Today at school was 'Extended Learning Day' - the timetable is collapsed and departments take responsibility for an entire year group doing something creative all day. My department had a generally fabulous year group taking part in a mocked-up 'Dragon's Den'. Groups had to invent a new gadget and compete within teaching groups to go through to the final in front of the whole year group and the 'dragons' in the afternoon. It was fun, exhausting and actually quite enlightening.
My winning team invented the 'Lawn Moo-er' - a life-sized, cow-shaped lawn mower, which does all the hard work for you, cutting your lawn with its 'teeth', and emptying said grass through its udders. Genius.
It got me thinking as I took today's post-bath picture, how having a baby is an industry, full of 'essential' products, gadgets and gizmos. The boy is pictured in a bath towel - a full-sized, bog-standard, John Lewis bath sheet. When he was tiny, we used those dinky little towels complete with built-in hood: adorable and practical. They're just too small for him now, so he is bundled into a normal towel (he does have his own set of personalised towels too - a gift), and - in the absence of a hood - has to endure some furious hair-rubbing so he doesn't get too cold.
We were incredibly lucky when it came to setting up home for a small person. My sister has two young children and pretty much gave us all of her stuff. It's still doing the rounds with friends now.
We did buy a number of things ourselves; some were massively useful, others not so. We love the webcam baby monitor which featured in a recent post. As I type, I have watched and listened to Dexter taking an uncharacteristic forty-five minutes to settle. Sometimes it's more entertaining than the tv. I insisted we bought a 'Gro-Egg': a ridiculously overpriced colour-coded thermometer for the boy's room. It lies. Plus, we soon realised we could work out a comfortable temperature for Dexter's room by, er well, just standing in there. Baby sleeping bags (brand name 'Gro-Bags' - I think they are responsible for the dishonest egg too), are flippin' genius and I wish I had invented them. I would love to be able wear my duvet. The baby carrier (Baby Bjorn) was indispensible when Dexter was tiny and I really enjoyed carrying him around everywhere like a little human Cornish pasty. The list really is endless.
I could go on, but perhaps I'll save some of the other kit and kaboodle required by a small person for another post.
I hope some of those brilliant, imaginative, confident young people I taught and observed today, do go on to fulfil and realise some of their creations.
I however, will wait with eager anticipation and baited breath, for the day that someone invents the 'gives you five more hours in the day' gadget...