Category Archives: Millennial Moms

What Kids Learn At the Middle School Drop-Off

I don’t often drive my kids to school but this week their dad was away and it rained a lot, so I took over that task.

Since I don’t do this often, I’m not as inured to the horror of the experience as their dad is. (Apparently he rants a lot less than he used to.)

As my blood pressure inched up, I tried to figure out just what was so infuriating to me about the casual flouting of the school’s rules that I witnessed every day.

Surely I wasn’t so intolerant that I couldn’t understand why someone might want to hold up the flow of traffic so they could let their precious angel go in the front door instead of the side door like they’re supposed to. I mean, what’s the big deal, right? I still have to wait behind you either way…

Here’s The Big Deal

I finally figured it out this morning.

Here’s the real reason I get so steamed up about people who ignore the principal’s repeated requests (and big, new signs) to go down THIS lane not that one, and stop at THIS point, not some random point that makes sense to you:

  • Every time you drive down the middle lane instead of going around, where we’ve been asked to drive, you show your child that the school’s principal is someone whose instructions can be ignored…by your family.
  • Every time you drop your kid off at the front door instead of the side door, you demonstrate that inconveniencing other people is ok, as long as it makes life a little more convenient...for your family.
  • Every time you double park at the gym doors and then pull out in front of me, you model to your kids that it’s OK to disregard the safety of others as long as it makes life easier...for your family.

And Here’s Why I Care

I care, because if you show your kid, day after day after day, that disobeying the school authority figures is OK for your family, that being selfish is OK for your family, that disregarding other people’s needs is OK for your family, how do you think your kid acts inside the building…with my kid?

When the teacher asks the class to be quiet, but you’ve shown your kid that the rules don’t apply to them, what do you think they do? Do you think about how that affects the education of my kid, who has trouble concentrating when the room is noisy? Does it matter if the teacher gets so frustrated that they assign them busy-work instead of teaching them the good stuff? Or if the teacher sends home a ton of homework because they couldn’t get through everything in class?

When your kid mocks my kid down for not wearing the right shoes, and upsets him, does your kid come home and worry about that? Or do they never give it a second thought, because you’ve demonstrated, day after day, that other people really don’t matter?

When your kids disobeys school rules and shoves my kid on the stairs, do they understand that the safety of others is important?Or do they complain to you about stupid rules and mean teachers and tattle-tale kids? And do you back them up?

Obey

We live in a society. Societies only work if we have rules that we all agree on and we follow them.

I’m not talking about slavish, stupid following-of-rules. If your kid is on crutches and you let them out at the front door, I’m not going to honk at you.

  • But if you just can’t wait and follow the rules because your whims are more important than the principal’s instructions, what message are you sending to your kids?
  • If you’re in such a hurry that everyone else can go hang, what behaviour are you modeling to your kids over and over again?
  • If you put others in danger to make your morning more convenient, what is wrong with you?

And, thanks to you, I am now demonstrating to my kids that it’s fine to judge people and call them names, as long as you’re behind the wheel of a car.

Sigh.

I guess we all have some work to do…

To The Woman Who Felt The Need To Correct My Ten Year Old At A Concert

I know it’s a wonderful thing to listen to classical music live.

That’s why I brought my nearly–11 and just-turned–13 year old sons to the school auditorium for the 2pm Sunday performance.

And I know it’s annoying when people distract you.

This is why I’m sure you’ll have noticed (since you were obviously watching us) that I was silently correcting my 10 year old when he got fidgetty: stilling his hands with mine, making sure he wasn’t kicking the seat in front, quietly prompting him between pieces as to how many more movements were still to come.

What Went Down

Towards the 1 hour 10 minute mark, I admit he was moving around a lot. I’m sorry it distracted you. It distracted me too, especially as I felt a responsibility to correct him over and over again, so that he wasn’t disruptive.

Having got to the last piece in the concert, you felt you needed to lean forward and tell him that there was only one piece left, with the unspoken “so for goodness’ sake sit still” hanging in the air.

Thanks.

Thanks for making me really uncomfortable.

Thanks for making me miss most of the last piece as I tried to figure out how much we had annoyed you, or whether you were trying to be supportive. And wondering why you waited until the short, last piece to make your displeasure known.

I’ll bet you didn’t notice the way my boy was squeezing my hand in time with the music. Or the way he shared your chuckle of glee when the motif from the first piece came around again at the end, in a piece by a completely different composer.

I’ll bet you didn’t consider that I’m trying to bring my boys up to be well-mannered, cultured, and excited by the passions of others (wasn’t the violinist amazing, by the way?).

What The Future Holds

I know it’s annoying to be distracted during a concert.

