Friday, October 16, 2009

DoctorMama’s Helpful Hints

I’ve been neglecting you. To make up for it, I’ve prepared a real treat for you: a whole bunch of helpful hints and ingenious solutions to problems you didn’t even know you had. If I could patent these, I would, but since I can’t, you’re getting them for free. You’re welcome.

How to Stop Sleeping on Your Stomach
Those of us who stomach sleep tend to get cricks in our necks and sore lower backs. If I spend more than a few minutes doing it, I get a back spasm so bad that I am unable to turn back over, and I’m left to struggle like an upside-down turtle. One solution I’d read about was to sleep with a long pillow next to you on the side you usually turn to. Good in theory, but unless your bed is next to the wall, you’ll just end up with a pillow on the floor. My brilliant solution? Tuck the pillow under the fitted sheet, creating a bumper. It won’t fall out, and when you turn over, you naturally sling your knee over it and stop halfway.

How to Keep a Toddler (or Drunk) from Falling Out of Bed
How to Stop Sleeping on Your Stomach above! It’s genius, I tell you.

How to Use Decongestant Nasal Spray Without Becoming Addicted
When you have a cold and can’t sleep because you can’t breathe through your nose, use decongestant spray in one nostril only. The next night, you can use it on the other side. Don’t use any during the day. You can keep this up indefinitely.

How to Quit Decongestant Nasal Spray
If you’re already addicted, quit using it on one side. Once that side is more or less back to normal, quit the other side.

How to Avoid Losing Your Child in a Crowd
Or rather, how to find your child after you’ve already lost them in a crowd. All you need is some masking tape and a marker. Put a strip of tape across the child’s upper back and write on it: IF FOUND CALL [cell number]. My son adds: tell your child to approach either a Person In Charge or someone who also has kids.

How to Clean Out a Stainless Steel Carafe or Thermos When You Can’t Reach Your Hand In
Put a Brillo™-type pad and some water in there, put the lid on, and shake it like a hurricane.

How to Fix Yellow Toenails
If you wear pink or red toenail polish, you may have noticed that they leave your toenails stained yellow. I searched for years for a cure, and finally discovered that the clear polishes that have names like Yellow Out actually work. Duh.

How to Keep Noisy Toys from Driving You Nuts
Put clear packing tape over the speaker holes. Several layers if necessary. Kids’ hearing is way better than ours; they don’t mind at all, and it makes life so much more bearable. (This trick is not my own invention; I learned from another cranky old parent.)

How to Keep Your Ice Cubes from Getting Smelly
Because I’m sorry, baking soda just doesn’t work. Charcoal odor absorbers, however, do. Drop one directly into your ice bin and voilĂ .

How to Cure Diaper Rash Quickly and Cheaply
Most diaper rash is at least partly due to candida (yeast). Buy a (store-brand) tube of vaginal yeast cream (throw away the applicators that come with it). It’s good as prescription cream; clears it up in, like, 12 hours. Works on athlete’s foot, too. We call it Toe-Butt-Vagina Cream.

How to Stop Picking at Your Face (Or at Least Cut Down)
Put 25-watt light bulbs in your bathroom.

How to Soothe a Sore Throat
Suck on a baby aspirin. (Do NOT let children do this.)

How to Keep A Cat From Shredding Your Furniture (Besides Declawing)
Keep its front nails clipped. A regular nail clipper works fine. You’ll probably need a second person to do the cat holding, but it’s not as hard as you’d think—nothing like trying to pill a cat.

How to Get Children to Behave
I have no frickin idea.