So we all know things have changed since we were kids. I promise, this is not going ot be a “Those were the good old days” posting where I say things like “When I was your age we used to watch REAL cartoons like Mighty Mouse and Tom and Jerry!”
It isn't hard to notice that Olive is growing up in a world that has undergone some major changes in the last 30 years. Technology, media, globalization, the Red Sox no longer being loveable losers, etc. Sometimes, though, it is the seemingly minor shifts, the ones that occurred while we weren’t looking, that are more interesting.
The one that hit me the other day is the telephone. I don’t think Olive has ever seen someone talk on an actual telephone. We don’t have a land line in our house. We use our cell phones for everything. And I know we aren't the only parent where that is the case. If we want her to play with a phone, we need to get a little fake cell phone or else it will be like someone having given me a telegraph to play with when I was a kid. Millions of toy telephones that were stuck into attics for when the grandkids were born are now useless.
What we do with our phones has changed too. Olive loves playing with my Blackberry (who doesn’t), but she imitated me typing on it months before she started holding it up to her ear. Now she will grab the phone from you and walk around smiling, texting away. She also really doesn't know what an actual ringing phone sounds like. Even though mine immitates an "old-fashioned" phone, Leanne's ringtone is some version of a hip-hop song. Every other ringtone in the world is a song or a combination of various beeps, tones, and melodies. No standard telephone ring.
For some reason, I’m also just figuring out the massive shift in playground building materials that occurred sometime in the last 15 years. Yeah, we all know that pressure treated wood was found to emit arsenic, but when did this huge playground building boom happen!? I missed the cranes going up in suburbs around the country to replace my wooden playground with one with climbing walls and twisty slides, and obstacle courses fit for Navy Seal training. You can’t find a wooden playground or a metal slide or wildly dangerous rocking animal on a rusty metal spring ANYWHERE these days. How is Olive supposed to go through the ritual rite of tearing her thigh open on a stray bolt while crawling through a splintered, arsenic-leaching fun house? Everywhere now is plastic, which I assume we will discover gives us cancer in 15 years.
What kind of small changes have you noticed since you were a kid?