As I drove
back from London today along the notorious M6 motorway I couldn't
help but notice the number of mini-vans proudly displaying a 'Baby
on board' sticker in the rear window. I led me to wonder
if the parents felt that the sticker served any real safety purpose,
or whether it's just something one feel the need to do out
of nothing more than simple parental pride? Maybe some of you parental
units out there can shed some light on the mindset that makes a
person stick such an uncool and seemingly pointless sticker in
the rear window of their mini-van that needed no help being uncool
in the first place.
Perhaps I'm looking at this all from the wrong angle. After
all, I'm not a proud parent, in fact I'm not a parent
of any description. I don't even have a pet to look after
and there's a good reason for that. In years gone by I've
boiled and frozen fish in an aquarium, run over two cats, got in
something resembling a bar brawl with a dog named 'Prince',
and starved a friends pet hamster to death by forgetting to feed
the little rodent when they were on vacation. It's probably
fair to say that my parental skills have yet to be finely tuned.
Maybe the 'Baby on board' sticker is one of those
things in life you never truly understand until it happens to you.
Once you've had a child maybe the uncoolness and flat out
pointless nature of the 'baby on board' sticker seems
less of an issue and something that is in fact not just bearable
but perhaps even necessary? Maybe once a person becomes a parent
the thought of a 'baby on board' sticker is just something
you adapt to, in which you never really understood what the downside
was in the first place? Similar in many ways to other seemingly
undesirable aspects of parenthood, like for example changing a
I can't imagine how anyone can change a baby's diaper
without breathing apparatus and some kind of toxic protection suit.
Heinous diaper changing stories shared by my friends who have kids
have almost been enough to convince me that this process alone
is possibly too much to ask of anyone.
Why no one has yet invented a machine that takes care of this
task is beyond me. Surely there is an untapped market for the BabyChanger™ machine.
Simply drop your smelly poo covered baby into the BabyChanger™,
select the desired wash cycle, then go off and make a coffee or
something while your little darling is jet washed and changed then
dispensed wearing a clean diaper. That sounds to me like a great
idea! Heck, I'd even put the hot tub purchase on hold to
pay for such a machine.
Of course, these days it seems that having even just one baby
requires the immediate purchase of a seven seater vehicle. The 'baby
on board' sticker will then be placed in the rear window
of the recently acquired mini-van which will over time be customized
with other stickers like "My child is a honor student" or
something equally cringe-worthy. Add Jesus to the mix and you have
likely got yourself a real style problem. In extreme cases there
could be all manner of unsightly stickers on the rear of the mini-van
ranging from "Baby on board" to the fish symbol to
huge bumper sticker that reads "In case of rapture this vehicle
will be unmanned."
Perhaps the creators of the "Baby on board" stickers
are merely catering to the market group that can't help but
customize their vehicle. Research would surely show us that the "Baby
on board" brigade at one time stuck great big ugly rear wings
on cars that had no need for such an addition. Maybe the people
who put spinner hub caps on their cars today are the very people
who will be buying the "Baby on board" stickers of
tomorrow, after all, one never sees a mini-van with spinners or
an ugly great big rear wing and neon blue lights on the undercarriage.
Perhaps after applying for the patent of the BabyChanger™ I
should apply for another patent that might become the next big
thing for the road-going parental generation who want to mix vehicle
customization with the pride of parenting. The introduction of
the "Baby on board" rear wing might become a popular
addition to mini-vans everywhere, followed with "Baby on
board" spinners that could perhaps be specially printed with
a picture of the little ones face on each of the spinning wheels?
You never know, it could be huge!