7 Things All Parents Need, but Nobody Has Invented Yet
Parents need help with So. Many. Things. And, per our market research, many are delirious enough to pay top dollar for them (see: the Snoo). Here, our brightest ideas for products that don’t exist but should. Investors and patent lawyers, we’ll be awaiting your call.
1. UNIVERSAL SIZE CHART FOR KIDS’ SHOES
How can the same child be a size 13 XW in sneakers, a youth size 1 in snow boots and a “big kid” 4 in Crocs? This madness must end. Attention, all shoe brands (or just @Amazon): We need a print-at-home ruler to hold up to our kids’ feet. This would tell us their shoe size (for this month at least; they grow like weeds). Those sizes then MUST correspond to every single shoe you sell on your site. You will make a zillion dollars and we’ll save hours of precious time not shipping and tracking returns. Everyone’s carbon footprint will shrink. (Hey, if the shoe fits...)
2. Slime-Away Spray
If your kid loves making slime, chances are you’ve cursed the gods (or at least the makers of Elmer’s glue) as you’ve tried to remove some oozing concoction from your couch, rug or hair. Slime experts tell us the sticky stuff comes out with vinegar and water. If we had that combo available in the right formulation in a handy spray bottle comfortingly labeled “Slime Away,” we’d be a lot more chill about letting the kids get gooey.
3. Lego Vacuum
We have a love-hate relationship with Legos. We adore the creativity they inspire and the hours of blessed quiet they provide. (Legos, you put the E in STEM!) But there are few agonies more excruciating than stepping on a tiny brick as you stumble to the bathroom at 3 a.m. If anyone in your household loves to dump gallons of Legos but then resists the painstaking work of picking them up, behold your salvation: an industrial-strength, wide-mouth hand vac designed to suck up Legos and deposit them into eco-friendly, reusable storage bags. That this does not yet exist is an affront to feet everywhere.
4. Pokémon Translator
If your kid is Pokémon-obsessed, conversations can feel like trying to make small talk with Pikachu—adorable but totally inscrutable. If we simply had a reference book—like a pocket dictionary or a Cliffs Notes-style pamphlet—to tell us what the hell a Rayquaza EX is and why it does more (or is it less?) damage than a Charizard Rainbow Rare, and whether that’s great or terrible, we too would try to catch ’em all.
5. OVER-THE-COUNTER STREP THROAT/FLU TEST
Is it strep? Is it flu? Just a random fever virus? How long will it last? Will I get it? Forget “Who will my kids be when they grow up?” These are the burning questions of motherhood.
6. Pet Concierge
If you are lucky enough to have found—and can afford— great childcare and/or an excellent cleaning service, count your blessings. Your cup runneth over. But you know what else runneth over? The cat’s litter box. No matter how much you’re able to outsource or delegate, pet responsibilities tend to fall to the family. And by the family, we mean you, Mom. Remember the hamster your daughter *swore* she would cherish until the day one of them died? Welp, his cage hasn’t been cleaned since she started rehearsals for the school musical, and it looks like he has a rash. PS: The fish/hermit crab/turtle smells funny. If there were a service that sent in professionals on a regular basis exclusively to clean cages, litter boxes, tanks and aquariums—one that ran dogs and brushed cats—they’d...well, they’d clean up.
7. Stroller Vac
OK, OK, we know we already invented one vacuum. But hear us out: Imagine a small, rechargeable, portable hand vac that sprays baby-safe cleaning solution and then, with a separate attachment, sucks up debris. How useful would that be the next time your kid spits up or dumps a bag of Cheddar Bunnies all over his stroller or (dear God, no) his car seat? We could call it the Barf-Be-Gone...or the Puke-Picker-Upper...or the Crumb Sucker…or the Yack Vac? We’ll workshop it.