Does it Tell you to Shoot Straight, too?
As a parent, how often have you had to remind a child about the various aspects that go into the seemingly simple task of going to the bathroom? Did you remember to flush, did you wash your hands? With soap? And on and on. For a new toilet user, aka a child who is being potty trained, the frustration for a parent can boil over. Sometimes it seems that it would be easier to just put them back in diapers.
Well, there are some ideas out there to help parents in this process, one of which was patented on August 5, 1997 (patent #5652975). The concept behind this invention, created by Glory Hoskin, was simple: connect a device to an adult toilet that would provide gender-specific messages to youths just learning to use the “big girl/boy” bathroom.
When the child sits down, the device is prepped for its mission of sending out a message. However, the message is held in place until the child gets up. Then it released the gender-specific message. Although the patent is unclear on what the message would be, one can imagine it to be some sort of positive reinforcement. I’m a little unclear on how the device would work if you have two children, of different genders, potty training at the same time. Fortunately I never had to deal with that.
Anyway, the device seems fairly simple and like it could even be helpful. In fact, while researching this, I was surprised at how many patents there are for doing similar things. I even came across versions of children’s potty chairs that were being sold. But one of the more interesting ones that I came across was known, innocently enough, as the “toilet bowl attachment.”
The idea was to put an image on the toilet that the child would find interesting. There would be a face on the tank of the toilet, and, when the lid was lifted, the same thing underneath. The invention said it would focus the child’s attention. Still seems innocent, and I totally get the idea. In fact, looking at the first two images, which show the process, I can see how it might work for a child:
But image 3?http://www.google.com.do/patents/US20060130230?cl=en%5B/caption%5D
Who is going to find that comforting? The only thing worse that I can think of would be a creepy clown telling you what a good job you did.