Monday, July 16th, 2007
Pregnancy Calendar Showdown: BBBOOM Babywatch versus Ticonderoga #2
Dis-claim-er: In everyone’s defense, this is a parody article. I have lampooned products in the past, only to be informed that I’m an idiot by someone who thinks highly of the-thing-that-should-not-be. Oh well. If somebody made it, somebody must want it. Here we go.
Modern parents are all about baby gear and technology. So when I discovered the web site for Babywatch by BBBoom, "the smartest invention since babies were born," I nearly wet my pants. Hot damn, hold onto your teeth Grandma, I’m going to compare today’s parenting miracle to the fuddy-duddy days of the Ticonderoga #2 pencil.
Babywatch: "Simply enter your personal cycle data and your fertile days will be displayed." Use the six watch buttons to input your data, or uplink the watch to your computer for data entry.
Ticonderoga #2: You need a piece of paper to number the 30 days of your cycle. For each day, write down your mucus change and basal body temperature and compare with past data about the normal length of your cycle. Or worse, go to one of hundreds of web sites that offer automated fertility calendars. If you’re desperate, buy an ovulation "pee stick" test kit at any drug store to tell you precisely what your body is doing.
Verdict: Ticonderoga relies on paper, the Internet and chemistry. Ha! Win goes to Babywatch.
Health Records Archive:
Babywatch: "â€¦keeps a record of all lab data and knows what information to present to you at the right time to protect your health." Its product photo shows the watch providing a wealth of information, including the following entire phrase on a single screen: "AB+ blood type."
Ticonderoga #2: Pencils don’t have data storage, silly! You need an envelope or file folder to save the test results your doctor gives you. And to know about important development information, you have to listen to your doctor, or worse, read a pregnancy book.
Verdict: Who reads more than three word sentence fragments anymore? Well, I guess you do, but you’re the only person besides my mother who reads my blog. Win goes to Babywatch.
Babywatch: "Reminds you when you should see your gynecologist."
Ticonderoga #2: Mothers become dependent upon appointment cards given to them after each doctor visit. Some doctors even provide reminders in sticker form for placement on ancient paper monthly calendars, or as postcards sent to you a week in advance. Extremely old doctors intrusively call your home the day before your appointment to remind you.
Verdict: Ticonderoga’s yellow paint flecks off as you gnaw the pencil. Win goes to Babywatch.
Babywatch: "â€¦will show you how large (statistically speaking) the most important parts of a baby’s body (head diameter, arm length, etc.) should be at specific times during pregnancy." A photo of the watch demonstrating this feature isn’t provided, but I’m sure it’s LCD-dynamic!
Ticonderoga #2: You could try drawing what you think your baby looks like as some sort of existential hippie exercise, or do a Google search that turns up stuff like BabyCenter’s week-by-week illustrated guide.
Verdict: Googling on a 101-key keyboard leads to repetitive stress injuries. Babywatch has only six buttons. Win goes to Babywatch.
Days Pregnant Tally:
Babywatch: "Lets you know how long you have been pregnant."
Ticonderoga #2: This statistic requires knowledge of addition and subtraction, or a calendar and a finger. You have to recompute your tally every day.
Verdict: What do you do when Ticonderoga’s eraser gets worn down to its nubbin? I hate that! Win goes to Babywatch.
Picking a Baby Name:
Babywatch: "â€¦offers you a database list of 5,000 names." The watch shows one name displayed at a time, so you presumably scroll through 5,000 names one at a time in blissful harmony.
Ticonderoga #2: Well, you could put a paper grocery bag cover on a book, sneak into a high school classroom, and dreamily write prospective baby names on the back of the book as you ignore the alarmed stares of teenagers and the classroom instructor. Or you could use Google to find one of thousands of baby naming databases, sorting baby names by gender, ethnicity, literary citations, and other dumb influences.
Verdict: Unless you’re a pregnant teen who is staying in high school, the win goes to Babywatch.
First Birthday Reminder:
Babywatch: The watch will "congratulate you on your first birthday at noon." The product photo indicates the watch sports a candle jutting out of a small black rectangle.
Ticonderoga #2: Who is going to remember their baby’s first birthday? That happened, like, 12 months ago or something. You can’t mark that down on a paper calendar because you’re writing in this year’s calendar, not next year’s calendar.
Verdict: Unless you have a time machine to buy next year’s paper calendar, win goes to Babywatch. No wait a minute, there’s no question. The Babywatch web site states the watch "celebrates your babyÂ´s birthday with you." A paper calendar cannot give you companionship. Babywatch wins to thunderous applause.
Babywatch: "Keeps an alphabetical record of her past medical history to have on hand next time you both see your doctor." The product photo shows the watch displaying the word "diabetes."
Ticonderoga #2: I suppose you could write down recent medical changes on a piece of paper to discuss during your doctor visit, but you’d still be relying on your doctor to have the rest of your medical history on file. You know what they say about doctorsâ€”they’re dumb and illiterate and don’t know an index card from a database record.
Verdict: Jam the word "diabetes" in your dumb doctor’s face. If you’re lucky, you’ll break the bastard’s nose. Win goes to Babywatch.
Babywatch: 149 Euro and 6 Euro for delivery and packaging in Europe. According to the Yahoo Finance currency converter, 155 Euro translates today into $213.72.
Ticonderoga #2: You can’t buy individual pencils, so you get stuck paying $1.59 for a dozen at Office Depot. That doesn’t factor in the many other related products used with the Ticonderoga #2, such as envelopes, writing paper, a pregnancy book, a paper monthly calendar or scheduler, and Internet service to access Google and pregnancy web sites.
Verdict: I don’t know how much the old fashioned way costs, but it looks like a lot and makes my head hurt. Win goes to Babywatch.
Overall Verdict: No question, hands down, BABYWATCH WINS! Take that, Grandma!