Dear Dave

Wednesday 14 March 2007

Taking the effort out of being ignored

Dear Dave,

I'm sorry to hear that little Sam has ceased to listen to a word you say. You're right that he might have picked up some anxiety about your pending new addition to the family but it's more likely that's he's simply two-and-a-half now and believes that he knows better than you. Honestly, you're probably lucky he's listened to you this long.

Take my three, for example. They were all standing in a line next to a low wall today. Marie wanted to climb onto the wall and jump off. "No, it's wet," I said. So she climbed on. At which point Fraser sat on the wall. "No, it's wet," I said. Fraser grinned and then Lewis rubbed his sleeve backwards and forwards along the top of the wall. "No, it's wet," I said. They all looked at me blankly. Then they complained they were wet.

Sam will be ignoring you entirely before you know it. You'll have to say things three times before he even realises you've spoken. This could be quite annoying but fortunately I have been working on a solution. The prototype is complete. Another couple of weeks of testing and then my Patented Parental rePeater (TM) will go into full production. The Triple-P (TM) will save the voices and sanity of childcare operatives the world over. Hang it round your neck, go about your daily life and then, at the touch of a button, have it repeat the last thing you said. Press a different button and it will continue to repeat the phrase at regular intervals for several minutes. Each repetition is louder than the last and delivered in a more exasperated tone of voice.

A number of useful phrases come pre-programmed into the Triple-P. These include:

  • Look where you're going.
  • Don't eat that.
  • Say, "Please."
  • Not up your nose.
  • Put your shoes on.
  • Take your shoes off.
  • Don't do that.
  • Sit down.
  • Eat up.
  • That's not a hanky.
  • Do what you're told.
  • Not up my nose.
  • Close the fridge.
  • That's my foot you're standing on.
  • Leave my Triple-P alone.
  • That's not yogurt.
  • That is yogurt.
  • Where did you put my phone?
  • For crying out loud, not up anybody's nose.
  • Turn your hearing aid on. (For use on grandparents who are supposed to be helping out but have in fact opted for a crafty nap).

There is also memory available for the user to record often repeated phrases of their own. From your letters, I suggest that in your case these might include:

  • Shredded Wheat is not for shredding.
  • Put the PlayStation down.
  • Don't feed the hoover.
  • You'll be needing those trousers.
  • Why's my phone in the fridge?
  • Step away from the hamster.
  • I'm not a camel.
  • Don't eat your shoes.
  • Don't use your grandparents as a hanky.
  • What's this yogurt doing up my nose?

The Triple-P also has several special modes:

  • Stressed Whisper - for use in church.
  • Firm but Polite - for use on other people's children.
  • Extra Loud - for parties, playgrounds and natural disasters.

The Triple-P is waterproof, shockproof, easily portable, resistant to toxic bodily fluids and has a battery-life of between 3 hours and 7 weeks (dependent on the number, age and behaviour of your children). Look out for it soon in all good retailers (and on ebay shortly after).

Triple-P - taking the effort out of being ignored.

(Go on, you know you want one...)

Yours in a woman's world,


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