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Mom Products

Education World at Home: At the frontier between humor and commerce!

Okay, so I got a press release saying that all of these products had been developed by moms, for moms. Interesting. I got the pictures and descriptions, but didn't hear back from the moms. I guess they're either too busy coming up with something else to solve a parental problem or it's just that the school year's starting again and they're run off their feet like the rest of the parental world this time of year.

If you want to look at any of this stuff for real, just click on www.bestproductsmediaguide.com. Otherwise, I'm just going to enjoy thinking about these, well, very unusual products.

Okay, so these are PottieStickers, which will be instantly recognizable to you as the "gold stars" of the getting-out-of-diapers curriculum. My only question is whether the toddlers will really recognize the stickers as rewards or think of them as targets.

This is a book by and for parents, it says, that contains the core Kindergarten curriculum in a 32-page booklet. I guess that doesn't count the most important thing I learned in Kindergarten, which was that other kids are not nearly as receptive to having sandbox sand dumped on their heads as I had previously hypothesized.

These bags are called Neat Nets, and of course this young-mom-type model is demonstrating what they're for: To tidy up untidy toys. However, what is not really seen in this picture is the SCALE of the bags. This young model is actually a WNBA superstar, six-foot-eight, and the so-called "toys" are gears from old military-surplus vehicles, spray-painted in a delightful array of colors. The bags, in other words, are really larger than they look here and extremely tough. These bags are for capturing kids, folks, not for cleaning up their rooms.

This is BocaBeth, which frightens children in both Spanish and English with its mesmerizing hand-puppet. For years afterward, in therapy, children are sure to exclaim, "Avestruz! Avestruz!" which means "Ostrich" in Spanish and of course is the actual creature that most closely resembles that scary hand-puppet, except for the white moustache part, which does not occur in nature.

This is the Take-Out Time-Out, a portable mat that can make any 18-inch diameter space on Earth into a cathedral of misery and contentiousness for your little darling. An optional upgrade provides a continuous audio loop of motherly sayings from old sitcoms, like "Sure you can take a bath in the cement pond, Jethro." Superficially endearing, these old saws from Granny, Aunt Bea, Harriet, and their ilk eventually correct any behavioral problem you might encounter with your little one. That is, if submissive obedience and involuntary whining, "Please, don't play those voices to me again!" counts as correction.

Editor recommendation: You might want the mat, but leave the audio tape alone. Fortunately, it's entirely fictional, so you have no choice.

This is the "Who's Shoes ID" which is the only one of its kind, says the press release, that fits all types of shoes, sandals, belts, swimsuits, and so on, so that you can certainly make sure you label anything your child will be wearing. Also useful for folks my age, seeing as how I'm always trying to put children's shoes on, forgetting that I've had men's size 12 feet for 40 years.

Upcoming products for us older folks: "Where the heck is it?" stickers you can put everywhere in your house. You may not find what you're looking for, but you'll feel better for having complained about it visually as well as verbally. Also, "What was that noise?" random noise recordings you can program to play at random on your computer, stereo system, or wirelessly through your hearing aids, so that when your wife accuses you of hearing things that aren't there, you can prove to her that they really are there.

Oh, yeah, and then there are those potty stickers ... Stay tuned ...


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