One of the early surprises of parenting is just how quickly your home gets cluttered with STUFF. Toys, clothes, bottles, toys, more toys, the buggy, the play mat, some more toys and then some toys in the corner. It all adds up. As well as the obvious stuff, most parents will also end up buying objects they never knew existed in those naive days before parenthood. And that is where this quiz comes in. How many of the following objects can you identify? Once you’ve had a go, share the article with friends who don’t have kids, and see how well they perform.
1. This Knobbly, Transparent, Rubber Thing
a) A ‘superpacifier’ - the latest in teething technology
b) A manual suction device to stimulate lactation.
c) A corner guard, to smooth off sharp corners of furniture
d) A connecting piece from the popular “Bitz ‘n’ Blobz” construction toy
2. This Stack Of Foam Shapes
a) A cheap, wall-mounted soundproofing system
b) A padded play mat you can assemble into any shape
c) A docking station for up to 12 scooters
d) A toddler floor mattress, used as an intermediate step between a cot and a full bed
3. These Copiously Accessorised Young Ladies
a) L.O.L. Surprise O.M.G. Fashion Dolls
b) R.O.T.F.L. Fashion Dolls
c) Spice Girls: The Next Generation
d) The Star Pupilz Fashion Dolls, whose pupils really dilate with light
4. This Hand-Sized Foam Arch (Mangled And Defaced)
a) My First Croquet Hoop(™)
b) A door jamb
c) A bathtime flotation device for babies
d) An… um... Action Man neck brace
5. This Plastic Tub With Rubber Top Seal
a) A microwavable container for sterilising baby bottles
b) A box for collecting and keeping minibeasts
c) A Milton tub for de-moulderising bath toys
d) All of the above
6. This Bulky Badboy
(a) Baby Benchpress, a home-gym system for the under-4s
(b) A patented vacuum system for cleaning cots, high chairs and buggies
(c) The base unit for an infant car seat
(d) The chassis of a MagnoBoard electric scootboard
7. This Bulbous Mystery
(a) A device for withdrawing bogies and ear wax from infant orifices
(b) A nursery torch - an illuminating toy that’s safe enough for babies to handle
(c) A pocket pootle for collecting minibeasts
(d) A high-performance water pistol
8. This Malproportioned Youth
a) Germaine Hickstart, trainee space cadet with O.S.C.A.R. (Outer Space Command And Rescue)
b) WhipCrack, friend and assistant to the All New Transformers
c) Noddy - a reimagined-for-the-21st-Century version of the Enid Blyton classic
d) Ryder - the bewilderingly equipped leader of the PAW Patrol
9. This Colourful Syringe
a) Part of a popular “Bath Time Doctor” play set
b) A Play-Doh plunger for making shaped strings
c) A Barbie hair untangler
d) A portion measurer for baby foods
10. These Padded Scissor-Like Things
a) Walking aids, used by a parent to gently hold their child from a distance
b) StretchBack (™) An outdoor toy for catapulting velcro balls
c) The arches of a baby ‘activity gym’
d) A children’s yoga accessory designed to improve upper body strength
11. This Tube Of Glitter
a) Just a tube of glitter. Am I missing something?
b) The most pervasive, detestable substance known to humanity. You’ve tipped it upside-down, you maniac. Run! Run! Before it escapes
c) I can’t even look at it
d) “We’ll do that another time, dear”
1c. It’s a corner guard. Parents put them on the sharp corners of tables and other furniture. Toddlers immediately pull them off, of course. See more tips on baby-safing the house.
2b. The padded playmat. Though I might just try them out as soundproofing.
3a. They are L.O.L. Surprise O.M.G. dolls. Not to be confused with Na Na Na Surprise dolls, which are Totally Different Daddy.
4b. It’s a door jamb, which fits over the top of the door to stop it fully closing and trapping little fingers. My apologies for the horrendous state of this one. It’s seen recent action as a Cavity Tooth Monster.
5d. Although most parents get these as part of a bottle sterilisation kit, they’re also really handy for all of the other uses I listed, as well as storing cupcakes (not at the same time as minibeasts)
6c. By law, all infants in cars must be cocooned in a proper baby seat, preferably nestled on top of a base unit like this.
7a. These small suction cups are designed for removing baby’s encrustations. Most graduate into bath toys eventually.
8d. He’s Ryder, the oddly understated leader of the PAW patrol. Nobody knows why a 10-year-old is left in charge of this sophisticated search-and-rescue operation, nor how he pays for the frequent upgrades to their heavy machinery. Just two of the many mysteries of PAW Patrol.
9b. One of many peculiar accessories to come with the popular modelling clay.
10c. The two tubes cross perpendicular to one another to form a dangle-frame above a baby’s play mat. Do not let older kids loose with these appendages, unless you like the sound of things smashing.
11b, c and d. Glitter is the stuff of every parent’s nightmares. It gets everywhere.
Although originally from the Midlands, and trained as a biochemist, Matt has somehow found himself writing about London for a living. He's a former editor and long-time contributor to Londonist.com and has written several books about the capital. He's also the father of two preschoolers.