When the need arises, moms and dads find ways to make things easier. These parenting hacks range from “silly but it works” to “genius! Why didn’t I think of that?” Some ideas are good enough to share with others, even marketed to sell.
A dad who works as a Senior Software Engineer at Google shared one parenting hack others might find useful. Ken Kawamoto designed a T-shirt that lets him play with his son and also have a free, soothing massage (for what parent would pass off a great massage?)! Even better is that you don’t have to be guilty of having some me-time.
The white T-shirt looks simple enough. On the back, there is a print of carefully laid down train tracks with signs or “stations” that read: “right shoulder,” left shoulder,” “spine,” and “lower back.” It’s in Japanese, but you get it.
Kawamoto often works on his laptop while lying tummy down on the floor. One time, his son got bored and started playing with his toy trains with his father's back as the railway. Kawamoto said it “surprisingly felt very refreshing.” “I then came up with this idea to get him to run the train on the particularly massage-needy parts of my back,” he told Bored Panda.
There are two ways to get your massage and have fun with your kid. Kawamoto’s son loves trains, so he enjoys running his toy trains on the tracks going from station to station, a.k.a. his dad’s sore spots. Another alternative is toy cars or any toy with wheels.
The software engineer dad also suggested having your little one put on socks and ask him to walk on the tracks. Your child’s foot back massage intensity (soft, medium, or hard) depends solely on your child’s weight.
A lot of people loved Kawamoto's idea that he took a gamble on recreating it and selling it online. The Massage T-shirt, or Track T-Shirt comes in six colors (white, gray, natural, light pink, light blue, and light yellow) and three sizes (S, M, L). It’s going to set you back for about Php 1,150, not including shipping fees, since it’s being sold at what looks like a Japanese online store.
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Sure, it walks the genius or silly line, but a lot of parents loved the idea. The first video he posted has been retweeted more over 31,000 times with more than 62,000 likes. Some people asked for an XL size, a shirt compatible with Toka toy cars, and a similar “massage product” for the whole body and not just the back. One dad even suggested using drums to prepare the kids for dealing with intense stiffness.
It’s not a guarantee though that it will translate to sales. While some people think of the product as lifesaving and have purchased it, Kawamoto has also inspired people to make their own massage shirts. It's okay. When it comes to parenting hacks, sharing is caring!