Thursday, August 18, 2011

Stop Thumb Sucking!

Years ago, the best advice you could give a concerned thumb sucker's parent was "Don't worry as soon as your child discovers cigarettes, they will give up the thumb." Turns out that cigarettes weren't the panacea everybody once thought.

So, today where does the enlightened mom or dad turn? Well, right here! Of course!

This modern technique I will now share with you is dual-pronged. Although prongs may seem old fashioned, sometimes the old ways are best.

First, it's important to address some of the psychological issues behind thumb sucking - namely security and comfort. Let empathy and compassion be your guide. There are many ways to do this. A favorite:

"Daisy, Mommy and Daddy are very concerned about your sucking your thumb. I know it helps you fall asleep, but we are very worried that you may bite your thumb off when you are having a bad dream."

Now, you've planted the seed, it's time to water it. A bottle of ketchup, liberally applied right before you wake your child up by pushing up on his jaw (gently), sending teeth into the offending digit, usually works wonders.

Be creative. While watching TV with your child, become a little sad. Point out that Bart Simpson (or another favorite TV cartoon scamp) lost his thumbs because he didn't listen to his parents. Sure enough, most of your cartoon characters only have four fingers. Use it!

The other prong, is the one that involves prongs. Yes, the old Freddy Krueger glove, unicorn hand puppet, etc. technique is one that has been oft-discussed, so I will only mention it here.

A popular modern variation is a twist on the old cocaine-fingernail, only you have an acrylic thumbnail installed on your child's thumbs.

Exercise some caution - A friend of mine did this and was worried that her 2-year old had developed a cocaine habit. During the third week of rehab, lab results proved that the powder mom had discovered in and around the child's room was actually Similac - a popular baby formula/sports beverage.

Better safe than sorry. On a side note, mom and dad did enjoy a little vacation while their little girl was being rehabbed. So, follow your heart.

As always, this superbadvice is unproven. You may actually cause grave psychological or physical damage to your child and Emergency Room Staff if followed. Don't blame me.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Watch Repair

Clocks have been around for a very long time. When you think about it, a wristwatch is simply a small clock you wear on your wrist. Bet you never thought of it that way before, right?

How did clock makers and repairers keep clocks running smooth in ancient times? Butter. And it works for watches too.

When you take off the back of your watch you will usually see a bunch of springs and gears. Looks complicated, doesn't it? Well, really it's not. BTW, if you are not seeing a bunch of doodads in there, chances are you may have a "digital" watch. This is like a robot clock on your arm. Good news. Butter may work for your digital watch too.

Simply put a pat of butter (about the size of the kind you would get at a nice restaurant like Sambo's or Denny's) onto your watch's inner workings (guts). Allow it to melt in at room temperature.

It is important that you do not microwave your watch. I know there are fix-it tales of microwaving watches that are running slow. This may work, but don't combine these two home remedies. Better to be safe than sorry.

After the butter has melted in, put the back back on your watch. Make sure you wear a short sleeve shirt for a while. For some reason, this technique does not work with margarine.

As usual, this superbadvice may or may not work. It may destroy your watch. You may run out of butter. If you do, it's your fault, not mine. OK?