@PlutoIsAPlanet Used to be there was nothing interesting inside (unless you were a precocious reader, but even that industry would have been less developed I think), and you were a lot freer outside. Now inside is candy and outside is probably just a small bit of grass you’re not allowed to leave, for safety of course.
Eh, or maybe it’s as much a question of place. Don’t we all live in cities now?
@InnocuousFarmer true - i loved doing outdoor stuff as a kid because the outdoors i had access to were wonderful. i live in a one bedroom in boston now, outdoors is a driveway. not saying city kids don’t have fun outside hanging out with friends, making up games, whatever, but for me personally a lot of the stuff i loved doing as a kid (swimming, gardening, sitting outside in the grass) is stuff i’d still enjoy doing but i just can’t. i rarely spend any time outdoors at all.
Tonka trucks and construction equipment in the side yard where we were free to make dirt mountains, push tunnels through them, run a garden hose to make rivers, lakes, waterfalls, and build erector set bridges and lego buildings, and then have Major Matt Mason’s moon base, cannon, lunar walker, etc come down to earth and defend it from evil aliens.
I remember playing in dirt. That was a good time. Tall piles of dirt. Hills. In the summer, there was this mud that’d be full of cracks. You could pick up the top layer and it’d be brittle. That was great.
@chienfou@hchavers@PocketBrain I liked the Captain, Mr. Moose and the crew, but always thought Dancing Bear was a little creepy. Hmm, now that I think about it, has anyone ever seen Mr. Moose and Glen together in the same room?
I didn’t have much play time. I was kept in the house. Mostly cleaning and doing dishes ever since I grew to reach the top of the sink(drainboard). Then on to doing all the cooking. I didn’t know anything else. Maybe some TV time, which was watching whatever my parents watched.
@Boiler3k haha. You’re older, then. I barely remember Vacu-form but it’s kinda familiar. But not the army guys…just saw 1 on Ebay. Kinda like Creepy Crawlers but MOLTEN LEAD! WTF? How did we ever survive?? I also remember making paperweights out of resin - I can still recall that smell…
My brother played “chemistry” in the basement. Unsupervised. My parents bought him this stuff and then let him do his thing. One time he accidentally mixed something or other in an aluminum pie tin, which was a catalyst and boom! Blew out the furnace pilot light and had to have over 200 pieces of red phosphorus picked out of his eyes. He was VERY lucky. He blew apart something else using a mortar and pestle and needed stitches in his hand. When we went on vacation at the beach he had made little cherry bombs with really long fuses. We’d bury them in a sand castle and blow them up. No parent of any of the kids around this activity seemed to care or intervene.
My senior year in high school I jokingly said (he was 2 grades behind me) he and his buddies should do something to get us dismissed early. Contact explosive on the floor in the main hall (only goes crackle crackle when you walk on it) and a smoke bomb in the ventilating system of the newer wing of the building. The school finally gave up and let us out an hour early after several announcements over the PA system threatening to eviscerate whomever was responsible and suspend them (yeah right it was the last day of school). I never suspected he’d actually do something. Fortunately he and his buddies didn’t get caught. And of course my parents had little idea he was making this kind of stuff. They just bought what he said he needed for his chemistry interest.
He actually was working on a degree in chemistry while working full time doing custom color tinting of roof tar and other stuff like that (he had art talent too) so while junior high and high school aged his playing, mostly unsupervised, with chemistry stuff actually led to something.
I do think there is value in letting kids suffer natural consequences of decisions (well with some limits and some interventions - my parents were probably a bit too free range with us but nobody died) and explore interests that way in a free form way has value that many current kids are missing out on in life.
@Kidsandliz sounds like you read our homeschool curriculum prospectus… Both kids survived, intact, with all limbs and faculties. Both are independent thinkers and very creative/able to work with what they are handed.
@chienfou Sounds like your homeschool curriculum was a good one.
I think several things are at play that help kids grow up to be independent and creative problem solvers, pick themselves up when they screw up/fail and keep going, find what they love and then figure out how to accomplish that…
When I grew up helicopter parenting was rare and few kids were over programed (our Saturday mornings were at the art museum and later, at least in my case, the art institute, swimming lessons until we passed all levels for safety reasons, music lessons at home, and beyond that it was up to us). Further our parents weren’t scared we’d be kidnapped if we left the yard.
