Things I’d like Invented Since Becoming a Dad


Art by J. Parrish Lewis

I invent things all the time, in my mind. The only problem is, I don’t actually make any of it. Some of it is stuff I think would be really innovative and make me a trillion dollars, but I’ll do that later.

This morning, I sit here at 5:30am typing this post out at such a ridiculous hour simply because it’s the only time I can do this without my kids asking me what I’m doing while their heads block the computer screen and I say yet again: “I’m working.” Kids have selective amnesia about such things.

A few things I’d like invented, inspired by my life in the land of Daddyhood:

A Sleep Wand. This wand, 100% drug-free and emitting absolutely no greenhouse gas or radiation of any sort, will make anyone fall peacefully asleep in seconds, and guarantee a full-on conked-out sleep. No wimpy dozing with this wand. Times I’d use it: 6:00 am, on my kids, so I can sleep a little longer, 8:00pm, again on the kids, so they go to sleep when they’re supposed to be doing exactly that, and 12:00 noon, on myself, so I can nap.

A Wakey-Wakey-Eggs-and-Fakey-Bakey Timer for the wand. See, this had to come next. Otherwise, my nap’s in danger of being 8 hours long, and I don’t think my boss would want me sleeping past my lunch hour. I also bet that my kids would kind of get in trouble if they slept through school just because Daddy used a sleep wand on them at 6am. I’m not sure that excuse would fly.

A Crayon and/or Lego Disintegrator. Please understand, I love crayons and I love Legos. I do. They are such great tools for creativity. At the same time, a stray crayon or a “forgotten” Lego piece is pure evil. The crayons multiply like rabbits, and every day you pick up more. The Lego pieces are torture devices for your feet. They are plastic land mines lying in wait, ready to bring a world of pain! No, they have to be disintegrated. I imagine a Ghostbusters-style getup, the whole kit and kaboodle, so long as it doesn’t have the side effect of destroying my house.

Evaporating Dishes. These plates, bowls, cups, utensils, and all manner of cooking implements will evaporate as soon as the last nibble of food is gone. I’m not going to lie and say it just disappears. Let’s be realistic. Energy changes form, but it’s still there. So are what the evaporated dishes are going to become? Pinky, fluffy clouds that taste like a breath of cotton candy. These will be fanned out into the sky, where the birds can enjoy them. I care about their happiness, too. I know I’ll be happy, not having the daily piles of dishes that seem to pop back into existence the minute I’ve just finished them all.

Let’s not forget this very important one, that no parent will want to go without:

A Time Expander. Not to be confused with a time travel machine — which, of course, being a human, I’d also love. The Time Expander will have the ability to stretch out time, any time you want. No more of that “Time Flies While You’re Having Fun” craziness. You click the button, you twirl it all around, perhaps spelling your name out for no good reason, and then: Time . . . slows . . . down. There you go, more time with your kids. You no longer need to grieve their impending graduation from high school even though the kids are still in elementary when you’re grieving like some parental loon. Not that I do this. Ahem. Look the other way, please.

The questions that immediately come to mind with this device: Will we talk in slow motion, and does the world go on without us?

Ok, get cracking. I want these gadgets invented right away. Please give me 90% equity plus a 25 cent royalty on every item sold, plus free prototypes for me. My hat’s off to you, kind inventors!

Fellow parents, what would YOU want invented?

Chime in with your thoughts at Dads Round Table’s Facebook Page!


An earlier version of this post appeared on the author’s personal blog,


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