I wrote a little python script to automate the process of parenting a shape node to an object as this feature currently isn’t available in the maya ui for some reason. It is very useful for cleaning up objects that you want to exist independently but underneath one common transform node. At the moment the script only works in maya 2011 but I will update it soon.
You can download it through creative crash:
All you need to do is select to objects and run the script from maya’s script editor (you can also add it to the shelf by selecting the script, holding down ctrl-shift-alt and left click dragging it onto the shelf). I will write up an break down of what the script does if anyone is interested in a basic primer.