Also I do think our parents supported us when we were interested in something but didn’t push us, didn’t reward us, but did give us the opportunities and let us do what we would with them figuring intrinsic motivation and intrinsics rewards were best (actually research backs that up about rewards and motivation). My mom was a kindergarten teacher before kids and then when she had to later, and so knew how to set up educational opportunities just as a matter or this is how life is, no real sit us down to teach at X hour type of thing.
They also believed in natural consequences. Likely they had subtle back ups in place to prevent total stupidity that would have outcomes that would be hard to recover from (not sure they understood my brother wanted to make explosives to blow things up in the sandbox or to blow up ant hills though…). They also set up situations where they figured the odds were we’d learn something. They didn’t make a big deal out of it and we’d just proceed as if this was part of the way life worked.
And when faced with problems they let us work through it, didn’t do it for us, only asked us questions or occasionally gave us suggestions if we were truly stumped. They appeared confident we’d figure it out and any praise we’d get was specific to the situation, not general, and was actually earned. They also expected us to be able to do these things; this is how life was. If we wanted help we had to figure out how to ask specific questions we needed answered or helped with. I think they understood that when you learn by experience the learning sticks.
Oh and books were all over the place in the house. We all loved to read (I got in trouble with my job shelving books as a kid as I’d start reading them instead of shelving them. So I decided to shelve the non-fiction thinking then I wouldn’t find stuff to read. Wrong!). When we were bored we’d be told read a book, go outside, find friends to play with, clean the bathroom. Nope on the last option. It was our problem to solve the boredom issue and we learned quickly we’d be sent to clean if we couldn’t figure out how to solve the boredom problem ourselves. They presumed we were competent and could solve our own problems unless proven otherwise.
Of course as kids we thought little of this. It was just how life was. Just as dad was disabled and we had to help him with all sorts of stuff. This was just how life was. I think we were very lucky growing up.
@Kidsandliz@mediocrebot Yeah, books all over is how our house has always been. When the kids were younger they made countless trips to the bookshelf to get an encyclopedia when they asked a question at the dinner table…
@chienfou The best collection of books in a house I ever have seen is my college roommate’s house. Her mom was on the committee to decide kids’ books Caldicott winners. Shelves and shelves of all these good books (winners and all the ones included in the group to be considered besides who knows what else). 12 kids in that family and except for one kid who had his entire dresser full and a pile on the floor at least 3’ high of origami (he later went on to write origami books and put origami articles to make them in SW Airline’s magazine), there were books all over in everyone’s rooms.
@llangley Ohhh - that was the toy I REALLY wanted, a Creepy Crawler maker! But my mother was strict and didn’t approve of them. I knew a boy who had one and I loved making the smallest ones in wild color combos. I especially liked that tiny lizard. At Christmas that year my hopes were high because there was a box the right size under the tree - but it was an ugly little plastic loom with weird cotton yarn - I was sooo disappointed.
@Kyeh@llangley Was this a rectangle that you made pot holders from (eg wove them)? When I was little we had one and I made a pot holder for Mrs. Santa Claus to go along with mom and dad’s favorite cookies that were always left out. Mom said much later she was in a panic what to do with it. Finally gave it to a friend.
@llangley Oh, nice! Do you still have that afghan? My mother disapproved of a lot of things, so I didn’t get to have Barbies either, until some family friends gave me one (I guess she thought Barbie looked too trampy, with that eye-shadow and pointy boobs. )
And no comic books either, and we didn’t have a TV until I was12. No wonder I grew up to be so odd. I got a whole lot of books read, though. And she did allow other dolls, which I liked, and the original Troll dolls! Did you have those? I still have my best ones, haha!! My mother wasn’t religious but growing up in Japan her views on how kids should be were quite different from the typical American mom.
@Kidsandliz@llangley Aww, that’s sweet! I didn’t have the potholder loom but my friends did. Mine was a real loom with the warp and weft and shuttle, but I wasn’t interested in it. If it had prettier yarn I think that would have made the difference. I did plenty of other artsy craftsy things, though.
