Friday, October 10, 2008

When I Was A Kid...

Last weekend my granddaughter went to her first concert and she’s only three. Three. Well, it wasn’t a ‘concert’ in the sense that you’re probably thinking. She went to see The Backyardigans.

When I was a kid growing up in the sixties and early seventies, The Backyardigans didn’t exist, nor did Dora the Explorer or SpongeBob or any of the hundreds of other shows geared toward children. There was no 24/7 of children’s entertainment. The Disney Channel and Nickelodeon were unheard of. Cable was unheard of. We got our cartoon fix on Saturday mornings and a few times a year with holiday specials. We watched those same specials over and over…once a year. Kids today can watch their favorites over and over all year round because they have them on DVD. We didn’t have DVD players back then; or VCRs. If you wanted to enjoy a story over and over again you walked to the library, checked out a book, read it and then reread it.

When I was a kid they didn’t have video games, computers, MP3 players or cell phones. I didn’t play a home video game until I was 15. I got my first ‘boom box’ after I was married; it had radio and a tape deck, CD players weren’t around yet. My first computer was purchased in 1988 when I was 26 years old; a Tandy from RadioShack with a dot matrix printer. That printer took ages to print one page, but at the time it didn’t seem that slow.

My grandson turned seven on Sunday. And yes, my son turned 29. Ouch, that makes me feel old. Anyhoo, we had a get together at my house to celebrate. My granddaughter couldn’t make it as she was at a ‘concert’. When it came time to open presents my grandson got amongst other things, a CD, two games for his Play Station 2 and an iPod. Yes, an iPod. I did mention that he’s seven, didn’t I?

Things sure have changed since I was growing up. Kids nowadays have it so much better than I did. Though in retrospect I guess I didn’t have it as bad as my parents. They had to walk uphill to school both ways…in the snow.

19 comments:

Rebeckah said...

I can't believe you have a 29 year old son! Seriously, you look like one of my best friends who is only 32. AND, I think you are skinny.

Sue said...

My husband is 29... wow. My kids don't have their own playstation or ipods. Heck, my daughter (ten) is still begging for a digital camera. I'm too afraid she'll break it. I used to have to walk a mile to school myself, in the snow, both ways. haha. Those days are long gone.

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

Seven?!? iPod?!?! Dude. I got my first iPod at 30. Something smells fishy...

Selma said...

I also cannot believe you have a 29 year old son. You look fabulous.

Times really have changed, haven't they? I remember when my family got a colour TV some time in the late 70s. We thought we were the bees knees.

My son has a PS2 and a DVD player etc. but he doesn't have an iPod. Would you believe he prefers my old Walkman which still works after all these years?

It's true you can't fight technology but sometimes it's nice to see the kids engaging in some of the old past times like hide'n'seek and having races with matchbox cars. I love that!

Eva said...

Remember the first days of remote control TV when the remote only had "channel up", "channel down" and the on/off button? Turning the volume up or down required getting your lazy ass off the couch. Or making your daughter Eva do it for you...or was that just my dad?

meleah rebeccah said...

NO way do you have a 29 year old son...

NO. Way.

But. Um Yeah. The times have changed sooooo much. I didnt have any of the 'toys' or 'games' or 'things for entertainment' purposes as my son does.

I had to use my good old fashioned imagination. That was until the Atari & Rubix Cube were invented.

Skeeter said...

Hi ya L. Now that you mention it, I feel really old thinking back to all of that "state of the art" stuff. My first computer was, I thought, a masterpiece of engineering. then I upgraded to a Commodore 64. I got the Assembly language compiler for it on a floppy and thought I could really program. All of these years later, I'm still in that business ...

Badass Geek said...

One of my wife's coworkers gave her 10-year-old son an iPod for Christmas last year. He had it for two days before he dropped it and broke the screen.

I can't imagine the sense in giving a 7-year-old one, unless the kid is extremely responsible for his age.

Heather said...

