The Perfunctory Parent's Guide

The few baby and child-rearing threads (and the kind and useful advice they’ve generated) got me thinking about truly useful items that exasperated parents wish they had.

For me, an ideal thing would be Velcro Sheets and Pajamas to keep our two-year-old in his bed and out of mischief. (At 5:00 a.m. one morning I came downstairs to find him part way into the refrigerator - - “oange joos Da! oange joos!”)

More velcro: car seat straps. Wish I had a nickel for every time I’ve buckled/unbuckled a child and had to fight the buckle to do the job.

A peanut butter and jelly sandwich machine. Is it really too much to ask?

Preschool Uniforms: If I have one more argument with my 4-year-old about whether she can wear the Britney Spears inspired getup her Aunt Kelly bought her (lovely woman, horrendous taste), I’m going to crack.

The Frequently Used Expressions Machine: Comes preprogrammed with “Don’t jump on the couch” “We don’t bite that” “Give it back to your brother” and many other useful phrases.

Macaroni and Cheese in a Drum: Come to think of it, they probably have this at Costco.

A peanut butter and jelly sandwich machine
customizable to the specific neuroses of each child i.e.(e.g.?), will place the finished sandwich so that the jelly is on top. Will also have the option of cutting said sandwich into triangles, rectangles or squares-but not take the crust off of the whole sandwich. The machine must not under any circumstances flatten the sandwich in the least bit.

[sub]Can you tell who has a picky kid?[/sub]

The Floor Funnel

This shallow well-shaped device covers the entire floor. Any toy, food item or object of clothing quickly slides down the funnel into the repository underneath, to be sorted at leisure. The entire device can be quickly disassembled and compactly stored as soon as the little angels go to bed.

the again machine.

sort of like a xerox copier for reality. first it captures what i do. then it’s voice activated on the word “again”. it recreates the book/ funny face/ puzzle/ acrobatic ride/ etc. that the toddler just experienced. meanwhile i get to do something different & prevent my brain from imploding due to repitition.

the automatic instant video rewinding machine that rewinds in seconds.

windows to be configured in a way that you can realistically password protect settings and my computer from little people who want to change the wallpaper and the mouse speed and every other damned thing they can find.

some way to stop the kids from turning up the volume on the TV endlessly until I AM DEAFENED.