Childhood is messy, sticky, and gooey, but we wouldn’t want it any other way. The time you have with your kids is short, and crying over spilled milk, gum in the hair, or even the dog’s unplanned haircut takes away from the enjoyment of this short season in life. Here are a few life hacks to help you through the tough moments.
1. Gum in the hair
The most common answer to this sticky problem is probably the best. Creamy peanut butter rubbed into the gum-stuck hair helps break down the gum. Use your fingers to massage the peanut butter deep into the clump, then wash the hair thoroughly. If you’re not successful, repeat the process. Think of the chore as an opportunity to chat with your child while they can’t get away.
If you have a kid with a peanut allergy, the above remedy is not for you. Cooking oils or coconut oil can be substituted for peanut butter.
2. Marker on the skin
Permanent doesn’t always mean forever, even when it comes to marker ink on the skin. The most effective way to rid the skin of unnatural colors is to use an alcohol-based product, such as hand sanitizer. Apply the liquid liberally over the inked skin and rub in circles. The ink should start to rise. Wipe the hand sanitizer off with a paper towel. If the color remains, start the process over.
What if the marker is on the face? You don’t want to get alcohol-based products near your child’s eyes. Try cleaning the skin with baby wipes or rubbing coconut oil onto the face, and then washing with warm soapy water.
These remedies should be fairly effective, but if you still have a little green (or purple, blue, orange, or red) monster, don’t worry. Permanent ink only remains on the skin for about three days. This too shall pass.
3. Nail polish on clothing
Young children love nail polish, but those little bottles tip and make large messes. For natural fibers, the best solution is acetone. Place the painted side down on layers of paper towels. Pour the acetone from the back of the stain, transferring the mess to the paper towels. Blot the fabricon the paper towel. Then wash well with cold water. You may need to repeat this many times. You can try this same procedure with hydrogen peroxide for synthetic fabrics.
4. Young barbers
A child with a pair of scissors and a distracted parent can equal a creative new hairstyle. For some reason, children believe in their ability to fashion their own hair or that of their siblings. Even if they’ve tried and failed in the past, many will give the art another go.
To remedy this situation, you may need to cut more. If this is a skill you don’t have, bring in a professional. The quickest and most effective fix is the buzz cut, although your sweet little girl might not want to rock that style. If the buzz isn’t the answer, go for layers to cover up the areas that are chopped short.
In the event that your hairstylist can’t do a miracle, accessorize. A wide hairband or baseball cap can do wonders while you wait for hair to regrow.
While you may find yourself heated over your child’s mishap, remember: these are the things memories are made of. You’ll get your revenge in the form of family stories. Don’t forget to snap a picture. The evidence will be hilarious … in 20 years.