It is hard to believe that we survived our childhood. I look at Facebook posts and laugh at the ones that show our generation roller skating and biking without helmets, drinking water out of a hose, living in an era without cell phones and video games to entertain us. We played outside all day, bullied and got bullied and learned to stand up for ourselves, we learned to respect our elders, we worked for what we had and did chores around the house and yard. No freebies. People immigrated from Socialist and Communist countries legally to build a new life and an American dream. They worked hard to escape a horrible life and to build a new one, never expecting handouts. (Sorry, I did not intend for this to head into a political ideology.)
I was actually thinking about the fact that it is a miracle our own children have survived their childhood. I mean really, I changed diapers and never had a diaper wipe warmer. My kids were shocked by a cold wipe to the butt. They still had clean diapers, albeit with cold behinds. I am sure my parents thought the same thing when we progressed from cloth diapers to disposable ones.
Bath time consisted of putting the baby in the sink or tub with a towel or sponge underneath them. Not because they needed some elegant way to lounge in the bathtub. Baths were simply a means to clean up. The towel or sponge was simply for safety. The little buggers are slippery when they are wet. Now we can buy special bathtubs that you hook to your sink and shower the baby.
My kids survived cribs with cushions around the sides appropriately called bumper pads, blankets and pillows. Back then we were told not to lay babies on their backs because they could choke. Now you aren't supposed to lay them on their stomachs because they could suffocate. Now what? We have run out of sides.
I had one little swing and an infant seat to help hold the baby. I talked to my kids all the time while they sat in their seats. Oh, I forgot, I also had a walker that my kids loved to be in. Those are also taboo today. I used a playpen to keep the kids safe from themselves when they got mobile. I suppose in today's world that would be considered incarceration. Now we have swings that sing to babies while they are rocked.
My kids learned to sit at the dinner table and participate in social conversation. Now kids are provided with I Pads and phones to entertain them. As they got older and ready to date or go to school dances, I made my boys take me on a date. They learned to open doors, how to behave on a date, how to order a meal and how to pay for it and leave a tip. My boys learned how to treat a lady. My girls were taught to expect proper treatment from their dates. I told Max about my dates with her uncles the other day and she thought it was hysterical.
I like to believe that my children are and will be good parents. That they will take the best of what I could teach them and use it to raise their own. In reality, they are reading books and using that information to guide them. (Remember how well that worked when Dr. Spock wrote his book on childrearing?) At any rate, there is good information in the books, but like what you learn from your parents, you have to pick and choose from the information provided. The problem that I see with the books is that the children themselves do not read them to know what the book says they should be doing. The grown ups have invented all of these gadgets and books to help us raise children. Those grownups are robbing children of the blessing of being children. No one asked the kids what they thought about the gadgets. Children want love. They want safety. They want boundaries. They want to explore and discover. They want to test the waters. They need to succeed and they need to fail.
We survived as parents without books and gadgets. We gave our kids love and guidance. We weren't perfect and yet they survived our flaws and mistakes. We got them to church and helped them with guidance from the greatest Book of all, the Bible. Have a blessed week.
Wife, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Nurse, Grandmother, Friend...that's me in a nutshell!