1. An app app. It would deliver a mild, non-lethal shock to any child standing in my proximity, who zones out while I’m talking, because he or she has opened an app.
2. While we’re talking apps, how about one that finds your kids’ belongings? It would be like a homing device that could locate their shoes, their homework, or any other item they think you should keep track of. Come to think of it, a homing device on the kids themselves is not a bad idea.
3. Some mystery. In this case, I would like the car radio to mysteriously break one day, without explanation.
4. A chef to do nothing but make school lunches. I figure I’ve made roughly eleven thousand, five hundred and eighty lunches over the years, and just maybe it’s time for a break. And if the same chef would like to whip up an occasional dinner, I could live with that.
6. A call from all my kids’ teachers, raving about how wonderful my children are in class (“A joy,” one will say), and how they don’t know how they can go on, once the school year ends and my kids move up to the next grade.
7. Bad Influence Detector Spray. I could spray all their friends to see which kids are headed for trouble. The ones who cough and choke would be scratched off the list, while we’d keep the ones who laugh and say, “Oh, Mrs. Hilton, you’re so funny!”
8. Peanut butter, syrup, jam and ketchup containers that have no screw-on lids, and thus no grooves to catch drips and get all gummy and sticky. Also, these same products manufactured to adhere to bread, but not to fingers.
9. A surprise statement. For example, I’d love for my daughter to say, ‘You know, I’ve thought about it, and I don’t think I’ll date until I’m 25.”
10. Videogames that teach housekeeping skills. “Kill those germs!” “Blast that dust!” For older kids, a money management game that could teach them how to stay out of debt. Credit cards and flirty girlfriends would be the bad guys.
11. Clothes hangers that hang onto the garments, so that only their owner can remove them. If you have the wrong fingerprint, say the print of a teen trying to borrow her mom’s clothes, they won’t come off and an alarm will sound.
12. I’d like arranged marriages to come back in style. Every date could be a chaperoned affair, and when it’s time for your offspring to marry, you select half a dozen prospective suitors for your kids to choose from. Oh, come on-- every parent in the world has contemplated this with a smile on his or her face, and you know it. If you can pull this one off, you will likely get your own holiday. And mothers everywhere will buy you a gift.
And now, a baker’s dozen—yet one more great idea: Give your mom a subscription to this very blog. She’ll think of you every time one of my posts pops into her inbox. Just type her email address into the box at the right, and you will gain instant hero status! (My books also make wonderful gifts… just saying.)