When I was little…

June 26, 2009 | At Home | 5 comments

Over the past five or so years I’ve found myself saying this…anyone else? I feel all dirty and cliche when I do, but seriously, it is darn funny how we (humans) can find something to complain about no matter how NOT bad things are. So, when my kids whine “I’m hot.” “I’m bored.” “I’m…whatever.” I can’t help but roll my eyes and become my father.

“I’m hot.” This is usually in context of getting into a car. Okay, we live in Wisconsin. Yes, it gets hot here. It has been VERY hot here this week, but people, I grew up in Southern Missouri. We had no air conditioning–not in our house or our car. And we had (in the car) vinyl seats. You remember those? You remember trying to slide across them in shorts? EEk! Lost some skin doing that. So, when my daughter moans. “It’s SO hot.” My sympathy level just isn’t what it could be.

“I’m bored.” Alright, I pulled this one on my parents as well. And I’d hear the stories of how my dad had no T.V. In fact, he remembered when electricity came to his part of the Ozarks–that’s right electricity. They had a pump for water and tar paper walls too. But I digress…. My dad had the outdoors, a wagon (I know he had a wagon because I’ve seen the pictures.) and a few other toys, but something like T.V.? Cartoons on a weekly basis? Craziness. At the time I was pretty much like, “how sad for you.” But now when my kids pull it, I stare around at their toy store worth of toys, the FIVE TVs in our house all with satellite, four DVD players, the computers and think REALLY? And yes, the stories of how I had ONE TV that was BTW black and white, showed at most TWO channels (usually grainy), which with the exception of Saturday mornings had no kids’ programming and one toy box full of toys. I made mud pies and collected rocks. I also made “soup” out of daisies and watched my dad hunt moles. Now that was some fun, kids!

And I know this isn’t going to stop. I’m waiting for the “I have nothing to wear.” I already have my speech prepared. How my dad got out the spotlight and interrogated us for hours when we bought a pair of shoes. Did you need those shoes? $20, really? Or how I had to wear the dresses from my sister and cousin’s weddings to both of my proms. Gunne Sax. Ugh. Do you remember that so sweet you could puke brand? It was so not me, but it WAS a perfectly good dress.

Oh, yeah, I’m ready…


  1. Cybercliper

    I’ve heard all the “hard times” speeches from my parents. Dad walked twenty miles to school in a blinding blizzard, up hill, both ways. My brother and I used to crack up. That was then…now….

    I swear I’m amazed everytime I open my mouth and hear my mother’s voice come out!! I’ve even thought about an exorcism.

  2. Lori

    Humbling isn’t it?
    And how about when you catch a glimpse of yourself in a mirror and SEE your mother???
    (which isn’t to say my mother isn’t a lovely woman…but she is MY MOTHER!)

  3. Karin


    It definitely puts things into perspective when you think about what things were like when we were growing up. Sadly, the “I’m bored” will always get sympthy from me because there are just some times when everything you’d normally do just doesn’t work. This still sometimes happens to me and I usually pick up a book, but sometimes it just doesn’t work and I can’t think of anything to do. Sad, isn’ it?

  4. Jacqueline L.

    “And we had (in the car) vinyl seats. You remember those? You remember trying to slide across them in shorts? EEk! Lost some skin doing that.”

    *HUGE wince* Oh ya, definitely remember vinyl seats.

    I haven’t got any kids of my own but I used to work with some. The “I’m bored.” complaint totally didn’t fly with me. I don’t pull a “When I was little…” but I enjoyed innocently :wink: suggesting tasks I knew they wouldn’t want to do after which, they’d suddenly come up with new more entertaining ideas and quickly go off in case I came up with any other suggestions. Heh heh. But ya, I definitely think the whole “When I was little…” spiel. I just never could get the desired effect from it. :-)

  5. cecile

    Hello! I am new here… hope you don’t mind a tag-a-long!
    I do love this post and how it makes me think of those days…. because I have a 15 yr old daughter… who tries to pull some of those things with me… and when I hear the words come out of my mouth… oh dear me!!!