@Kyeh yes, I had troll dolls too although they kinda creeped me out. I was never a girly-girl (not that there’s anything wrong with that, just wasn’t me) so not much doll-playing. Stuffed animals was a COMPLETELY different story, though . I read a shitload of books, mostly about horses - Misty of Chincoteague and stuff like that. Unfortunately I don’t have the afghan any more but it looked kinda like this one
@Kyeh@llangley Yup that was the one. Don’t remember the color of ours but what we made came out looking exactly like the one in that image. Mom used them for years (we likely made a zillion of them - not so sure mom didn’t disassemble the ones she liked the least once we forgot which ones we made and threw the loops back into the supply pile) so I think they likely were thick and big enough as I don’t think she’d use them if she burnt her fingers. For at least a couple of years all our teachers in elementary school got those as christmas presents.
I’d love to see the age distribution on this. I bet playing outside skews heavy 50+. When I was a kid there were no video games, pcs or even CDs for that matter. (Listen to AM radio by Everclear for some insight). I have wonderful memories of me and 4 or 5 of my best friends hanging out up in a huge willow tree that grew out over the lake. I wonder how many of today’s moms would feel about their kids 10 to 25 feet up in a tree for on a daily basis.
@Boiler3k those things didn’t come around to some of us for a long time. i was never allowed to have video games at all (closest i got was a videopainter - a big tablet that hooked up to the tv that you could draw or play tangrams on), and we didn’t have a computer until i was in high school and internet a couple years in. CDs we did have i guess, but i experienced the transition - in my youth it was all cassette tapes. (and my father’s giant vinyl collection which also had tapes and then CDs.) i’m 36. (i don’t dispute your point that playing outside almost certainly skews older though!)
@Boiler3k We were up in trees like that. So was my kid. At a friend’s house my kid and her friend would jump off the roof of the playhouse onto the trampoline or drop off a tree branch onto it. They were 10ish at the time.
Growing up we lived next door to the church (dad was the minister) and their parking lot always had huge snow plow piles (snow belt). In junior high we made an igloo out of one. Our parents let us spend the night in it. I doubt many parents would allow that today either.
a bit of everything. swimming was my favorite (esp at the beach where i could also collect shells), but if no water was available i also enjoyed gathering mud and plants and pretending i was julia child in her kitchen. helping my grandparents in either the flower or vegetable gardens was definitely high on the list, as well as bike riding. sometimes i would just set up outside with some chalk or some paper and markers. i loved to make cards for people, or if one of my gramma’s friends was unwell i’d make a big posterboard and she’d take a picture of me holding it.
inside i loved examining, arranging, cleaning my various collections. shells, superballs, littlest pet shop…as i got older i had beanie babies, pogs, etc. i also really liked dolls. i had a large collection of cabbage patch, but also several other dolls, and later a collection of american girl dolls/books/furniture/clothes/etc. i treated them like real babies, i always had a carseat, diaper bag, diapers, food, change of clothes, etc. they all had specific names and you had to be gentle with them.
@jerk_nugget i did also like some tv, although i wasn’t allowed to watch much outside of pbs but that was okay. sesame street, mr. rogers, mathnet (all of square one really). also enjoyed watching pee wee’s playhouse on saturday with my dad and wheel of fortune with gramma. we’d always place bets to see what color dress vanna would come out wearing. she and i also liked julia child and the frugal gourmet. i also remember she really tried to get me to love anne of green gables for some reason, but i couldn’t care less.
i remember getting the oblong newsprint tv guide in the paper every sunday and how it sat in a basket by the couch so you could look up what was going to be on when. and if you saw an actor that looked familiar, my dad would get out this thick paperback book that’s essentially the paper version of imdb.
@jerk_nugget Pee wee’s Playhouse was the coolest, weirdest kid’s show ever! It’s a shame that Paul whatsisname got in trouble because that was one creative, strange, funny show - I was no kid when it was airing but I loved it.
@jerk_nugget Yeah, I meant the first arrest and I agree with you completely. It just seemed like a shame to lose such a cool show for what seemed to me a minor thing. I didn’t know about the second arrest. I just read about it on Wikipedia and I see what you mean about it being murky.
