I was thinking that perhaps you could get a little more creative this Christmas. Body lotion, slippers, candles I'll never burn, new dish towels... those are all really nice. But (insert yawn here) seriously, Santa, a mom only needs so many "World's Greatest Mom" coffee mugs. How about coming up with something that I could really use this year?
Now, I understand that your elves were employed for their toy-making skills and probably aren't miniature Steve Jobs -- renowned for their ingenuity or engineering capabilities. So, I'm helping you out. You know, giving you a few good ideas just to get the ball rolling. (Oh, and Santa, remember that these were my ideas so if you file for any patents and turn any of them into lucrative businesses, I'd like a part of that action. Thanks.)
The Germometer. Santa, this could be the greatest invention of all time. It's a machine that can scan a snotty-nosed kid for contagious/infectious (read: sick-making) germs. It can also be used on surfaces -- like that suspicious-looking restaurant high chair or (one of my personal phobias) the area on the doctor's table that isn't covered by the white paper. Just think, Santa: The mom that shows up at playgroup apologizing for her son's "allergies" or professing that last night's vomiting spell was just food poisoning could finally have her story legitimized. Fear of using public bathrooms, water fountains, door handles would diminish as surfaces are zapped -- germs are exposed and then obliterated with a few squirts of an organic disinfectant. Brilliant, huh? Now, Santa, if you could make it diaper bag portable that would be really handy. Or, better yet -- just create an app.
Shoe Magnets. This could be a little tricky, but if anyone can pull it off I think you can, big guy. You need to make something I can put in my kids' shoes to keep them together when they aren't wearing them. Here's how it needs to work: as soon as someone takes their little shoes off, this mini-device would have a cool magnetic effect that would not allow the shoes to be separated. Santa, do you realize what this would do to my ability to be on time for, like, everything? No more last minute scouring the house for the other shoe... Now that's a gift! While you are at it why not make one for socks, too?
The Fold-o-matic. Santa, you know one of my greatest thrills is finding the dryer empty when I go to transfer the wet clothes. How about creating something that can give me (and countless other moms or dads) that thrill several times a week? Here's all you have to do -- create a dryer that will fold my clothes and put them into a basket. Don't overcomplicate it. I don't mind sorting. Just borrow some technology from the photo-copier companies. Have the dryer spit out the clothes one item at a time through some sort of chute that grabs and folds on the way through. Pajama "jams" could be pain, so make sure it's well-made, k?
The Toy-Vac. Picture an over-sized shop-vac with a really big hose to accommodate toys of all sizes. It needs to allow me to clean a room by just standing there sucking up all the toys. Then, it could have a reverse switch that would let me shoot all of them back out into the toy box. I think The Cat in the Hat had something like this. Maybe you could hire him as a consultant? The key to this invention, Santa, is making it so I don't have to bend down. Although it's a decent work out -- you know, squatting 1000x a day to pick up all of the Matchbox cars, Legos, princesses' rubber clothes, action figures, crayons, and animal toys of every kind and size that you have "surprised" us with. I'm ready for a change. Make it faster for me to clean it up and I promise to spend that extra time with my new "Piloxing" video.
The Volume Master. Finally, Santa, since you seem to have a problem putting a volume control switch on all toys, (I was working on some legislation to make it mandatory for you to do this but Capitol Hill said it had more important things to work on), you owe it to parents in general to create this. Picture a regular old remote control that could be pointed at toys and, instantly, would take that electronic music, counting, or alphabet recitation down about 100 decibels. Ahhhh... now, this would be my definition of peace on earth.
Thanks in advance for your hard work on these gifts, Santa. If you can't seem to pull any or all of these together in time for this year, I guess (sigh) I'll settle for a spa gift certificate and a giant bag of Ghirardelli peppermint bark.
**This post originally appeared on the Dallas Moms Blog**