a computer, a placenta and mosquitoes – there is a thread here, I promise….

A recent post on WordPress about the 10 most idiotic parenting products, which included a teddy bear made from a placenta – no, I am not kidding – got me thinking about the crap I bought as a newbie parent (wipe-warmer at the top of the list) and the useless crap I have bought my kids… (too many things to list)

The very next day, my mom said she thought my kids, entering KG and 2nd this fall, would get more use out of her computer than she would and she wanted to move it upstairs.  The placenta post and the computer made me wonder what in the world I did for entertainment when I was little?

So, Sunday night, when we have “family dinner” with my parents, I asked them what I played with when I was little.

As I am 43, it took my mom a while to think back and come up with a list.

Mom recalled that I did not like dolls, Barbie or otherwise.  But I loved to read and draw on my “etch a sketch,” played tons of card and board games like Old Maid and Monopoly, Clue and Battleship, invented elaborate make-believe games with neighborhood pals, and competed in a lot of sports – tennis, swimming, kick-ball and ping-pong.

To which I replied, “but what about when I was really little – too young to walk, barely old enough to crawl?  Did I have an exer-saucer, a kick-n-play, a special red/white/black padded mat to lie on that had a mobile arched over me, an automatic baby swing?”

No, no, no, no and no.  I had a play-pen with some stuffed animals – as did every other child born in 1967.

At the dinner table, in-between bites, my kids were amazed, listening to how I spent my time growing up.  We did not have a Wii, Xbox, computer, or other electronic toys.  We had a relatively small collection of games and toys that were contained in our bedrooms – certainly not a “playroom.”  I am not sure my kids would have really believed of such a simple childhood if their grandmother had not confirmed it.

One of the major benefits of having my parents live in our house is the perspective conversations like this give my kids.  It is important to me that they have some idea of the past – and that they hear about it from their grandparents makes it real to them.  If you are a parent, you know what I am talking about  – the familiar roll of the eyes, telling you, “mom, I am really not listening to you…”  That never happens when my mom tells my kids what’s what.

So, it is entirely appropriate that after dinner my kids asked if they could stay inside and play on the computer.  To which my husband and I responded, “No, go in the backyard and play.”

They obeyed and went to their special tree for the better part of an hour – they continued their make-believe game about Tom and Jerry and my daughter, who is catnip for mosquitoes, came in with several whopper bites.

Now, that sounds familiar – just like when I was a kid…


2 responses to this post.

  1. My guy had a brother 9 years older. Their parents were very strict with him about what he could have. It had to be educational, made of hemp or burlap, and was not allowed to be cool or fun in any way, shape or form. He has, in turn, spoiled his two girls with every thing you could imagine, not to mention himself as well!

    We were all discussing this over Midsommar dinner, and the kids were amazed. You are right. It’s great to teach them that how they live is not how everyone has lived, or even has the opportunity to.


  2. Posted by Cheryl Sperberg on August 17, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    Love the photo! Love the blog! What a terrific writer and a great lady you are! I feel inspired! Hope to see you at the next book club!


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