I often like to tell the techno-savvy, overindulged children of today that when I was a kid I WAS our family TV's remote control. I'd stand next to the television set and patiently change the channels until my father decided what he wanted to watch. The kids usually respond with a mildly skeptical look whenever I tell them this story. The look is only mildly skeptical because most kids assume TV hadn't yet been invented when I was a child!
That's why I like United States patent 4455816, because it works on the principle that kids aren't just those little people you love and drive to and from soccer practice, they are also the source of a largely untapped and expensive - the average cost to raise a child in America until the age of 18 is around $200,000 - labor pool.
Toddler Powered Lawnmower!
The patent is for a lawnmower attached to the back of a tricycle! No longer is mowing lawns the sole domain of the high schooler looking to make some extra cash over the summer. With this handy patent little Timmy or Susie can get working right away to help mom and dad pay the cost of their care and maintenance.
And there are health benefits too, since little Timmy or Susie will be forced to pedal their bikes in order to operate the mechanical, but not electrical or gas-powered, lawnmower. Gone will be the lazy days of summer ordinarily wasted by the pre-schooler on play dates and video games. In its place? The old-fashioned character builder: hard work.
With United States patent 4455816 the next trip to the toy store or bike shop can be a treat for both parents and children. On the way over there you can entertain your kids with stories about your own, man-powered childhood. You can even use my remote control story. Only save the part about the television sets all broadcasting only in black and white for a time when your kids are a bit older. After all, you don't want to give them nightmares, especially since they'll need all the sleep they can get after a long, hot day of pedaling and mowing!