love with synchronized swimming before she encountered one of its major drawbacks.  And, by then, it was pretty much too late.

Painting Knox gelatin into the hair keeps it in place during performances.  It does not easily wash out in the pool water, and it’s not harsh on the hair (like the petroleum jelly swimmers used in the Ester Williams days).  With some finesse, it washes out with warm water and shampoo (and a bit of elbow grease).

It is not fun to put on, though.  I actually haven’t done it myself, yet.  I’m afraid I will mix the gelatin and water to the wrong consistency, or burn my daughter, or make it look so horribly gloppy that we will have to start over.  And you really don’t have time to start over when you have an hour before a performance.

Fortunately, for novice moms like me, “knoxing stations” are usually set up somewhere around the pool, and experienced knoxers will do the hair of the younger girls.  It takes a village to do my daughter’s hair because I am apparently bad at putting it into a ponytail and bun as well.  The only thing I don’t screw up too badly is taking pictures.  Although that’s happened before, too…

Dimples' coach painting her hair with Knox.

Knoxing almost finished. They put a lighter layer on the bun, which is also held together with a hair net and approximately 10,000 hairpins.

Knoxing complete. See the headpiece? I put that on. It fell off about 5 seconds into warm-ups, as did the ones on the other two girls' heads that I affixed. My ineptitude is glaringly evident in the Syncrho mom department.

The problem with this whole process – actually, one of many problems, is that, if your child is involved in more than one routine, the Knox starts to get a bit clumpy and gloppy.  It eventually begins to wash out – even when I sternly tell it not to – and there is no way anyone is going to go through the whole knowing process more than once in a day.

That is why my Knox hairspray idea is so good.  And, if you couple it with my first whatimeant2invent idea, the hair-growth stopping pill, you could have a complete beauty empire with these two products.  Come on, Mark Cuban, you know you and your Shark Tank rivals would love to jump on this…

whatimeant2invent #2

A friggin’ smoke alarm that does anything but beep intermittently when the batteries run down.  Shoot silly string.  Pop out a little red flag that says, “Change the batteries, idiot!”  Send electric shocks down my spine.  Emit a strong smell of manure.  I do not care.  But someone please think of an alternative to that $%#@!@ beep.

And while you are pondering that conundrum, for the love of Wonderbutt, would someone tell me why the batteries always run down in the middle of the friggin’ night?

You can probably guess what fun and games we had in the Firepants household last night.

Especially if you have read about our golden retriever’s abhorrence of beeping sounds. She came by the nickname “Mrs. Pain in the Butt” quite honestly.

I’m pretty sure many of the readers out there have experienced the wonderful wake-up call of a battery operated smoke detector at 3 AM.  We’ve been through this before – with an electronic smoke detector, no less – so I was a bit surprised when Cap’n Firepants drowsily said, “What is that sound?”

“I’m guessing the smoke alarm batteries are dying,” I said.  He took a moment to process this, then slowly got up and opened the door to the hallway.  Every 30 seconds, the alarm chirped.

You might ask, “If you were so alert as to be able to immediately identify the noise, Mrs. Cap’n Firepants, why didn’t you get up to stop the noise?”

Because I can’t be trusted around noisy smoke alarms, that’s why.  I kill them.  I grab the nearest broom or mop and beat them to death.  And Cap’n Firepants is not particularly thrilled with this method.

After the Cap’n went out into the hall, Mrs. P.I.B. barreled through the baby gate barrier into our bedroom, panting from the exertion of panicking about the menacing beep.

It seemed to take the Cap’n forever to deal with the matter.  It turned out that he decided to actually change the batteries once he got it down – and the new batteries had the same effect as the old ones.  He gave up and came back to bed.

Realizing his favorite tormentee had scored a spot in the coveted master bedroom, Wonderbutt began to whine out in the hall.  After five minutes of that, I finally opened our door back up, moved the gate to our door, and brought Wonderbutt’s bed to the hallway side of the gate so he could at least have the illusion of being in the Forbidden Section.  He stayed for about three minutes, and went back out into the living room to his much beloved, and much abused, couch.

About 15 minutes later, the gate came tumbling down with a crash.  Dimples was trying to get into our room, and hadn’t seen the gate across the door.

“What’s wrong?” I said.

“I heard a beep,” she said, crawling into bed next to me.

“That was 20 minutes ago,” I said.

“I need my pillow,” she said, getting back up, falling over the gate again, and walking back to her bedroom.

10 minutes after she returned, the Cap’n got up to go sleep in the guest bedroom because she was “moving too much”.

I don’t know what time I got back to sleep, but the actual alarm that I set to wake me up went off far too early for my liking.

If that thing beeps again tonight, I cannot be held responsible for my actions.  What Phoebe did to her smoke alarm on Friends will look mild in comparison.

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