by Father Time
A few weeks ago, Amazon had their Prime Day. Basically, another marketing excuse to suck more money out of people's wallets. I'm ashamed to admit that I myself got caught up in it. Initially, I had a handful of things in my cart, but then it grew to multiple hand fulls of things and then to arm fulls of things. I think I spent about an hour filling up my cart before I stopped myself. I then donned my "poor man" cap and evaluated wtf I was actually doing. I was buying things because I thought they were cheap instead of actually focusing on things I actually needed. After applying that simple logic, I emptied my cart and closed my laptop.
This then got me thinking about all the stuff we've bought after having the kids. Mainly, all the random things we thought the kids would need. The long and short of it is this, I could only think of 3 things that I felt were necessary. Keep in mind here, I'm not talking about food and clothing type stuff. So the 3 things are items that I would still buy if I were several rungs below the poverty line. The reasons are simple, they work and the mileage you'll get out of them is insane.
/1/ Nose/Booger Sucker
We got those bulb suction things from the hospital when the kids were born, but never felt they were any good at sucking things out. Even worse, they were hard to clean out. So when we came across the NoseFrida, we decided to give it a shot. Two kids and maybe a hundred colds later, we're still whipping this bad boy out whenever the kids clog themselves up. We've had to replace the original tubing (aquarium air pump tubing works) and the little blue filters, but the main tube and mouth bit are still originals (both boiled many times to sanitize). I mean, who would've thought that it would take kids so long to figure out how to blow their noses!? With this baby, you just jam it up there and clear out their sinuses. Just be careful not to suck the eyeballs in.
/2/ Thermometer w/standard batteries
Much like the nose sucker, we started off with all sorts of thermometers. We had Vick's ones with cool digital displays and soft little tips. They were a pain in the ass, literally, to stick in the armpits and butt-holes. When the kids were infants and all bundled up, it was a chore to unwrap or undress them. But we didn't know better, we just kept using those thermometers...until the batteries died. I then came to discover that they required special little button batteries. Even worse, it wasn't anything standard for which we would have other uses, like watch batteries. No, these were stupid little batteries that were relatively expensive. We decided to toss them out and buy a forehead thermometer. I mean, the doctors were always rubbing their own little forehead gadgets every time we went to see them, so why were we bothering with armpits? With that in mind, my next goal was to find one that used regular batteries, like AA or AAA. And that led me to the Braun Forehead Thermometer. This has been a great purchase because we still use it after all these years and we get to use it on ourselves too.
/3/ No-Tie Shoelaces
Unlike the two above, these entered our lives much later - as in last year, 2015. Being the frugal minded folks that we are, we like to hold off on purchasing things until they are on sale. Now, anyone with kids will know this, but for those that don't, shoes are like tissues when it comes to kids. They use and chew 'em up in weeks, seriously. At the same time, those little suckers grow! Sometimes I think I can sit there and watch the toes grow on Anna's feet. It's true! Families have different tastes when it comes to footwear, and around here, if it's not a Teva, Toms, Puma, or Adidas, finding another brand of shoes in the house simply means we must have visitors. So when we come across shoe sales online, we're all over them. But the kicker is, what do you do when the cheap $20 shoe you want to buy only comes with laces instead of the tried 'n true Velcro straps? Teach the 6 and 4 year old how to tie laces? No silly, we buy No-Tie Shoelaces!! These things normally come with their own laces, but you don't have to use them right away. I simply used the little plastic bits on the existing laces of the shoe. When the kids out grow the shoe, cut the laces and reuse the plastic bits again. We also tried these silicone ones. These work too but are a major pain to install and remove. Either way, with these, you can buy whatever shoe you want for the kids. And the best part, when we're old and decrepit and too arthritic to tie our own shoes, we can use these ourselves too. Just need to make sure we install them on our favorite sneakers before our joints get shot.
So there you have it, my list of 3 things that I feel are exceptional values every parent should consider. We're all about the "buy once, use many" mindset and these fit the bill perfectly in this house.
Tuesday, August 2, 2016
by Father Time