@Kyeh supposedly at that time pee-wee’s playhouse had already been cancelled by pee-wee himself…er, paul reubens. of course, if he had changed his mind and wanted to do more, i’m sure there’s no way they would have allowed it in light of how much of the public viewed the arrest.
my dad actually recorded every episode on vhs, and he kept in the 80s commercials and everything. he recorded a handful of shows he knew were too good to last very long, but there was one that ended up lasting quite a bit longer than anyone thought - the simpsons. he stopped recording that one some twenty or thirty years ago XD
@jerk_nugget Oh, I didn’t know that about Pee Wee’s Playhouse. Good for your dad for recording them! Hah, yeah - the Simpsons, who’d have thought such an out-there show would be such a huge success. And then there’s South Park - I’m not a fan myself, but it sure did well for a weird little cartoon produced by two CU film school grads.
I also liked Dr. Who in the Tom Baker days - I loved the cheesy-looking aliens and the whole amateurish feel of it back then. My favorite though was Red Dwarf - did you ever watch that?
@jerk_nugget@tinamarie1974 Woah, I just looked it up, and discovered that it’s still being made! They haven’t shown it on any channels here for years. I also didn’t realize that the guy who plays The Cat also stars in Trouble in Paradise, a Brit comedy-mystery (but now that I know that I realize that yes, of course that’s him.)
@Kyeh never did see red dwarf, looking it up i see it was a bbc show which is something i didn’t really have access to. (unless it was something my dad made a point to hunt down, like we love fawlty towers and the avengers for instance.) i’ve just spent awhile reading the wikipedia, and asking my partner about it as he loves sci-fi and has seen more than me. (he said he thought it was okay, but he didn’t see the whole series and could have appreciated it more had he watched the whole arc. he also says all his friends loved it and still quote it from time to time.)
have to admit i never got into doctor who, except [extremely unpopular opinion incoming] for the matt smith arc which i really enjoyed.
@jerk_nugget Red Dwarf was(and I guess still is) kind of a spoof on the serious sci fi shows like Star Trek, which was what I liked about it, but I think some sci fi fans thought it was dumb. I was a pretty lightweight Dr. Whoovian because I only watched it in the Tom Baker days. I guess the latest doctor is a woman?
@chienfou yeah, broadchurch was great. also really enjoyed him in jessica jones. AND i got very excited to see him in another murder/crime show until i realized that “starring david tennant” actually meant “guest star in first episode.” that was “criminal” on netflix - really enjoyed his episode and watched several more but ultimately couldn’t get over the really weird format and dubbing.
@Kyeh yup, she is! i watched the first handful of episodes and she’s really enjoyable. but like other seasons it just didn’t grab me as much as other stuff i’ve been watching and i just have so much already to get through so it just sunk to the bottom of the pile. i didn’t delete it from our media server though so, i suppose that says a little something lol.
@chienfou@jerk_nugget@tinamarie1974 Thanks, that looks really good, and it looks like maybe I can get it fromNetflix? I wonder if my local PBS station ever had it? There are so many things to watch I can’t keep up with them. There’s something called Baptiste starting tonight that looks promising.
@Kyeh we recently switched to youtubeTV and i had to finally kiss goodbye my dvr that was full of things i swore i was going to “get around to watching” haha! but yeah between the equivalent on youtubeTV (the “library”), netflix, stuff i have downloaded, amazon…so many things! and yet still sometimes i feel like there is nothing to watch XD
@cranky1950 yep. All you needed to be safe was a tetanus shot every now and then! I remember riding my bike to the Alton locks from our house in Florissant (about 15 miles, and across the Mississippi river from our house). No thought about child abductions, molesters etc. Times were simpler then.
I read a lot, but I also spent a lot of time outside.
My mother had a bell hanging by the back door, which she rang when it was time for us to go home. Until she rang it she knew we were somewhere in the neighborhood, but that’s it.
It’s a shame that kids today don’t have that kind of freedom. It’s at least as safe these days, but everyone’s been trained to fear things that are less likely that getting hit by lightning or winning the lottery.
@craigthom That sounds like how we grew up - kicked out of the house and told not to come back until the bell rang for dinner or to come in at night. Because several families in the neighborhood had bells each family had a different ring. Ours was ring ring, pause, ring ring, pause ring ring.
