Somewhere Over the Rainbow Loom


I had an essay to write last night but instead found myself sitting cross-legged on the tile next to our dining room table, watching a YouTube video on how to make the zippy chain bracelet for Rainbow Loom so that my distraught daughter could move on with life. 

Listen.  Shuck the shucking rainbow loom.  It’s not the rubber bands all over the floor that bother me.  It’s not the fact that I had to go to Michael’s to buy a new crochet hook because we lost the hook that came with it or the fact that the hook I bought wasn’t the right size, so we had to return again.  It’s not even the tiresome background noise of the 8-year-old YouTube Rainbow Loom genius who seems to have become a virtual member of our house overnight.

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It’s the fact that twice a day since we bought this thing, the world spins out of control when, after forty minutes of tediously weaving A-bands over B-bands to make the Starburst Double Fishtail or whatever the hell you call it, my poor kid goes to pull her bracelet off the loom and the whole thing falls apart because of one rubber band that slipped a hook.  And then I have to go in with special ops to fix it but can’t because—as Lainey so kindly points out—“you don’t even know what a triple single is.”

Do you know there are hundreds of YouTube how-to videos on Rainbow Loom bracelets?  Grown men and women looping rubber bands on a plastic rack, guiding you through Hexafishes and Taffy Twists.  Which are real bracelets.  I know these things now.

Last night we had another Rainbow Loom meltdown, and I actually started to argue with Lainey—when she asked me to help, and then I came in, and then she said I was doing it wrong, and she wanted it back.  For a second, I jumped into a silly argument that was going to end with some not-so-shiny motherhood moment of, “Fine. Do it yourself.” But you know what? I realized there’s, like, a billion life lessons the Rainbow Loom can teach us.  Like, say, learning new things means trying, trying, trying until you get it right (a.k.a.: After 372 attempts at the Hexafish bracelet, you too can master it!).  Or organization can make things smoother (Sort your rubber band colors! Keep track of your hook!).  Or how about some business ingenuity inspiration?  Can we talk about the day the guy who invented this thing woke up and realized his little idea just became 2013’s Tickle Me Elmo? My personal favorite lesson that has evolved from the introduction of the rainbow loom to our home, however, remains the following: “Hey, in the scheme of the world’s problems, where does this failed fishtail rank?  Worth this meltdown?  Yeah. Didn’t think so.”

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After thirty minutes of staring at a YouTube video on the zippy chain bracelet last night, pausing the tutorial in between every hook and loop I made, and finally mastering something that maintained its shape when I pulled if off the loom; I watched as my kid reached out to take it, beaming with approval.  “Whoa!” she exclaimed.  “You did it! You made a zippy chain.”

I am now Zippy Chain Mom which I’m pretty sure makes up for every time I’ve ever forgotten to bring juice boxes to the park.  And while I jokingly bemoan the Rainbow Loom’s effects in our home, I’m secretly smiling.  My kid is having fun making stuff.  We’re equipped with jewelry for the next six years.  And, twenty years from now, we’ll be sitting around the table telling childhood stories and, like the woven nylon potholder tales our parents tell from when we were kids, someone will pipe up with, “Hey, remember that Rainbow Loom kick we were on?”

Loom on, fellow Rainbow moms.

I’ll be back tomorrow with some thoughts about Down syndrome, Nella’s fourth year and the launch of our fourth fundraiser for the National Down Syndrome Society.  I can’t believe it’s been four years.  That’s a presidential term. 

6 bulbs, 2 burning


This is no way to start a post, but listen.  My dog has the runs.  I should have known yesterday morning when I called Heidi to tell her how on top of things I was, that it’s the golden rule of failure.  Do not, under any circumstance, declare “Look at me! Everything’s going so great! My house is so clean!” because the problem gods have radar ears and are very tuned in to those sort of phrases.  They’ll sniff you out and take your clean house and your checked-off to-do list and your laundry all folded and put away, and they’ll flip it upside down.  When I realized the dog was sick, I locked her up, but she had eight hours while we slept to hide presents all over the house.  Like a really fun scavenger hunt.  Hey kids, grab a bag!  The piñata has broken!

Somewhere between cleaning Pile of Dog Mess 15 and Pile of Dog Mess 32, I kind of snapped.  My dad called just to say hi, and my head spun. “I can’t talk right now, okay? My kids are crying and Latte has the shits”–the last word emphasized, of course, because he loves it when I talk like a lady.

Poor Latte confined to our lanai.  The kids had visitation with her through the glass window.

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The rest of the day spiraled, naturally.  And I think there’s nothing you can do to fight it but LET GO. 

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Okay, there’s something you can do to fight it.  Put the snow village up. 

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That we did.  Of course, four out of six light bulbs were blown on our light strip because they got yesterday’s memo.  But I’ll be damned if that post office and church didn’t shine the little lights they were given.  Besides, the Antique Shop had been puttin’ in way too many hours.  It needed a night off.

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Moral of the story?  When only two bulbs are burning on your six-light strip, shine ’em bright.  The village will carry on.  It always does. 

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I’m over at BabyZone this week for their 30 Days of Thanks with 20 of My Favorite Grateful Moments, Captured.