Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Investors Welcome

Little Bit is cute as ever, generous with the smiles, loud as anything when he laughs, and so stinking proud of himself when he gets to do his walking laps (both hands up, holding those of adult hunched over to guide him).

But, of late, Little Bit has been a little bit more than we bargained for. Dare I say, there have been moments when we have been tempted to replace the "B" with an "sh," affectionately, of course. It's not his fault. He's on a second course of antibiotics for an ear infection that was diagnosed three weeks ago (on my birthday, ntb). The ear infection was coupled with lots of coughing and snot and the typical sleep and feeding issues that arise during illnesses. Blah, blah, blah. The long and the short of it is since the ear infection began he has been difficult to feed, napping like crap, waking up at least twice a night to be fed (after a decent multi-week run of one wake up), and, the past ten days or so, starting his (and thus our) day sometime in the 5:00 hour.

Not one to sit around moping and complaining,* ntb, I have instead decided to use my spare time to turn these challenging few weeks with Little Bit into an opportunity to help other frustrated families and become rich enough to feel as if I could buy Lean Cuisine pizzas even when they are not on sale.

Loyal readers, you have an opportunity to get in on the ground floor.

Obviously, what follows is not the business plan that I will be putting before the investors. I will leave the industry research and financial modeling to my hubby, who kicks ass at that kind of stuff, ntb. I am planning to secure the top legal mind in West Virginia (who will take my call, ntb) to help me to protect my intellectual property and/or secure the necessary patents and whatnot. LAP will be in charge of all accounting. PITA and my mom will be on the marketing team. Sales covered by my dad and brothers, one of whom already works in the infant products industry.

Invention Number One: "Tick Tock, Re-Set Your Baby's Clock"
This first project is very much still in the research stages. I'm not sure if the end result will be a product, a pharmaceutical, a homeopathic solution, or some sort of proven process/system that parents will be trained in by certified Tick Tock Trainers who will not wear company golf shirts and Dockers. Tick Tock is not intended for everyday use or as a safety net for lazy/irresponsible parents who disrespect their children's sleep need or parents who have unreasonable expectations for the amount of sleep they can expect from their baby. No, this product is for parents who work hard to keep their kids well rested, but cannot crack the early morning wake-up cycle. At Casa MEP, we don't ask for much, but we do ask for a wake-up in the 6:00 hour. 7:00 a.m. feels like 10:00 a.m. on the rare occasions when one or both of the boys sleeps past 7:00. A couple years back, we had a three or four month period with Bub waking up in the 5:00 hour, and I drove myself batty trying to crack it: reading sleep books, adjusting bedtimes, documenting naps, changing feeding times, etc. Eventually, that stage ended, but I couldn't say how or why. Tick Tock would save parents from the brutality of the 5-something wake-up and the insanity of trying to figure it out by offering either a product or process to allow a one-time re-set of the child's body clock to save everyone a lot of frustration and lost sleep.

Invention Number Two: "Tiny Trough"
Little Bit is not full-on crawling yet, but he has a speedy and somewhat stealthy army crawl. He is at a stage where he wants to put anything he finds in his mouth. I am very vigilant and keep Bub's favorite treasures--coins, candy, broken crayons, miniature alphabet magnets--far out of Little Bit's reach (and Bub's too, when I can manage it). I also sweep and vacuum regularly enough to keep the biggest hunks of junk off the floor. And yet, Little Bit continues to spot prey and move in for the kill. This morning he quickly slithered about seven feet because he spotted a small green morsel of dried play-doh he wanted to sample. I've already mentioned how he gets tired of Puffs and tosses them on the floor. If, however, he finds a puff on the floor, he is suddenly all about ingesting it with enthusiasm, ditto any other scrap or crumb of food he can get his little hands on. Hubby has taken to calling Little Bit "the scavenger." Despite his apparent hunger, meal times are not going well. Many days he balks at baby food, but he's very unpredictable with the new table foods. Loves bananas one day, shoves them off the tray the next. He was really into the first five pieces of avocado I gave him and then wanted nothing to do it. Ditto pasta pickups. Ditto pears. Ditto Gerber vegetable crackers. The only slam dunk of the new self-feeding transition we're trying to ease into has been the cheese puffs (they are organic, but I'm not going to kid myself that they ought to be an essential part of any kid's diet).

Bub's food issue has always been a resistance to trying new things (outside the categories of candy and crackers). Little Bit seems willing to sample anything he finds on the floor . . . that's where the Tiny Trough comes in!!! I haven't drawn up the plans yet, but picture a size-adjustable piece of sanitary, easy-to-clean, BPA-free, and possibly customized-to-match-your-flooring hard plastic with molds of bowls, crevices, and other small hiding places on top. Just toss those cubes of avocado, those peas, that tofu--whatever healthy food you want your kid to try--onto the Tiny Trough when the child is not paying attention. Then, put him/her on the ground and let him/her crawl over, happen upon the Tiny Trough, and being eating and exploring with glee. To encourage eating, you may pull child away from the Tiny Trough a couple of times to ensure that he/she will remain enthusiastic about getting back to it right away.

I think it goes without saying that you're going to need to act quickly if you want to be a part of these unique opportunities. Let me know how much you're in for . . .

*and just kidding, I can mope and complain with the best of them, though I am getting better about staying positive


CaraBee said...

We could definitely use both of those products around here. The 5 o'clock hour wake-ups are awful. Especially when preceded by 11pm and 2:30 am wake-ups.

We call Sophie the scavenger, too. We joke that we don't need a dog to clean up after her, we have her. Any food that gets thrown off her tray that eludes my cleanup goes right into her mouth. Nevermind that it was of absolutely NO interest before. The Tiny Trough idea is pure genius!

Amy said...

I'm curious as to whether your Tick Tock/Re-set clock would also work on adults, as my husband is the one with the 5:00 a.m. wake up (which is equally annoying since I share the bed with him). If it does work on adults, then count me as a customer.

Anonymous said...

Hilarious! Love both ideas! You certainly have the dream team in place. Let's see it happen. Might convince me that I need another little one in this house! Rita

Anonymous said...

I think you're onto something. I think we just need a little more brainstorming before with announce it on Oprah. m

Actchy said...

You're on to something here, MEP. Might I say that I'd be willing to negotiate sharing ideas I have for a countdown-style timer that parents can install on a baby's rear waistband. It would allow the caregiver to guage when the child plans to vacate his bowels, therefore cutting back on the dreaded "what do you mean you just pooped; I just changed you 45 seconds ago" situation.

Regan said...

The first is done in Irish families with whiskey on the gums. Whiskey is not patentable, but you might come up with a blend you could get patented or copyrighted. The second falls under the rubric of "deception" which I'm not sure can be patented, but if it can be, I'm sure it has been. Notwithstanding modern dictionaries, "disrespect" is not a verb. -- Regan

Anonymous said...

I am all about the Tick Tock Re-Set Clock. 5 is very common in our house and my friends make me believe that I am the only one with this problem. I don't think I can even friends with the person who's daughter sleeps till 9. Nine... Really? My mom has tried to make be believe that it is just extra time for my little one to learn. I don't quite see it that way. We have now bought a night light that goes from moon to sun at an assigned time. I will have to report back if it works. We haven't tried it yet.


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