Poor toddlers in the year 2016! They have it so rough. I think one of the bonuses of becoming a parent is that you get to tell the sad tales of how much harder being a kid was “back in your day.” Today I’m sharing a few of the woes of today’s toddlers. How can anyone be expected to deal with these issues?
Commercials during cartoons: While watching an episode of Paw Patrol the other day, my daughter panicked when a commercial came on. “Where’s Paw Patrol!” It was then I realized she is so used to our ability to DVR cartoons and forward past the commercials that watching something in real time was the ultimate let-down. I actually remember a time in my very young years that we didn’t even have a TV remote. That’s what my brother and I were for: Flipping through the four channels we had so Dad could decide what to watch.
Proper car seats: In the 1980s we just stood on the seat next to Dad as we cruised down the road. I also know a lot of 1980s kids who slept in the rear window of the car during long road trips. The car was a free-for-all, a jungle gym, if you will. No more. Today’s toddler must ride properly strapped into a seat until they’re nearly of legal driving age. I’m all for proper child safety seats and when I start to feel bad for these strapped-in 21st Century toddlers, I just remember that they also have portable DVD players, something us 1980s kids never even dreamed of.
Constantly mugging for photos: Smart Phones mean taking photos and videos of every cute thing our toddlers do is super convenient, but it also means we can take 48 pictures until we get just the perfect one. Gone are the days where moms would have to wait until they could take film to the store to be developed only to realize they didn’t capture one decent photo of the 1980s bowl-haircutted kid blowing out birthday candles. Poor 21st Century toddlers. They’re tired of the phone-wielding parent paparazzi.
Occasions when food must be consumed with a fork and spoon: Pretty much every food comes in a pouch these days. I have banned them from my own household after a few messy incidents, but I speculate that some 21st Century toddlers are annoyed when that night’s dinner requires actual dining utensils.
Risk-free playground equipment: I remember burning the backs of my legs on scalding hot metal slides, usually with sharp metal edges and rickety ladders. The playground equipment industry has come a long way in safety and durability. But where’s the fun without the risk of tetanus or a burned bum?
Maybe in 30 years my daughter will be writing a blog post (or whatever the newer, cooler way of posting stories on social media is) about parenting. All I can say it I hope she remembers being loved and having fun because that’s really all that matters.
Now please excuse me while I go tell my daughter how I used to walk five miles to school in blizzards, up hill both ways.