Landlines & Empty Lots: 6 Things Your Kids Won't Get


kids cell phoneAs more of us go wireless, the number of households without a landline is growing each year. A new study shows it's not just the young and single who are cell phone only -- 4 in 10 households with children ages 3 and younger don't have a landline.

We're one of those households, although I keep meaning to get a landline hooked up in case of an emergency. As I tried to teach my 4-year-old how to dial 911 on my BlackBerry, I realized the challenges of not only not having a landline, but how many other things she will never have. Sure, those toxic toys of yore are better left behind, but I'm bummed that she'll miss out on some aspects of childhood that I had.

If your child was born in this century, chances are he won't know what these things are either:

1. Saturday Morning Cartoons

In addition to the 24/7 kids programming, our DVR captures shows my kids want to watch, when they want to watch it. Try explaining to a 4-year-old that they can't watch Yo Gabba Gabba because it's not on right now. Blank stares all around.

2. Trophies for Achievements

My daughter came home with her first ribbon after a Halloween costume contest. Did she win? No. They gave out ribbons to everyone before they even announced the winners. Her ribbon says "participant" and she hangs it proudly in her bedroom.

3. Empty Lots

We always could find an empty lot to play in when I was growing up. While the depressed housing market may have some unfinished properties in your neighborhood, no kid would dare wander in and make it his own. Mostly because, you, as a parent, wouldn't let him out of your sight.

4. Front Seat Views

In addition to the recommendation that your kid be in a booster seat until she's 12 (or a large 8-year-old), can you imagine then suddenly putting your child in the front seat before she reaches adult-size? No more fighting between the siblings for the front seat, but also no more hanging with mom or dad in the front.

5. Sunburns

With SPF 5,000 and all of the sun-proof bathing suits, hats, and other precautions -- it's likely this generation will have the lowest rates of skin cancer yet. Also, zero experience in the thrill of peeling off strips of your skin.

What else will our kids never know about?


Images via derek olson/Flickr

cartoons, safety, toddler activities


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Amy B. Nelson Mingo

There are plenty of empty lots here in the Twin Cities thanks to the real estate bubble popping. Rather than resell foreclosed properties, the city is bull dozing them and leaning empty lots in their wake. Also, as pale, pasty Scandinavian/Irish folk, my husband and I still get sunburned every summer. We cannot dutifully apply enough sunscreen to keep it at bay. We have yet to pro-create but should we ever, our poor spawn are doomed to live slathered in the stuff.


Playing in the ditch , playing outside with friends until the street like comes on , playing with a stick in the mud :( lol

Jenny... JennyG0929

Playing outside and when the "mosquito truck" comes spraying you run inside.

Madel... MadelynMc

Wandering around the neighborhood with my best friend. We would pull a red wagon and pick up cinder blocks and other crap people left on the curb and take it home to build stuff, haha. We knew how to get all the way down the block by cutting through every backyard (think holes in fences and tresspassing). OH also this was in Memphis. I would never ever ever ever let my daughter roam the city neighborhoods. Ever.


being able to play outside with friends and not worry.

Megara Megara

Encyclopedias and dictionaries - I remember reading through our set of encyclopedias when I was bored out of my mind.  Now we don't own any encyclopedias or dictionaries.  Or a phone book.

maine... mainemusicmaker

Learning to write cursive in school (did you know they STOPPED teaching this?!?!), playing stick-ball (why do that when they can just plug in the wii?), running barefoot through puddles, lemonade stands (check out the kids whose stand was shut down because they made TOO much $$)....

What's really scary is....the stories I tell them when they're older of how we had fun when *I* was a kid is going to sound erily similar to the "Good-God you're OLD!" stories my mother used to tell me o.O

ethan... ethans_momma06

I miss Saturday morning cartoons- a lot.

nonmember avatar CeNedra

Playing baseball in the street with someone on the look-out to shout "CAR!" when a car came to pause the game!

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