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Your Kids Will Give You The Dinosaur Look When You Tell Them This.
Written by Corinne Dodd | Goombay Tally | Mom Humor
I can remember sitting at the dinner table and intently listening to my father talk about the times of his youth and the “struggle” — if you will — that his generation had to endure. I’m certain you’ve heard similar stories from your parents or grandparents as well. Having to walk 20 miles (through blizzards, hurricanes, and tornadoes) to get to school. Waking up at 3 o’clock in the morning to feed the chickens and milk the cows before heading to school. Having to share one measly can of “Spam” and a sleeve of Ritz crackers with their 15 brothers and sisters for dinner. Invariably, we all sat there in awe, amazement, and also horror at the seemingly barbaric and substandard conditions that our parents had to endure.
Let’s admit it … comparatively, our parents made our generation appear to be soft, weak, and undeservingly entitled. O.K., yes… in many instances, I really can’t argue with them. I get it…we’re talking about the generations that stormed the beaches of Normandy against well entrenched–crack German forces or crawled through the hot, snake-infested jungles of Vietnam.
Now that my husband and I have our own little people in the house, there are indeed more than a few occasions at the breakfast and dinner table that quickly bring me back to our conversations with my father. So now that the roles are reversed, though interesting…I don’t know if I like it much.
So last week my 5-year-old is patiently waiting for breakfast to be made and he begins his standard ramblings about Lightening McQueen, Star Wars, his pre-kindergarten teacher Mrs. Stevens, interesting commentaries on spiders, and his newest iPad app. Next, he throws me his first-ever “dinosaur” question.
“Momma, what was your favorite iPad app when you were a little girl,” he says in the most innocent, sweet voice a 5- year-old boy could ever conjure up. Here we go, I thought to myself.
“Um…baby, iPads didn’t exist when Mommy was a little girl,” I said in a matter-of-fact tone. My son stared at me blankly for about five seconds. I could see the wheels were spinning in his head and I astutely anticipated the follow-on questions accordingly. I was wrong.
“Oh…so you only had the “h-Pad” to play with when you were a little girl right Mommy?” he said.
Huh? “What’s a h-Pad honey?” I asked him with a puzzled look. He went on to explain that since there were no iPads when I was young, that I must have had a h-Pad because “h” comes before “i” in the alphabet. A 5-year-old’s logic right? I certainly wished that I could have said yes and left the conversation right there but I would have done good ol’ Dad a grave injustice by doing so.
Subsequently, I had to explain to my son that the technology that we currently enjoy wasn’t actually invented in the 1970s and that when I said that iPads didn’t “exist” when I was his age…I (really) meant that with the exception of the television, radio, Cabbage Patch Kids, Strawberry Shortcake dolls, Star Wars action figures (yep…I had three brothers), books, and board games…the balance of our entertainment and excitement existed (mostly) outdoors. Of course I explained all of this at the kindergarten or Sesame Street tone and level.
The stare that my son gave me next can only be described as a hybrid of extreme pity that you only reserve for a dying kitten or puppy and that look that you see kids use at the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of Natural History as they walk past the Triceratops display.
I was now a dinosaur. Ouch.
Poor Mommy. How horrible life must have been for you without Netflix, Xbox game systems, a cellphone, and Roblox?
I could see that my son was now re-calculating everything that he thought he ever knew about me. iPads and Xbox was an obvious evolutionary overshoot in his mind now…he would have to lower the progressive bar a little…O.K.–well, a lot. Well, way lower than he would be able to limbo under for sure. He was rethinking the calculus.
“Mommy, did cars exist when you were a little girl?” my son now said in a hesitant voice.
“Yes dear…cars were around when your “old Mom was a little girl” I said. “But our cars were a little different back then,” I continued. I was prepared to explain to my son the quintessential differences, distinctions, and nuances of cars in the ‘70s compared to the high performance, computer-designed, computer-enabled, voice-activated, GPS-guided vehicles that we enjoy today.
However, before I could continue, my son quickly chimed in, “Oh, I know Mommy…when you were a little girl, you had to drive your cars while running with your feet…just like in The Flintstones right?” He began to laugh uncontrollably until he tumbled out of the kitchen chair and onto the floor.
And there you have it…there was my dinosaur connection with my kids ladies and gentlemen. My son definitely thinks I’m prehistoric. I laughed out loud and told him that he was so silly. Of course by then, my son’s attention moved on to much more important matters like “why don’t dogs use the toilet when they poop–like we do,” and “when will breakfast ready.”
This was only the beginning of these fascinating, yet demoralizing conversations that I had with my kids. In fact, (brace yourselves) the hits just keep coming now.
Honestly, as a parent, I’m really beginning to enjoy our “back in the day” talks now; just like my Dad did back in the day I’m sure. Moreover, I pray that my kids realize and appreciate just how blessed they really are today. To be alive during this incredibly exciting and innovative phase of human history.
Yes, I’m starting to get a true sense of my own mortality, but I’m also contemplating what type of conversations my kids will ultimately have with my grandkids.
I’m guessing that they would say something like this: “you kiddos have it sooooo easy these days…when I was your age, my father and mother would actually have to drive the car using something called a steering wheel.” Or “believe it or not, there was a time when we had to actually point a remote control device at our T.V.s to change the channel…instead of just talking to it,” and so on.
If you are a parent, the fun won’t just stop there. Get ready to hear the following questions as well…have fun with that:
- Did they have schools when you were a little girl (or boy)?
- Were airplanes invented when you were growing up?
- Did you live in a cave when you were growing up?
- What did they call Christmas a long time ago when you were little?
- Were there actually people in your T.V. a long time ago when you were little?
- Did you dress like Jesus when you were growing up as a child?
- Were you a cowboy or Indian (Native American…sorry) a long time ago when you were young.
Written by Corinne Dodd | Goombay Tally Blog