Enumclaw Courier-Herald


Where have all the tape dispensers gone? | Living with Gleigh

Covington Reporter Columnist
December 9, 2012 · 10:31 AM

I know I have purchased one of those huge economy packs of adhesive tape. But do you think I can find even one roll? My daughters have been fascinated with the sticky stuff since they were small; kind of like Winnie-the-Pooh is with honey.

‘Tis the holiday season and tape is one of those necessities we need to make it through our to-do list. I thought since my children had reached their teen years, their use of tape for entertainment purposes would have passed. Yet, I can’t find one roll of tape nor the package of dispensers.

There aren’t many occasions in which we use tape, so I don’t understand why, at the end of every year, I’m out. We’re talking at least six roles of tape in each economy package; I could count on one hand how many times we use tape and for all of those we probably wouldn’t even consume one whole roll.

When my daughters were little, tape was a forbidden fruit. If they got a hold of a roll, they would secretly begin to use it. The kids would think I didn’t notice they were using tape with abandon, but it wasn’t hard to figure out they had found some. I never stopped the activity, because I could think of worse things for them to get into.

Nothing was safe from the tape treatment. Mysterious tape spider webs would appear across doorways, between shelves on bookcases, wrapped around handles of drawers, sometimes attaching cabinet doors together, connecting all the kitchen chairs securely around the table.

I would act surprised when I discovered tape in abnormal places: “Now who taped the cat to the broom?” (Just kidding that didn’t really happen).

The kids would giggle, run away and never claim ownership unless the composition was particularly imaginative – tape from the couch, to the TV stand, across the TV stand, to the shelves, thus preventing anyone from entering or leaving the family room was a particular source of pride.

I believe it may have even been a team effort; who am I to stop their efforts to learn how to work together? It’s good training for adulthood when they’ll have to work in harmony with others. What’s running into a “little” tape across a doorway to my children’s futures as harmonious adults.

It’s understandable why I was always out of tape in those days; all I had to do was untape the house to understand where it went. But now my daughters are teens and as far as I know they don’t use tape like they used to; I haven’t found a tape spider web in years.

My youngest daughter loves to wrap presents; she’ll wrap her friends’ birthday presents and wrap presents I need for Christmas and birthdays, but at 15 years old, she is pretty good at controlling the quantity coming off the tape dispenser. My oldest doesn’t wrap presents, preferring gift bags instead, but I could see her mindlessly emptying a roll that presented itself in front of her as she surfed the internet.

As I am seeking tape, I can’t help but think of my little girls and the hours they spent emptying tape dispensers. It makes me smile and the Pete Seeger song “Where Have all the Flowers Gone?” runs through my head (adjusted to fit the situation): “Where have all the tape dispensers gone, long time passing, where have all the tape dispensers gone, long time ago, where have all the tape dispensers gone, little girls have used them every one, when will they ever learn, when will they ever learn?”

I haven’t even told you what happened to the paperclips.

Gretchen Leigh is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Covington. She is committed to writing about the humor amidst the chaos of a family. You can also read more of her writing and her daily blog on her website livingwithgleigh.com. Her column is available every week atmaplevalleyreporter.com under the Lifestyles section.

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