Tuesday, April 29, 2008

What didn’t they have when YOU were little (or, older than dirt)

As far as Sophie is concerned, there have been four major time periods. And none of them end in "zoic." In her mind, the earth has gone through 4 major eras: dinosaur times, when Abraham Lincoln was president, when Grandma was little, and since she was born. That's it. I've tried to discuss this with her, but frankly, time is something we all pretty much take on faith. Sure, we've been TOLD that once humankind believed the world was flat and people actually PAID for their music, but for a 5 year old (five and four quarters, she tells anyone who asks her how old she is) the idea of a world that wasn't exactly the same as it is now is pretty suspect.

She has a lot of questions about this. We've had a lot of talks that start with her asking, "What didn't they have when grandma was little?" or "What didn't they have when you were little?" or, of course, "What didn't they have when Abraham Lincoln was president."

As far as what "they" didn't have when I was little, the list is huge. Sure, there are things like computers and cell phones, but I'm talking about the IMPORTANT things. The ones she is the most blown away by, however, include…

  • White boards (Think about it....Did you have white boards or chalk boards in your classrooms as a kid?)
  • Post-it notes (How did we live without the magic?)
  • Chicken McNuggets (These came out when I was 5, I think. I still remember KFC getting their panties in a twist and all those commercials about leaving chicken to the chicken experts.)
  • Seatbelts (I guess they were THERE, but mostly they were shoved behind the seat and covered in various car crust.)
  • Water bottles

Of course, I've had to defend myself a little, and remind her of the things we DID have that you can't get/see now. Like…

  • Jem (However, tons of episodes are on youtube, if you didn't know. Soph LOVES them. Bonus points if you can remember who Jem/Jerica's purple haired boyfriend was. Triple bonus points if you remember the name of the lead singer of the Misfits.)
  • The Hamburglar and Grimace
  • Shrinkydinks
  • Keytars

Ok. That list isn't by any stretch exhaustive. But I'm running out of time here, and wanted to highlight the IMPORTANT things.

As far as what "they" didn't have when Grandma was little, she's most interested in the fact that there were no pants—for girls. Soph thinks this is a sweet, sweet idea. Who knows why? She loves dresses, but why does she want to wish them on everyone?

In regards to what Abraham Lincoln and his peers had to do without, I pretty much tell her--everything. No batteries. No plugs. No Walmart. No grocery store. This freaks her out, and she feels very bad for him. Often, she'll console herself by saying, out of the blue, "Well, I guess President Lincoln had lots of horses. That must have been nice."

So…Comment whore want to know…

What DIDN'T "they" have when you were little? What DID "they" have?


D mother of 2 said...

I remember the mini piano's that we had as kids. The pocket sized one's that had the color-coded sheet music... What about Smurfs, Paw-Paws, and Snorkels (you can now view them on Boomerang but it just isn't the same). I miss Punky Brewster. I could go on forever, I think we didn't take "things" for granted like this new generation (but we did take security for granted unlike the generation before).

Katy said...

Her boyfriends name is Rio and he spent the vast majority of his time rescuing Jem/Jerica or one of her buddies and/or stewing over the fact that he liked Jem but didn't want to hurt Jerica DRAMA!

The lead singer of the misfits name starts with a P but i can never remember it, except i do remember her REAL name. It's Phyllis. I liked Stormer better anyway. She had pretty hair.

We had: Gummi Bears, the TV show not the candy. Fraggle Rock DUDE! Super pimpin hair bows that were the size of your head. The rocking Side Pony Tail. Clarrisa Explains it All. Duck Tales, Ooh WOO hoo! Our version of Strawberry Shortcake was WAY better so I'm counting her. Also lots of scratch and sniff stuff.

We did not have...well, nothing truly truly truly outrageous. I miss the 80s.

patrice said...

there's plenty of stuff we had that you can't get today, but I'll tell you...I just can't get over cell phones. how much my childhood would have been different with them. how the world would have been different with them. maybe better, maybe worse, but seriously, you can get in touch with ANYONE, ANYWHERE. it's amazing.

I keep thinking each generation feels next is way more brazen than they were, and I have to say I feel the same. but I wonder how much more brazen kids can be than what they are today. perhaps future generations of little girls will be wearing lingerie to school like it's no big deal, and boys in oversized pants will be the norm.

also, get offa my grass, you rotten kids!

Marksthespot said...

Just was talking about one this morning: When I started high school, no one had (and long after graduation my family still didn't have) call waiting, caller ID or voicemail. Imagine being unreachable by phone, just because you were on the phone. Will our kids even know what a busy signal is?

~A~ said...

Did you have white boards or chalk boards in your classrooms as a kid? - Yes, and we had a white board at home. You were deprived.

Jem (However, tons of episodes are on youtube, if you didn't know. Soph LOVES them. Bonus points if you can remember who Jem/Jerica's purple haired boyfriend was. Triple bonus points if you remember the name of the lead singer of the Misfits.) Do I get infinity bonus points for still owning both a Jem/Jerica doll and a Pizzaza doll?

Shrinkydink type paper exists in craft stores. It's cool shit. I like it more than the kids. Actual shrinkydinks are still around, but you have to order them online.

NME said...

How did anyone know anything or get any question answered before the computer? Noah asks something and I look it up or show him a video on Youtube. When we were kids it was like "Go to the library and look in the card catalog."

You are such a teacher - giving us little writing assignments with each post.

reddirtgirl said...

I must be too old to remember Jem and Jerica. We had the Bionic Woman and Charlies Angels. Todays female role models just DO NOT measure up.

I am new to the world of blogging and Paul recommended I check yours out. You completely crack me up!

(Jennifer's sister if you can't tell from the picture.)