When my kids complain about things as kids do -- walking to school, what's for dinner, longish car rides -- I find myself sounding like an exaggerated version of my grandma who really did walk miles to school in the snow and often brought that up when I'd obnoxiously claim some part of my extremely easy morning routine was unfair.
It's a right of passage for one generation to give another the you-have-no-idea-how-good-you-have-it speech. And you know what, it's always true!
Fellow parents of young kids, we're not that old, but isn't it amazing how much nearly every aspect of kid life has improved since we were in the game?
Thinking has evolved. Fabrics are softer. Playgrounds have those squishy cushioned mats. The list goes on, but here are my top 8 (not including iPads):
- Ice Cream. It was chocolate or vanilla or strawberry. That's it. And you defined yourself by which one you always picked. Ok, except if you lived near a Baskin-Robbins. Now, if a kid can't get Oreo cookies and cream with gummy bears on top they are shocked. Shocked!
- Sunscreen. It didn't feel like summer unless we (stupidly) fried ourselves like the Coppertone baby. Sunscreens came in gels that stung your eyes and only went up to 15 SPF, as I recall. Grownups were still basting themselves in baby oil.
- Chickenpox. Explaining to kids how there was this 'cold' where you used to get itchy spots all over that would sometimes leave scars does kind of sound like we were living in the Middle Ages.
- Cribs. Ours were like mini jail cells on wheels. Pretty much everything was wrong with them. It's amazing we survived.
- Car Seats. Didn't exist. Parents would hold us on their laps in the FRONT seat. Remember how much fun it used to be to call the extra seat in the "way back" of the station wagon? Death trap.
- Strollers. Like fluffy couches with the suspension of a Porche. I could never understand why I had to wrestle my kids into them. I would have taken all my meals there if that was an option.
- Food in general. Kid food used to be gross. We had glop in a jar and way too much bologna. From the get-go babies live the gourmet life now with organic options and those squeezey pouches moms can carry anywhere.
- Clothes. Zara kids. Baby Gap. Crewcuts. If only. Things were scratchy and I still don't understand why there were so many overalls which made everyone's life difficult. And shoes! Remember those stiff white "first" shoes that felt like cement blocks? Thank God for baby Converse.
Image via Kimberlykv/Flickr