Contest: Guess the Purpose of this Item

Can you guess the purpose of this item?

Two green and yellow T-shaped objects of an indeterminant size.

The Rules: Post questions in the comment form below that I can answer with a "yes" or a "no" (ala Twenty Questions). If you’re making a formal guess, ask it in the form of, "Is it a…" or "Is it for…"

Please, only one question per person per round (a new round starts each time I post answers to your questions.)

The Prize: The winner receives: glory. That’s it. You’re doing this for the glory, the undulating praise and gratitude of your fellow Thinga-readers. Where I live, people do far stranger things for the glory.

I’m hoping this one perplexes you; a Google blog search indicates it’s never been discussed in the blogosphere.

So, guess in your head before clicking through to see whether the answer is posted in reader comments. And if it’s not, ask a question or take a guess.

I’ll give you one hint: this thing is dishwasher safe (top rack only).

Round 1:
1. Is it a food pusher? No.
2. Are they croquet mallets or used in croquet games? No.
3. Is it a toy? No.
4. Is it used with other objects such as a ball? No.
5. Is it a set of child’s crutches? No.
6. Is it used for food? No.
7 Are they hammers, Mama? No.
8. Is it used for teething? No.

Round 2:

9. Is it used for measuring? No.
10. Do you twist something using the handle-looking shorter end? No.
11. Does the object have moving parts? No.
12. Is it a children’s product? Yes.
13. Are they more than six inches long? Yes.
14. Is it used in food preparation? No.
15. Are they drum mallets? No.
16. Is the intended use for locomotion? Yes.
17. Is it used to hold something together? No, not in the traditional sense. The product itself does not secure anything.
18. Is it bendy? No, not to a significant degree. It is marketed as "sturdy."
19. Is it used in arts and crafts? No.
20. Is it a cleaning tool? No.
21. Is it used to swish a poopy diaper around in the toilet so you don’t have to touch it? No.
22. Is it a massage-related tool? No.
23. Do you use it in the bath? No.
24. Is the image name "homerwinslow.jpg" a clue? No, that was just me messing with your head. The term "double banking" in the URL was also a mean trick. Sorry. Mouahahahaha!
25. Did they come with something else? No. You’re looking at the complete product.

Photo of a mother holding Baby Walking Sticks as her toddler holds onto them too while learning to walk.

The Answer:

Aww, shucks. After Jennifer confirmed the mystery item was for locomotion, Ashley nailed it as…

Baby Walking Sticks!
Yes! Backaches are a thing of the past. No longer will tall parents
stoop while holding their babies’ hands as emerging toddlers take their first steps.

Mom or Dad simply holds the T-handle end of the sticks in each hand
and the baby grabs the pole ends. These sticks are essentially an
extension of parental hands as the baby becomes a toddler, relying on
the sticks for balance. Each pole is 12 inches long and made from start
to finish in Kansas City.

The sticks’ mom-inventor also touts them as excellent for parents with back pain and grandparents… though if Grandma has vertebral osteoporosis (a curved hunched-over back), she probably has no trouble reaching her grandchild’s hands.

So,
what about my clue that the sticks are dishwasher safe? Hey, I was
merely repeating the inventor’s claim. It’s not my fault if you
concluded these were food-pusher-sticks. Please, never invite me over
for dinner at your home.

Your first inclination may be that this is a silly product, but it makes more sense than similar products on the market. Walking Wings and Walk-O-Long
take the approach of holding a child upright using strap lift supports
around the chest or under the arms. I suspect these sticks require
toddlers to do more of their own balancing, pulling on a stick when
falling, rather than being fully supported at all times.

Personally, I think all three of these products are a perversion of
nature. If God had intended us to walk, he would have given us croquet
mallets for arms and elastic-reinforced tethers latched to armpit
carabiners.

Thanks to everyone who played, or who got played with my Winslow Homer reference. This was fun. So… what do you think of assistive devices for babies learning to walk?

Comments

41 Responses to “Contest: Guess the Purpose of this Item”

  1. Violet says:

    Is it a food pusher? You know, like to push food onto a fork instead of using a knife.

    -Violet

    ANSWER: No.

    April 10th, 2008 at 3:15 am

  2. Brian says:

    So if it’s dishwasher safe I guess it’s not a couple of itty bitty croquet mallets, right?

    I know, I know, I know.

    Training chopsticks.

    ANSWER: No.

    April 10th, 2008 at 3:26 am

  3. Sara says:

    Does it fall into the toy category?

    ANSWER: No.

    April 10th, 2008 at 4:53 am

  4. Nathan says:

    Is it used with other objects, such as a ball?

    ANSWER: No.

    April 10th, 2008 at 6:20 am

  5. PsychMamma says:

    Is it a set of child’s crutches?

    Are the two items used together (a set), or are they used separately?

    Is it used for food?

    ANSWER: No and No. The middle question is not a Yes/No question. And hey, only one question per post!

    April 10th, 2008 at 6:37 am

  6. Kathleen says:

    Are they croquet mallets?

    My 3 yr. old says “Them are hammers mama”.

    ANSWERS: No and No.

    April 10th, 2008 at 6:42 am

  7. Jennifer says:

    I’m going way out on a limb. If it fits in the dishwasher, could it be some sort of teething item, possibly something to be considered to stimulate the gums?

    ANSWER: No.

    April 10th, 2008 at 6:51 am

  8. Cindi says:

    Is it for Croquet? Thanks,Cindi

    ANSWER: No.

    April 10th, 2008 at 7:23 am

  9. AJ says:

    ROUND 1 OVER. (Responses posted above.)

    Keep guessing!

