My name is Merlin. I work as a Dutch sign language interpreter. I am happily married and have a daughter (2005) and a son (2009). And now, I’m an inventor as well!
The Split and Sit originated from a personal need. I always look forward to the summer vacation, because it is so wonderful to really have time for each other. My husband and I both have busy schedules and so do the children: sports activities, parties, school, tests, assignments and playtime. For us, the summer stop is a time to really get together again and realise what a wonderful family we are.
But one thing about a holiday is far from enjoyable: the car ride. When my husband and I decided to go to a wonderful campsite in France, four years ago, I was reminded of the previous time we had gone there. The campsite was great, but the journey wasn’t. Our kids on the backseat had been frequently harassing each other, which made the twelve hour ride very, very long. I panicked: how do I keep the children happy? What games can I come up with to play in the car? How many presents should I buy for the trip? How do we all reach the campsite without going crazy from the journey?
I decided to talk with the kids about it. Maybe they had suggestions to ease the burden of the journey. My eight year old daughter said, ‘What I hate the most, is that my little brother is constantly watching what I am doing. He watches my iPad, wants to play the same games, makes remarks on my drawing, and takes my coloured pencils.’ Then she said, ‘I wish I had my own space in the car, sometimes.’ That line stuck in my head and it still does!
At that moment, the idea for an invention originated. I started thinking and perfecting. For years, I have worked on my invention, both in my head and with my hands, alone and with others. I spent every free hour on it. The Split and Sit is the result.
This invention makes me very proud. Not just because I believe and hope it will make many parents and children happy, but also because it is an environmentally friendly and recyclable product. It’s made of paper and cardboard, and the fixing materials are durable.
It’s important to me that as many as children as possible will benefit from the Split and Sit, both inside and outside the car. That’s why, for every sold Split and Sit, I will donate one Euro to Stichting Kinderen van de Voedselbank (a Dutch charity organisation for foodbank kids).