When my daughter was an infant and learning the subtle ways of diaper escapism — we used to call her Houdini — there were nights I dreamed about gently placing her down to sleep, kissing her forehead and sending her off to sleep land … but only after I completely shellacked her diaper in duct tape.
And then … it happened. One night, I just figured, why not?
No, I didn’t make the diaper completely out of duct tape, but I did add a strip here and a strip there, strategically locking the diaper straps in place. And it worked! It took her ten minutes to escape, not the usual 5 seconds.
Duct tape, truly, can do everything. Including give harried, sleep-deprived parents an extra 9:55 minutes of sleep, which seems silly now. But then? It was a miracle. All hail duct tape.
But oh, there is so much more it can do.
After the post about homemade MacGyverisms, I started looking into duct tape and was surprised to learn, well, it’s actually not even used on ducts. In fact, it’s illegal to use duct tape on ducts in California and a few other states. Apparently it was created in World War II to help soldiers create watertight seals on ammunition, and it started out being called Duck Tape. (So now I feel bad for getting all pissy with people: “No, duct tape. Duct. Not duck.” Thanks for blowing my mind, Wikipedia!)
Over the years, duct tape has been used to hurricane-proof windows, give race cars a quick fix (not joking), give astronauts a chance to make it back home (Apollo 13 anyone?), and basically help any household tinkerers fix just about anything possible. But wait! There’s more!
Here’s my list of the Best Parental Uses for Duct Tape (either with the kids or … to them):
Band-Aids! 1 of 7I've used good ol' duct tape for wound binding on more than one occasion, and you know, it worked. It worked really well. Yeah, you can't keep the tape on forever, like a real Band Aid — it doesn't breathe as well and it turns your skin a ghostly, sticky shade of white — but it will do in a pinch. If the thought of bandaging up wounds with real duct tape makes you queasy, you can always pick up some pre-made ones for that rugged look.
Photo credit: Gearculture.com
Crafts! 2 of 7Duct tape used to come in plain old silver, but have you seen the selection nowadays? It's like a rainbow of awesome. I've even seen camouflage duct tape. If you've got some rolls lying around, haul them out on a rainy day. Duct tape keeps kids busy for HOURS. It ain't just for fixin' stuff.
Photo credit: Craftsnob.com
Spaceships! 3 of 7Speaking of crafts, if you've got a bunch of cardboard and a roll of duct tape, you can pretty much make anything. Seriously. We've made everything from pirate ships to space shuttles. Cardboard and duct tape go together like amazing and unicorns.
Photo credit: Me!
Child sealant! 4 of 7So you can probably get in a lot of trouble for this, but seriously, who hasn't thought about a little bit of duct tape to put an end to the endless "why?" questions ...
Belt! 5 of 7I was pretty excited to see this, as someone who enjoys sewing clothes. Now I need to work on duct tape play pants and play shirts.
Photo credit: Duckbrand.com
Diaper! 6 of 7Well, if it's late at night and you're out of diapers and you take a couple strips of duct tape and stick them to each other to get rid of the sticky side and then apply them to your ... oh, never mind. This just sounds like a bad idea. But you know, it actually DOES work to prevent nighttime diaper removal.
Photo credit: Octanecreative.com
Babysitter! 7 of 7Everyone's seen this by now, right? I'm sure it's a hoax or just awesome parents having fun. But I wonder: Would it hold for as long as it takes to go to dinner and a movie? Hmmm.