@craigthom i think most kids would do what we did - have harmless fun with their friends. but i would worry nowadays that my kid might try to meet up with someone they met on the internet and that person may not be who they promised.
We’d be booted out of the house (and especially if we said we were bored so we learned quickly not to say we were bored even if we were) and told not to come back in until dinner or dark (we had a bell a parent would ring to get our attention). Since much of the neighborhood was kicked out as well we’d wander the neighborhood as a gang of kids with a good 10 year age range between us.
We’d (eg bunch of us from the neighborhood) play giant kick the can games around the church yard or vampires (a game we made up with elements of kick the can, tag and a jail, 2 people “it”, one guards the jail where if we were touching “electricity” would free us if someone not caught tagged someone) or take turns riding home made skateboards down the wide church’s sidewalk with a hill that went to the street (and then into the street if we couldn’t make the turn prior to the street 0 it was a busy 4 lane street so we’d have one person posted as car look out so we’d know it was safe to go).
We’d get on our bikes and ride to the lake and ride the path around it, play in the stream, skipped rocks, if we walked to the lake (so our bikes wouldn’t be stolen) we’d follow the stream upstream which would land us in the inner city - kids there would be walking towards us but never any issues. We’d throw dry ice in the lake if we could get our hands on any.
We’d ride our bikes to the school playground (school was 3/4 of a mile away). Play in the sandbox, and just “kick around”. We’d play weird games like running from one side of the side walk to the other with someone who had to stay on the sidewalk tried to tag us. We were only safe if we had on the color they called out. I distinctly remember in 4th grade making sure mom bought me a shirt with a zillion colors on it that just for that game LOL. We would climb trees, dare each other to hang and drop out of one of them (about a 6’ drop) until a parent caught us doing that and cut the branch off. We’d sneak into the house to get multiple decks of cards (who knows how many decks our parent had to buy due to lost cards).
We’d play in the sprinkler, try to flood out ant hills (my brother and a few other kids would use a magnifying glass to try to burn the ant hill and ants), fill the canoe to use as a pool, make mud piles soaking parts of yards that had limited to no grass, make ponds in the sandbox…
I’d also read books and be yelled at trying to read them at the dinner table or under my covers at night with a flashlight.
In the winter we’d pack the sidewalk with snow, throw water on it and slide down in bare feet to make it ice faster. We’d then run inside, stand on the radiator cover while our feet would thaw out, go back outside, rinse and repeat. Finally we’d have a sheet of ice and slide down it with our snow boots on. We’d build igloos, have snowball fights, build snowmen, try to build really tall snow statues and hope they newspaper or news station would randomly drive by and take a photo (nope never happened - we didn’t understand it took connections and a call to make that happen).
I am reasonably sure no parent in the neighborhood had any clue what we were up to. Especially our trips to the lake and adventures there. When someone in the group finally had a wrist watch we’d know when to get our butts back home and be in the neighborhood so we’d hear the bells calling us. Surprisingly no one ever got hurt and we did learn from screwups - relieved our parents didn’t find out.
At the family farm (of a grandparent) we had trips to the “haunted” house (house falling down that we’d go into and dig around), hide and seek in a corn field, build dams on the stream, catch frogs and tadpoles, make expeditions to find blueberries on a neighboring farm (ours had plenty of blackberries and raspberries), visiting the owner (long white beard and hair and with “quirks”) of that farm who lived in shack with around 20 dogs and never cleaned his barn once. He showed us his hip replacement scar, didn’t wear underwear, took us into his barn and showed us the baby pigs suckling on a sheep… He also didn’t believe men had been to the moon and planted poison ivy around the parameter of his property which he had posted. All in all quite a character who fascinated the lot of us.
We’d shoot off rockets in the yard using a car battery for power, , put fireworks in pop bottles and shoot them off at the top of the hill, swim in the pond, fish for blue gills with a stick with string using grasshoppers as bait (and then toss them over the dam into the stream below - vain hope by the adults that we’d fish them out). And as folks were older and there were cell phones, walk to the top of the big hill or up the mile long dirt driveway hunting for a cell signal (none in the valley).
