Yesterday, I had the crew over at my house. (The crew being Lily and her five girl friends who run as a pack around our block.) Two of these girls had some form of electronic device. One was a cell phone. They were in Lily’s room playing. I happened to look in, and the two with the electronic devices were lying on Lily’s bed playing on their toys.
WTF? These kids are under nine. Lily is not quite nine. She does not need a cell phone. Her iPad/iPod usage is limited and strictly forbidden when friends are over for this very reason. Well, and that I want them to actually interact with each other. I mean, what’s the point of having a play date if you aren’t going to play?
A lot of parents have all kinds of reasons why their kids need cell phones and these other gadgets. Lily has a hand-me-down iPad with limited use. We’ve passcode protected it and haven’t given her the passcode. If I let her, she would play mindless games on that thing all day long. I could hang her on the wall, and, as long as she was holding it, she’d be perfectly happy there. In short, she turns into a zombie. While that may thrill some people, I do not want a zombie child.
Now, I can’t imagine not having DVR, my iPhone, computer, and the like, despite not growing up with them, but I can imagine no seatbelts or bike helmets. I wear both, but if it wasn’t legislated, I don’t know if I would. It’s hard to say. I might. I might not. I mean, I survived 16 years without a seatbelt. I survived riding in the back of a pickup truck sitting on the wheel well as Dad drove 60 miles an hour down the road. Dad would yell at us to sit on the bed of the truck, but we’d inch our way back onto those wheel wells. Smart? No. Safe? No. And, yet, somehow, no one that I knew of died. Not that people didn’t and haven’t, but I don’t know any personally.
|70s banana seat bike|
And bike helmets for kids (and adults—you won’t find me riding my bike without one.) Does anyone remember those banana seat bikes? I can remember giving friends “hikes.” They’d sit in the handlebars on behind me on the seat (or both) as I pedaled furiously to keep us moving. Or I sat on the handlebars. I remember even running into a fence or two. No helmet. Did we even have helmets back then?
And carseats... Are kids safer? Probably, but I remember being crammed in the back of the car, or rolling around the back of the station wagon as Mom drove 70 mph down the country roads. There was one road, Herndon, all of us would climb into the back when she went down it because it had these big rolling hills. Whenever we go over one and back down the other side, we lift up into the air. (grin) We also loved lying in the back of the car and popping up to "scare" people. I don't know if we ever did, but it sure was a lot of fun. We could stuff four kids into the backseat of a coupe and put two up front. I'm just waiting for them to legislate that anyone under 100 pounds needs to be in a carseat.
Just you wait, they will someday legislate, with illustrations, how we must wipe our butts. Don't believe me? Give it time. You know, wiping your butt can be dangerous. There're laws on the books, after all, what position you can have sex. Don't believe me? Look it up. Not that any of us pay any attention to those laws. (grin) Missionary position gets a little old after a while, although it does have its merits. (grin)
Still, somehow, we survived.
And, yet, if you are to believe the newscasters, we couldn’t possibly survive without all of these laws protecting us and the gadgets to keep us connected, despite the fact that generations did for centuries.
How did we survive? We just did, and we could again... if given half the chance.