Hawai‘i Parent to Parent: 25 Inventions That Need to Exist

Solutions for sloppy shave ice and crying babies in traffic, plus a spam musubi for every meal. Why haven't these been invented yet?


Invention idea No. 8: A zip lane to help parents save their sanity. Photo: Aaron K. Yoshino


Confession: I am lazy. Like, really lazy. On a scale of Garfield-on-a-Monday to “The Dude” from The Big Lebowski, I hover somewhere around a Homer Simpson level of slouch.


I am not proud of this fact. I’m well aware that Sloth is one of the Seven Deadly Sins. But that adorable little laggard also happens to be my spirit animal.


I’m no deadbeat mom. I get my parenting jobs done, and pretty damn well if I do say so myself. All I’m suggesting is, if there was an easier way to do it, you know­­—like pushing a magic button—I would use it. (In an infomercial, this would be the black-and-white part where I fail miserably at a simple, basic task, and wail in utter frustration, “There’s GOT to be a better way!!”)


So, I humbly offer you the following parenting inventions that need to exist:


1. Supersonic Gravitational Force Field that pulls everyone into the car quicker on school mornings.

2. Dual blender that serves you a cocktail as it prepares baby’s bottle.

3. Bedside IV that injects coffee directly into your veins the moment you wake up.

4. Sunscreen-application spray booth kids can walk through like a TSA checkpoint. Also works in reverse upon returning from the beach—magically removes sand. From ALL the crevices.

5. A device that changes every baby’s poop into $100 bills. Diaper changes become an ATM transaction. Cha-ching!

6. Indestructible rubber slippers that grow with your child’s feet, looking (and smelling) like new for a lifetime.

7. Black magic that makes every food appear as fruit snacks to your kids, so they’ll actually eat it.

8. A zip lane on the H-1 specifically for parents with crying babies, screaming toddlers, squabbling siblings or otherwise annoying passengers under 18.

9. An in-ear device that detects whenever The Wiggles are playing, and you hear it as your favorite band instead. It also works with whining; instead you hear Ryan Gosling saying, “Hey Girl, you look gorgeous today.”

10. Shave ice scaffolding that keeps it neatly in shape and off EVERYTHING.

11. A smart washer/dryer that washes, dries, folds, separates, and puts all the laundry away for you. Also can detect exact source of stain – is it chocolate? Fingerpaints? Blood? Who cares, it will remove it for you perfectly.

12. An always-full kaki mochi dispenser that rations out the correct portions for you when the kids ask for snacks.

13. Lego detector that will find, pick up, and sort every stray piece in your house (before you step on it).

14. An app that predicts when your kids will have to pee 20 minutes ahead of time and directs you to the nearest family bathroom.

15. A pesticide that will kill all the ukus in Hawai‘i once and for all.

16. A bed magnet that holds kids firmly in place when they attempt escape for the 45th time.

17. Magical Sleeping Fairy that doesn’t let them wake up before 6:00 a.m.

18. Time travel machine to go back and erase that mortifying comment your kid just shouted about the person in front of you in line at Longs.

19. See also: Remote-controlled volume level on kids (with mute button included, obviously).

20. A filth-repellant car that instantly dissolves every grain of sand, dirt, crumbs and other mysterious substances your kids drag in.

21. A locally sourced, all-natural, organic, cage-free, free-range, sustainable Spam musubi packed with vitamins, minerals, nutrients, antioxidants, and brain-boosting Omega 3s.

22. A stand-in parent to attend that birthday party at the Ice Palace you’ve been to 14 times this year alone.

23. Tantrum Stopper (enough said).

24. The cure for colic.

25. A pause button to make kids stop growing up so fast, so you can snuggle your cutie patooties on your lap forever. Le sigh.


So, I know I need to work out the “science” and “feasibility” of this preposterous lunacy, but meh, whatevs, I’m too lazy. Hey engineers, physicists, and other smart people: get at it! U.S. Patent Office and/or Shark Tank people: Call me! I’m ready to start raking in my millions.



Ashley de Coligny is a mom of an 8-year-old future World Cup champ and a 6-year-old aspiring jedi knight (or leader of the dark side of the Force). She is a prolific writer, witty Facebook user and Macgyver-esque Halloween costume expert who is always seeking fun for the whole family, a clean spot in her mom-mobile and a moment of silence. The best parenting advice she’s ever received is “Take a hot shower and drink a glass of wine.”