I made my daughter wait to get her ipod til last christmas and she had to pay for it herself with money she got as gifts. No way would she have gotten one at 7 or 10. I realized that maybe at 15 she still isn't responsible enough to have one. She wanted to take it to school! The rule from day one was that she wasn't allowed to do that, and it hasn't changed in nearly a year that she's had it. She argued with me about it being "hers" and if it gets stolen, "she's" the one who has to suffer, and wouldn't shut up until she found herself grounded for a week. Yeah, kids don't deserve as much as we give them. Why do we do that?

Lisa J said...

I remember those days too. We had four channels on the tv as well. ABC, CBS, NBC, and then the educational channel OETA I think. My granson has all those things you mentioned and I just don't get it. What do they have to look forward to, and why spend so much money when they are sooooo young. Oh well, life huh? Have a great weekend! I am getting a grand kid fix in about 8 hours!

Moonspun said...

I am so with you on all the lack of technology when I was a kid. I don't know that kids have it easier now. I think they are used to all the gadgets and stuff, but is it better? I think it would be overhwhelming! My daughter is 8 and has a cheap MP3 players. She's got a long way to go before getting an iPod. Like Heather said, buying it herself somehow.

LceeL said...

I grew up in the 50's. I'm not so sure kids today have it better than we did. First of all, there were LOTS of kids in our neighborhood - all about the same age. Baby boomers, you know. EVERYBODY played outside. You came home from school, changed your clothes, went outside to play and did your homework after supper. Because there wasn't anything all that interesting for kids on TV anyway. If you even HAD a TV.

Nobody's house was all closed up, unless they weren't home. Most of the time, nobody even locked their doors - and we lived in the city of Chicago. People used to sit out on the stoop in the evening, neighbors new each other, and knew each other's business, too. Windows in the house were almost always open, and arguments carried on the wind like Indian smoke signals.

Yes, kids today have more 'stuff'. I just not sure that they have it all that much better.

Miss Grace said...

Eh, I was raised by pot smoking hippies, so we didn't have TV or video games or anything else even though they WERE technically available. BUT. When the family business is a night club? You start going to concerts (real ones!) awfully young.

Kim's Korner said...

Count me in as one of the ones who thought it was 'supercool!' to be one of the first in her 'crowd' to get a VHS recorder ... oh no ... no Beta for this baby!

And the Intellivision arrived in our house shortly after that. Which again fell into the 'supercool' category because it was a step up from the Atari that most of my friends had.

The problem with technology, is having to keep up with the better, faster, supercooler models.

I'll be the first to admit my boys have more than they should. One of the 'down sides' of divorce I think, overcompensation in the 'stuff' department.

They have a gamecube, xbox and PS2, and NOW they want a wii for xmas.

They had portable CD players, they wanted mp3 players, they had mp3 players and then this summer they wanted ipods.

They're 12 & 8.

They ended up getting second hand ipods (which were MUCH cheaper and still looked new) and had to contribute their own money to as well.

But unfortunately, enough is never enough :-(

Three computer systems in the house but we NEED a NEW one cause ours are too slow and don't have enough memory for the NEW online games out there.

ENOUGH!!!!!!

Mama would just be happy to get a new pair of shoes! *sniff*

P.S. Sorry that got so long!

Fraughter said...

Okay.... so I got my son an ipod @ seven. For the record, it was a cheap shuffle version that has no screen. He also got a guitar when he was three months from my mother!!! I look at it this way

1. I dont have to listen to his loud music

2. It allows him to show me how responsible he can be.

3. It gives me something to take away when he is acting up.

I remember having a walkman, And all the cassetes I would carry around. And before that it was the big boombox on the shoulder, fully loaded with 8 D batteries!!

Lola said...

I'm with Lou! I don't think kids today have it better at all. We played outside all the time, and we were all happy.

I'm so glad I grew up with none of the technology, and I'm glad my son could care less about it. He's an outdoor kid, too.

Skeeter said...

There is somethng comforting in also having to had walked to school uphill in both directions with waist deep snow almost every day!

Best wishes,

Skeeter

Liz said...

No iPods for my kids. I hope they enjoy their fun gifts!

~Liz
http://agiveawayaday.blogspot.com/

meleah rebeccah said...

Are you alright? Long time and no post from you....