    April 10th, 2008 at 7:37 am

  10. Brad says:

    Is it for measuring something?

    ANSWER: No.

    April 10th, 2008 at 7:41 am

  11. Katie says:

    Do you twist something using the handle-looking shorter end?

    ANSWER: No.

    April 10th, 2008 at 7:58 am

  12. susan says:

    is it fixed (like there are no moving parts)?

    ANSWER: Yes it is fixed. No, there are no moving parts.

    April 10th, 2008 at 8:45 am

  13. lace says:

    Are they a children’s item?

    ANSWER: Yes.

    April 10th, 2008 at 8:49 am

  14. STL Mom says:

    Are they more than 6 inches long?

    ANSWER: Yes.

    April 10th, 2008 at 8:53 am

  15. Amanda says:

    Is it used in food preparation?

    ANSWER: No.

    April 10th, 2008 at 9:10 am

  16. Melissa says:

    Are they drum mallets?

    ANSWER: No.

    April 10th, 2008 at 9:12 am

  17. Jennifer says:

    Is the intended use for locomotion? That is, is it used to move someone or something?

    ANSWER: Yes.

    April 10th, 2008 at 9:22 am

  18. Jeffery Williams says:

    Is it used to hold something together?

    Answer: No, not in the traditional sense. The product itself does not secure anything.

    April 10th, 2008 at 9:44 am

  19. susan says:

    is it bendy?

    ANSWER: No.

    April 10th, 2008 at 9:58 am

  20. Ashley says:

    I don’t know what it is, but I sure have learned a lot about Homer Winslow. :)

    Are they baby crutches/props?

    ANSWER: No.

    April 10th, 2008 at 10:28 am

  21. Lindsey says:

    I’m with Ashley. I sure learned about Homer Winslow….but I’m not surprised that you wouldn’t have included what it was in the properties.

    It’s obviously hand held because of the grips…….

    is it used in arts/crafting?

    ANSWER: No.

    April 10th, 2008 at 10:38 am

  22. lindsey says:

    Is it used with animals?

    ANSWER: No.

    April 10th, 2008 at 10:38 am

  23. lindsey says:

    Is it a cleaning tool of some sort?

    ANSWER: No.

    April 10th, 2008 at 10:39 am

  24. Deana says:

    is it to swish a poopie diaper around in the toilet so you don’t have to touch it?

    ANSWER: No.

    April 10th, 2008 at 11:14 am

  25. Kristie says:

    are they a massage-related item? used to do percussion on the body?

    ANSWER: No.

    April 10th, 2008 at 11:15 am

  26. Ashley says:

    I think poopy diaper swisher is an excellent guess. That’s the first guess I can actually see it being used for. I however would not want to put that in my dishwasher. Ick!

    Do you use it in the bath?

    ANSWER: No.

    April 10th, 2008 at 11:29 am

  27. Bob says:

    is the image name “homerwinslow.jpg” a clue?

    ANSWER: No.

    April 10th, 2008 at 11:50 am

  28. lindsey says:

    poopy diaper swisher is good. man!

    April 10th, 2008 at 11:54 am

  29. Lilly says:

    Is it used for arts and crafts?

    ANSWER: No.

    April 10th, 2008 at 11:55 am

  30. Allison (CodeCrafter) says:

    Did they come with something else?

    ANSWER: No.

    April 10th, 2008 at 11:59 am

  31. AJ says:

    ROUND 2 OVER. Keep guessing!

    Responses posted above.

    April 10th, 2008 at 12:02 pm

  32. Ashley says:

    I don’t know what this would be called, but is it something where the parents hold on to the long straight end and the t-bar is under the child’s armpits and you help them walk that way?

    April 10th, 2008 at 12:16 pm

  33. Ashley says:

    Baby walking sticks!! Yes!
    http://www.harvesthealth.com/bawast.html

    April 10th, 2008 at 12:25 pm

  34. Allison (CodeCrafter) says:

    Ah…I was so close, I kept searching baby walking sticks and coming up with toddler hiking poles from REI and such.

    April 10th, 2008 at 12:30 pm

  35. AJ says:

    Nailed and shut. Good work everyone. I just posted more information in the article above.

    April 10th, 2008 at 12:41 pm

  36. JMo says:

    Darn, I’m too late. I was going to guess it was a toy for beating the kid sitting behind you on the airplane when he is kicking your seat.

    April 10th, 2008 at 2:47 pm

  37. Erica says:

    I’m with you, AJ; I think that if your back hurts to help the kid walk around, then stand up and wait ’till he’s closer to walking by himself. But really? Spending money to bungee your kid to yourself or to have him hold what looks like croquet sticks while he’s walking? Weird. My grandparents and my parents balk at a lot of the stuff parents buy now that never existed when they were raising little ones. I can’t imagine what they’d say about this one…

    April 10th, 2008 at 4:13 pm

  38. lindsey says:

    how the heck did you guess that Ashley…..and even better, how did you find the link?!

    April 10th, 2008 at 4:50 pm

  39. AJ says:

    I don’t see anyone asking me how I found the link.

    *shedding tear*

    April 10th, 2008 at 8:40 pm

  40. LiteralDan says:

    Okay AJ, here goes: how did you find the link?

    (BTW I received the Gunnar Madsen CD already– thanks again, it’s great!)

    April 11th, 2008 at 7:07 am

  41. AJ says:

    Sorry Dan, that’s proprietary knowledge. I can’t tell you. [insert favorite emoticon]

    If I disclosed my vast network of sources, cheap overseas knock-offs would pop up overnight at thingchild.com, thingbabe.com and thingamababies.com.

    April 11th, 2008 at 7:43 am

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