30 May 2013


Never a demanding child, the simplest of things pleased me (they still do), I never asked for a pony or the latest gadget, of which admittedly there weren't as many as there are today, as far as I can remember the only two things I ever really, really, really wanted were a Mr Frosty ice maker and (hint to husband dearest) a Cabbage Patch doll. 

Anyway, I digress ......

With no computers, no games consoles and (gasps) only three television channels ..... for goodness sake the BBC were only just beginning trials of their new colour service ..... we had to entertain ourselves and entertainment for me generally meant ........

Playing schools, Two Baller which was played by throwing, err, two balls against a wall
(generally the side wall of my grandparent's home) whilst singing a rhyme, Hopscotch and, of
course, my nightly routine of Bath > BED > BOOK.

Ah, those were the days, all squeaky clean, my (naughty) little sister and I would lie as snug as the proverbial bug in a rug awaiting the latest chapter of whatever book it was we were currently working our way through - I seem to remember Enid Blyton's Enchanted Wood books being amongst our favourites.

A shame to think that no longer might bedtime be a time for child and 'parent' to bond over a book, a tragedy to think that for future generations the role of 'parent' might become that of a pair of hi-tech 'smart pyjamas' that work with an app.

Yes, hard to believe I know BUT we now have nightwear that amongst other things will tell a bedtime story.

OK, so the video does show a family lying together happily at bedtime BUT, and call me a cynic if you wish, I don't for one minute believe this app is capable of recreating the magical awe of listening to your grandparent voice all of these different characters - I don't think I've ever heard anything as funny as my grandad voicing Dame Washalot), of him actually carrying pans upstairs in order to recreate the rattling that was the Saucepan Man.

Not done yet, my second rant concerns that other childhood favourite of mine, Hopscotch.

With childhood obesity becoming increasingly worrying, with many parents afraid to let their off-spring play outside, with claims that our youth spend too much time on-line/texting each other, shame on the police officers who allegedly told a 10 year old off for playing Hopscotch saying her chalked Hopscotch grid could constitute criminal damage and thus was against the law.

What says you?

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Dizzy C said...

I too wanted a Mr Frosty and a Cabbage Patch kid. My daughter got both as a child :)

U reminded me of some of our fav street games kerbie ball, (we lived in a cul de sac, so the kerbs were close to each other), british bulldog, and one skate skating,(sharing skates with friends) LOL

How easily entertained we were. I miss those days.


Brian Joseph said...

Those smart PJs made me laugh!

Amazing what ridiculous things folks will spend time and money on. Hopefully elders reading bedtime stories will never really go away.

Kelly said...

*sigh* Times have certainly changed. I loved reading to my children, but realize many parents don't feel like they have the time. It's a shame.

I always wanted a scooter - you know, the kind you push along with the other foot. Now they make those fancy ones called Razrs or something like that.

Claudine G. said...

Criminal damages through chalked Hopscotch? Good grief.

You touched on the Enchanted Woods, a top, top, top favourite childhood series for my sisters and me. We love the Saucepan Man (and the fact that he couldn't hear properly because of all the clangs) and the dame who washed a lot. That ever-changing land at the top of the tree ~ oh my, what wonderful dreams! {Another favourite Blyton series is the Wishing Chair. Have you read it?}

Gina R said...

Never heard of Mr. Frosty but I had, correction...still have...three cabbage patch dolls! ^_^ As for the hopscotch, good grief! That was always fun...especially when you tossed a randomly found pebble and had to skip over that square? Too fun. Regarding the pj's, yeah...not so keen on it. Making the voices and such was half the fun!

Suko said...

Things change, and not always for the better! Stay inside, children, and wear your "smart pajamas"--makes sense to me. ;P

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

I wanted a pony and my mom was dismayed when I figured out how I could have one in the limited space we had as a kid. Then I got a lecture on money... LOL

I do have a problem with hopscotch being made criminal. Seriously? How can chalk be damage? Grrrrr....

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Wow, criminal damage from chalk?! How is that even possible? My grade school had hopscotch lines painted on our playground so it was permanent, which was nice. I remember playing when I was little.

And those PJ's are crazy. I like some new gadgets, but I do think actually hearing a book from a live person would be much better.

Brandi Kosiner said...

Yes, loved the street games

LL Cool Joe said...

I don't remember either of my parents ever reading to me at night time. MInd you I hated books, so perhaps that's why!

My main concern about the pj's is the stereotyping of pink for the girls and blue for the boys. Something so modern and high tech and yet incredibly old fashioned and out of date when it comes to gender issues.

Mama Zen said...

Criminal hopscotch? I'm afraid to even think of what might be next!

Heather said...

no, not the pj's. We don't need technology in every apect of our lives. save us.

I read tons of books to my kids. I learned so much stuff and was able to indulge myself in pre-teen lit. Some reall good early chapter books are out there begging to be read.

Alexia561 said...

It's a shame that more parents don't read to their children in bed, as it's a great bonding experience! And seriously? The police lectured a little girl for playing hopscotch! I hope the officers got reprimanded by a loud public outcry!

Stephanie@Fairday's Blog said...

I always wanted an Easy Bake Oven! One of my students made one for me out of construction paper when they heard. :)

Bedtime stories were one of my favorite times. I think the pjs are not something I would want! I played Hopscotch almost every day at recess and loved it. Now it seems like it would be harder on my much older body, but I can't believe a kid got in trouble for playing it!

Jinky said...

That last pitch in the video that it can monitor where the kids go ..duh, kids are smart enough to take it off! Even so, wow, I agree with you ..nothing like real, live voice and true family bonding as reading to the child personally ..people are going app crazy!!