There are several rites of passage you must go through in order to become fully recognized as a parent.
And as you would expect, most of them are either painful or humiliating.
You have to deal with spit-up on a white t-shirt after your baby has eaten some soft carrots.
And of course, if you truly want to be welcomed into the parental fold, you need to step on a sharp toy with your bare feet.
If you haven’t experienced the last one, consider yourself very lucky. I’ve stepped on more Littlest Pet Shop characters than I care to remember over the years, often cursing a blue streak while pulling a blue puppy out of my foot. Our family room should often be treated as a dangerous minefield, where one false step could send you into excruciating pain for like 25 seconds.
And so I read with great pleasure this week that Lego has actually created specially-designed slippers with extra thick padding on the bottom to protect the feet of parents when the inevitably step on one of their stray bricks. Lego’s plastic bricks have been available to the public since 1947, meaning we are closing in on almost 70 years of parents accidentally stepping on sharp pieces of plastic that are strewn about their homes.
In their Facebook post this week, Lego said these new patented slippers will “enable you to walk in the house in the middle of the night without a care.” I love it when companies understand some of the shortcomings of their products and make smart PR decisions to correct them. (As a future suggestion, I would love to see the manufacturers of the Talking Elmo dolls tack on a free pair of noise-cancelling headphones for parents).
But there’s one small catch to this whole thing: These new protective Lego slippers are only available in France.
Apparently, French parents cries of “Zut alorts!” when they step on a stray piece of plastic have been heard by the upper levels of Lego management in Europe. And so they are randomly giving away 1,500 pairs of these slippers over the next few weeks to parents who fill out a holiday wish form on Lego’s website in France.
As for those of us in North America, we’re stuck bumbling around our houses and risking the soles of our feet for the foreseeable future. Oh sure, we could actually clean up after our kids, but we all know that’s not going to happen.
So come on Lego executives, do the right thing and bring these slippers to North America.
Follow along as Ottawa-based sports radio host Ian Mendes gets candid about raising his daughters, Elissa and Lily, with his wife, Sonia. Read all of Ian’s The Good Sport posts and follow him on Twitter @ian_mendes.