Oh I forgot about the alleged gold mine. We’d poke around in that (most of it was flooded so we’d try to find stuff to drop in there attached with string to find the bottom). And throw dried cow pies at each other frisbee style (didn’t work all that well as frisbees). We’d walk the 90 acre property line hunting for the remains of the fruit orchard that used to be there to eat fruit and of course with a soccer field length of blackberries we gorged on them daily poking around in there - never asking permission (but there seemed to be an endless supply and even “the aunts” had enough for their purposes so no one seemed to mind).
Plenty of stuff to do when the other alternative was complete boredom. Some years later at the farm we cousins were telling the aunts and uncles some of the things we had been up to - both there and elsewhere. Fortunately we were too old to be punished as they were horrified about some of the things we did. .
Kids now have zero imagination. I could play outside by MYSELF for hours if I had to when I was a kid. Today kids want you to play with them bc they don’t know what to do.
We were out of the house as soon as breakfast was finished and didn’t come home till we herd the bell ring or it was dark. Grew up in a lake so endless amount of hours swimming, riding bikes, playing baseball, tag, hid n seek, Spray painted rocks, stole special ornamental rocks from the neighbors yard to play games, picking mulberry’s (whatever happened to those?) capture the flag, guns, cops and robbers. Walking to the store to get candy, crashing the ice cream man that threw free candy at us when he drove by.
In the richer neighborhood behind ours was a golf course, we go into the woods and and yell “four” at people golfing. Or throw out extra golf balls from the woods onto the green and watch as they wonder where they came from. Take all the lost golf balls from the woods and hit them into the lake.
One time our entire neighborhood had a mess fight. We emptied out our parents fridges and pantries of everything from eggs, whipped cream, butter, sour cream, flour, full cakes our parents had baked that day, pies, etc any thing we could use to through at one and other and set out on a neighborhood game of hid and seek at 10 at night. We basically all came together in a parking out of the golf country club and just started throwing everything we had at each other. It was greatest time ever. There was probably 25 of us all together.
In the winter we out go sledding, snowball fights, tobogganing, (we also have a small hill in between my best friends and my yard, good enough for kids) one winter, I had to be younger that 10 we kicked our neighbors boat house Shed and had fire in there to keep us warm. How no one saw the smoke coming out or smelt the smoke on us, I don’t know. We were bad kids, we did horrible things.
@star2236 I think some kids act like they have limited imagination as they don’t have to come up with things to do completely from their imagination and then do it. Instead they use existing electronic entertainment or TV as their time filler.
Dragging a sledgehammer or broken brick/cinderblock around the yard by a rope and pretending to drive the tractor are two of the favorite activities of my 5 and 6 year old grandsons (and now starting to be of the almost 4 year old granddaughter). The 6 year old would also stretch out the chain behind the tractor and then use that as a “road” for matchbox cars he’d have in his hand pretending to off road the car.
They also take sticks and drill/poke holes in the side of the driveway embankment, use the gravel and dirt at the side of the driveway as a sandbox, chase daddy long legs spiders around the outside of the plastic playhouse, use long sticks to rile up fire ant hills and then jump back to watch…
@star2236 Read in the newspaper this morning that kids don’t need enrichment activities all the time; that unstructured time is good for kid development. Duh. I think many of us on here already knew that
@mike808@star2236 Let kids get enough sleep at night and some won’t then be labeled ADHD (also research based). Some kids when over tired wind themselves up to keep from falling asleep rather than just falling asleep. The former can get a false ADHD dx.
My parents being French, we had a ‘strict’ time for supper. Dad got home about 1730, grabbed an apéritif, watched the nightly news (when there were only 3 choices abc/nbc/cbs) then it was dinner time at 1800. Meal consisted of at least 3-4 courses and took about an hour. This fact was lost on our friends who would part ways with us about`1745, go home eat a hotdog and be ready to go back to play by 1805 at the latest. They could never figure out what the hell we did for an hour. Well, we would eat, talk, share our days events and generally interact with each other. Maybe that’s why I still like my parents enough to have moved them down next door to me when they got older and needed help…
@chienfou@tinamarie1974 Same here. Dad would come home. We’d have dinner at 6:30 at the dinning room table complete with napkins, conversation, have to ask to be excused, had our books confiscated if we brought them to the table and read them… The door bell and phone would be ignored. Things would get carried away on occasion.
