Thursday, May 23, 2013

I Got Your Life Hack Right Here

I just discovered life hacks and I'm so sad that they are almost completely bullshit.

I read the life hack articles that are all over the internet, hoping to be enlightened and gain the tools I need to live a meaningful, organized life. Instead I found out that a hair straightener can be also used to iron the collar on a shirt. [I'm not even kidding about that! Look here!] That information might come in handy if I observed some sort of minimum standards of grooming, but usually I'm more focused on weightier issues that are more important to our family and our community, such as wondering if I accidentally put my keys in with the compost again.

But! I have developed some of my own life hacks, which come in way handier than the ones on the lists. Here are some life hacks that I have developed that I find useful:

1) How to have something sweet when you purposefully don't have any dessert in the house.
Let's say that you know you have a tendency to sit down and eat a whole bunch of sweet food in one sitting, so you deliberately don't keep any of that stuff in the house. No ice cream, no cookies, no nuthin'. But do you have pita bread? And some brown sugar? Then you can make yourself a sugar sandwich for some late night snacking!

You will notice this is a whole wheat pita filled with sugar.
I use whole wheat because healthy eating is important to me.
Bonus points if your husband comes into the kitchen unannounced and says "Honey? Are you eating a. . . what are you eating?"

Actually, that's it. I just have one life hack. But you have to admit it is very valuable, especially if you also have some cream cheese you can put in the pita along with the sugar.

I do have two problems that need a life hack, though, or maybe just an app.
1) Can I insert a tiny microchip under my child's skin, or maybe use the microchip that Obamacare will require us all to get, and then use my phone to track my child's whereabouts?

This ability to track a kid could come in handy in a variety of situations. Let's say you're at a crowded park, and there are a bunch of kids running around, and you see someone you know, and you chat with her for, oh, say 1.5 seconds because as a parent you learn to compress your conversations into that span of time, and then you look back to keep an eye on your kid and they're GONE. A version of this happened to me recently, and we had to call 911, and it turned out that the little angel had walked into a neighboring cornfield and then got disoriented. I'd easily pay $0.99 for an app that would help me avoid that unpleasantness.

2) Also, I need a weather-dependent alarm clock app. I set the alarm to get up early to run, but I'd rather skip my workout if it's going to be rainy and cold. But I don't know until after the alarm clock wakes me up whether it's rainy or not. Doesn't that sound a little inefficient? Don't you think we can improve on that, with an app that sounds only if the weather is nice?

If you are interested in creating an app, then by all means take my idea about a weather-dependent alarm and run with it. I won't have time anyway to develop the idea. I need to go iron my collar.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Gimme an L! Gimme an I! Gimme a C...!

Guess what I've been doing! Here, I'll give you a hint. It involves lots of this. Lots and lots of this:

Here I am combing Walter's hair to get all the lice out. That's right; we had lice.

A couple thoughts about de-lousing our house, in no particular order.

1. We had a near family-wide case of lice, except that David escaped the plague. Do you know why got lice and David didn't? Because I am the parent that lies down next to the kids at bedtime, and I am the parent that sleeps right next to Walter, sharing a pillow with him, if Walter wakes up during the night. I am the night time parent, and as a result I haven't had a solid 8 hours of sleep in seven years. My reward for this selfless behavior? Lice.

Universe, you might want to check your karma, because that is seriously messed up.

2. Lice are tiny. I was expecting something the size of a grain of rice, but the ones I saw were much smaller than that -- maybe about the size of the period at the end of a sentence. How are you supposed to get 100% of something that small out of your hair?

And the nits! Those are lice eggs, which are stuck to the hair shaft with special louse-glue. Nits are even tinier! You have to comb (or more likely, pull out with your fingernails) every single nit from the hair. I have spent hours going through Stella's hair looking for nits, trying to get every single one. The next time somebody tells me I am being "nitpicky," I will say THAT'S RIGHT and THANK YOU and YOU BETCHA. And then I will offer to check that person's hair for nits.

3. I was all prepared to make lots of jokes that whatever I found in the kids' hair I could eat, sort of like how monkeys grooming their young eat the bugs they find in the kids' fur. But lice are so tiny they wouldn't have made much of a satisfying snack. THANKS A LOT FOR RUINING MY JOKE, LICE.

4. If you are not feeling well, don't say that you are feeling "lousy." That's lice-ist.

5. I spent hours combing the kids' hair with a special lice comb, and to keep them entertained while I did that, I let them play with the iPad. They were ecstatic because usually they only get to play with the iPad while we are on an airplane. The kids love the iPad so much that they BEGGED me to comb their hair with the lice comb. "Mama, Mama! Check me!" "No, check ME!" "No, I said it first!"

Since the only other time my kids get to play with the iPad is on the airplane, my kids will forever associate air travel with having lice. If I were forced to choose between having lice and air travel, it would be kind of a toss-up --  in many ways, the two experiences are equally unpleasant.  In fact, isn't there an airline called LiceAir? Wait, no, I'm thinking of United.

6. Some cuteness did happen. Here is Stella, combing my hair. She loved to comb it. I told her that whatever she found in my hair she could eat, even if it only added up to a snack.