It’s fall, and I’m on the hunt for cashmere turtlenecks and shortcuts. Sure, I uploaded cute vacation snapshots on Facebook of Andy frolicking in the summer surf, but behind the scenes I’m kind of edgy. I humbly ask someone to invent the following devices to make all of our back-to-reality lives simpler. If you have any to add, chime in. After all, Spanx and screw-top wine was invented, right? There’s hope yet.
The Day Care Drive-Thru Window
Not sure about you, but one of my least favorite activities is picking Andy up at school at 5 p.m. It’s not that I don’t like his teachers—it’s that I look like an oily hobo 99 percent of the time. Wouldn’t it be nice to just cruise through the drive-thru and have someone place your diapered, fed, clean child into his or her car seat?
The Nap Freezer
Typing this, I realize that it sounds like some kind of macabre biology experiment. A freezer…full of frozen children! No, no. I want something that will freeze Andy in his crib for two hours or so. Just enough time to buy Brian and me a set amount of time to do errands, have a conversation, watch TV, or go out to dinner. When we return, Andy will be in the exact same position in his crib, completely safe and well-rested, none the wiser.
The Grandparent Brainwasher
This handy device wipes your parents’ social calendars clean! They don’t have anything pesky to do with their golden years, silly distractions like “bridge” or “book club” or “exercise class.” Suddenly, they are at your beck and call for unlimited babysitting. Sold in conjunction with the Grandparent Temporary Relocation Device, which places faraway parents in your area for a chosen amount of time—and deposits them back home again once they break your remote control or rearrange your cabinets.
The Pop-Up Accountant
This efficient chap (I picture a bespectacled little man in a tweed suit) pops up to organize your bills, your old mail, and your budget. He files your receipts, balances your checkbook, and appears with a friendly chide when you log on to Jcrew.com. He keeps a merciless inventory of your expenditures and monitors your 401k plan with ruthless regularity, so you have time to think about more exciting things. Bonus: He can explain to your spouse why you spent $82.94 at Naughty Nails in August, something Mint just can’t do.
We all have them: The friend who gamely “tags” you and your family in various photos, even when your child looks like a runny-nosed hamster and you look like a frizzy-haired two-by-four on three hours of sleep. Nothing ruins a vacation quite like returning home, logging on to Facebook, and realizing that you spent your free-spirited beach trip looking like Jabba the Hut. The Un-tagger monitors Facebook and other social media to ensure that you and your happy family appear photogenic at all times.
Here I envision a car wash for small children. Put ‘em on a moving sidewalk, run ‘em through a sudsy garage, and voila—a sparkling, deep-cleaned tot! As it stands now, Andy bucks, shimmies, and screams during his bath time. The Auto-Bath would scrub those hard to reach areas, clip his raggedly lethal toenails, brush his teeth, and spritz him with an age-appropriate aroma, all while I read a magazine.
The Automatic Answer Generator
Just imagine being able to answer your child’s every “Why?” with a quick and easy response that placates him or her for at least ten minutes! The answer generator replies swiftly and articulately, in a soothing and knowledgeable tone. Also available: The “no” refuter and the “help!” first-responder.
The Phantom Fruit-Carb Injector
This handy-dandy device is a must in any family’s kitchen! Simply inject healthy fruits (and vegetables!) into your fickle tot’s favorite carbohydrates, sight unseen. The injector will render these nutrients invisible and taste-free. Use them on goldfish! Graham crackers! Old napkins! Anything your child likes to chew on!
The Sweatpant Eliminator
It’s sometimes hard to dress Andy appropriately, because he enjoys bucking and sometimes dancing on his changing table. More often than not, I just reach for whatever’s close at hand, stuff him like a sausage, and hope for the best. Let his teacher wonder why he’s wearing a “Happy St. Patrick’s Day 2010!” t-shirt with crimson sweat pants, I’m just happy he’s not nude. Also excellent for sartorially confused fathers who don’t understand patterns.
The Post-Party Pick-Me-Up
Have you noticed that you just don’t bounce back from a night out the way you used to? That you go to a friend’s dinner party and wake up the next morning looking like a cavewoman? Or that you go to book club and need to flee by 9 p.m. for a full night’s sleep lest you awaken to a dry mouth and dull skin? Perhaps you indulge in dessert and spend the following morning yearning for an elastic waistband. It’s all very unfortunate, but it doesn’t have to be this way. After a night of revelry, simply pop a pill and wake up purged of calories, alcohol, and residual annoyance from awkward conversations. No, you did not badmouth your friend’s husband or brag too much about your child’s flute prowess. Your skin will glow and your energy level will be better than ever. Go forth and enjoy the day!
That’s my wish list. What’s on yours?
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