Dad and his sister had a twisted sense of humor. Puns were a biggy and as kids we had a lot of practice with them - they could go on for at least 45 min and then we’d stop to think where we started and try to figure out how they went off the rails to end up where we ended - the entire path was littered with puns. As kids we’d sometimes walk the entire 45 mins to school punning the entire way and our friends walking with us sometimes wondered about our sanity as we thought it was hilarious and sometimes they had had enough two blocks later. Anyway once the rest of us, at the dinner table voted to finally shut them up so we could talk about something else. Dad didn’t pay any attention to our vote claiming a parental dictatorship. As he insisted on using a linen napkin we used his to tie a gag around his mouth (the masses had an uprising LOL). We were probably at the table at least an hour and a half that time.
I do feel sorry for kids today who aren’t allowed to go off on their own and explore; I probably spent more time reading than anything else, but I’d walk a mile and a half by myself to the beautiful public library and load up my backpack with as many books as I could carry. And I’d walk by myself to the campus where my father worked, where there was a small lake with swans - they’d drop big white feathers that I’d collect, and like boiler3k I would climb the trees that leaned out over the lake and sit in them and read.
My favorite game with friends was “let’s pretend” where we’d act out elaborate dramas with crazy plots. I wasn’t much into sports but once I finally learned how to ride a bike in 6th grade that was fun.
Summers used to be so long in those days…
@Kyeh@star2236 Isn’t that the truth. And in our household our parents made us get dressed and eat breakfast first. And the entire family had to have done that before we could go into the living room. And my parents were in no particular hurry.
@Kidsandliz@Kyeh@star2236 When the kids were young our Christmas mornings started with them singing Jingle Bells at the top of their lungs and beating on pots and pans with a wooden spoon while standing outside our bedroom door. We would get dressed, hit the kitchen and start a coffeecake/cinnamon rolls/etc to have with the champagne we popped open first thing.
Meanwhile, the younguns would get to access their stockings, which had small stuff and candy in it as well as a clue to a treasure hunt that was several stops longs. When they were too young to read they had rudimentary drawings of the location of the next clue, as they got older the drawings became words, simple rhymes and riddles (some pretty elaborate and obtuse as they got to be teens). It usually took about the same amount of time for them to finally find the present at the end of the hunt as it took us to make the breakfast goodie, then it was time to all sit around and open presents… one by one with time to ooohhh and aaahhh over each thing as they were opened. The kids took turns distributing gifts to the next person to open theirs, and it was never a big orgy of flying wrapping paper and gifts tossed to the side.
Since they had an extra set of grandparents (SWMBO’s folks were divorced) there was always an over-abundance of gifts, so we set 12 aside before they even got to them, and did a present a day for the 12 days of Christmas.
It is really gratifying that my kids have kept may of those same traditions to pass on to their family…
TL:DR How to make them wait…
@Kyeh@star2236 The stockings were put on the floor by our bed after we were asleep. If our parents heard paper crinkle too early they’d yell at us to quit. So we’d ever so slowly and stealthly open them. There was always an oversized orange or grapefruit in the two of the stocking to take up space. It was just accepted that we couldn’t eat it and had to “donate” it to the family.
@chienfou@Kidsandliz@star2236 I love that! What a terrific idea to have a treasure hunt. My family has always done presents one by one too - it’s more fun when everyone gets to react to them, and it prolongs the enjoyment. It sounds like you all really made the most of Christmas, no wonder your kids are carrying on these traditions!
My mom always had to have her coffee. Not just make it but drink it too. That’s probably why to this day I only rely on water to wake me up. I hated waiting for what seemed like FOREVER for my mom to get her coffee fix.
@Kyeh@star2236 HAHAHA turns out a church member always gave mom and dad (dad was a minister) a basket of really nice big oranges and grapefruit. Dad said he didn’t know they came that big LOL. Anyway to make our stockings look fuller they put them in our stocking (filled up the entire toe) and we had to give them back (well told to put them in the fridge and then for the most part as little kids we didn’t ask later to eat them as mom would cut up maybe two of them and split what she cut up between the six of us).