Every so often as a parent, the fog of tiredness briefly lifts and the sunshine of genius shines through as your sleep-deprived brain suddenly spews out an idea of sheer brilliance that will change parenting as we know it forever.
Unfortunately, because at that particular moment (and at most particular moments) you happen to be up to your elbows in another human being's faecal matter / vomit / your own tit juice, it's not always that convenient to grab a pen and write it down. And because you're so sleep deprived, and generally busy disposing of faecal matter / vomit / tit juice, the world moves on and you forget it.
Hence I strongly believe there are literally thousands of brilliant inventions thought up by women in the early hours of the morning, whilst being milked by their offspring. I have thought of at least twenty, approximately eighteen of which were forgotten immediately. Some of them were immensely practical and could be put into production tomorrow. Some relied on technology that has not yet been invented. Here are those I could remember.
1. Did you always vow you would never be one of those parents who sniffs your child's bum to see if they need changing? Me too. Did you then realise that short of trying the "golden finger" in the nappy, there's actually no other way to know? Basically you are so used to the smell of poo, that you now need it approximately 3cm from your nose to sense it. You do this without shame in restaurants, at friends' houses and whilst you're eating your dinner. Don't worry! I have a solution! INVENTION: A handy text message to let you know when it's time to crack open the wet wipes. Or a Tweet, or an email. I'm not picky. Admittedly I have no idea how this would actually work, technologically speaking, but wouldn't it be brilliant? Come on, scientists, pull your (golden) finger out.
2. Babygros. Try doing them up on the right poppers at 3 in the morning, when you've had no sleep since last August. Feel the frustration of having one popper left over. And having to un-pop and start all over again. And then doing it wrong again. And again. All the time your offspring screams and wiggles like an octopus stuck in a lampshade. This invention is immensely easy to do. INVENTION: Colour-coded poppers. Each babygro has three different coloured poppers (i.e. red, green, blue, red, green, blue, repeat as necessary) which have a correspondingly-coloured bit to pop it in to. Think of the video / audio colour-coded ports and leads on the back of a PC. Easy. Do it.
3. As I can't remember any others (which were of course, all as brilliant as the two above)... INVENTION: Nappy notepad. Each nappy comes with a space on the back to scrawl down your brilliant ideas whilst you're taking care of the baby's needs. The downside is that in the morning, your notes will undoubtedly read, "Cheese - why underneath? Maybe umbrella." And you will have no idea at all what it means. But you can still collect them all and perhaps turn them into some sort of avant-garde free verse.
I am happy to accept royalties for any or all of these ideas when they are put into production. Thank you.