I also know that I was one of the youngest people there, not counting my boys. And I’m 43.

If we want live orchestral music to survive as a form, we need to make concerts (afternoon concerts, at that!) a hospitable place for people with children and for first-time concert-goers. The soloist did. Remember? He told us to go out to the bathroom whenever we needed to; he wouldn’t mind. He said he’d cue us when to clap and, when we got it wrong, he laughed and said “We’ll take it!”. He was the perfect host.

Without people like me — paying full price and bringing along the next generation of fans — orchestras will not survive.

So. I will continue to take my kids to this regional orchestra’s Sunday afternoon concerts in the middle school auditorium. And yes, the 13 year old will read his book for a while. Yes, the 11 year old will fidget towards the end of a long concert without breaks. And then, one day, they’ll be ready for the big city orchestra’s Saturday night concerts, where they will pay big money to hear amazing music, I hope, for the rest of their lives.

If, that is, there are enough people willing to brave the tutters and the sighers to keep orchestras alive that long.

Life Skills List

Here are some things I will teach my kids before they leave home (preferably in the pre-teen years). What would you add?

How To:
Sew on a button
Sew a hem
Repair a tear in cloth
Use a sewing machine
Iron a shirt, t-shirt and trousers
Fold their laundry
Sort and wash their laundry
Bake bread
Bake a cake
Make a white sauce
Roast a joint of beef
Make fish & chips
Rehydrate and cook beans
Grow vegetables from seed
Transplant a store-bought plant
Knit
Weave
Three or four different knots
Paint a wall
Sharpen a knife
Basic car maintenance
Budgetting
Write a thank you note
Use a soldering iron

They’ve had a shot at some of this stuff so far, but maybe we need to design an actual course with a checklist on Pinterest and everything :)

What would you add?

A Kid’s View Of The World

It is so refreshing to rediscover life through the eyes of a child.

Especially my slightly twisted children.

Today’s Stories From The Boys’ Blog:

1. How Urban Legends Start

I’m listening to A and G playing with a big cardboard box.

They’re pretending to mail themselves to Disney World.

For now, A is sealing his brother inside the box.

“Tape me!” says G.

“With real tape or Duck Tape?” asks his brother.

“Duck Tape.”

“Noooo!” cries . “That’s the WORST kind of tape!”

“Why?” G’s voice was slightly muffled.

“Because it’s Duck Tape. They make it from real ducks. They kill them and turn them in to tape!”

While I was typing I heard A scurry off downstairs.

Then I head G explode out of the box and scurry after him crying,

“Nooo! I was joking about the tape!”

I guess he thought A was off to murder some ducks….

2. Watch Out, God’s Finger Is On The Button

After prayers tonight G (aged 4), betraying his guid Scots Presbyterian roots, said,

“Julie,” (he’s very informal), “I think God is remote-controlling us.”

Predestination? At 8:14 on a Friday night?

I didn’t feel like getting into a theological debate, but I fear the thousands of dollars we’re spending on a good Free-Will-And-All-That Catholic Education might be money down the drain.

Heavens!

You Know You're A Stay At Home Mom When…

I love that I get to stay at home with my children, but there are, as in any career, downsides to the job. Sometimes they strike me as funny, so I’ve started compiling a list.

You know you’re a Stay-At-Home-Mom (SAHM)  when:

…You really amuse yourself by writing both ‘ketchup’ and ‘catsup’ on the shopping list and deliberately leaving it in the cart for someone else to find.

…You put on make-up because you’re Going Out! (To your annual OB/GYN check-up).

…You actually look forward to going somewhere that requires you to wear tights/panyhose.

More to come, as they occur.
What would you add to the list?

Spoiled — A Rant

When I was a kid (back in the dim, dark days of the 1970s) a birthday party was the highlight of the social calendar.

There weren’t very many of them, certainly not one for every child in the class, and I don’t think they started before age 7 or 8, or whatever age parents then thought kids could be trusted to be left without one-to-one supervision.

The girls donned floor-length party gowns (mine, I think, was green and velveteen) and bows in our hair, and the boys wore smart shirts and possibly ties, certainly real trousers and shiny shoes. Then we sat cross-legged on the floor and played Pass the Parcel, or were blindfolded for Pin The Tail on the Donkey, or Blind Man’s Buff. All very Victorian and charming. Then there were little triangular sandwiches made from white bread (crusts off, hoorah!), filled with salmon paste or egg mayonnaise. There might be fizzy drinks and paper straws (straws? It MUST be a special occasion!). A round birthday cake encased in a paper fringe, with the appropriate number of candles on top rounded things out. There was usually jelly and ice cream to eat while the cake was cut, wrapped in a napkin and stuffed into your party bag to take home, where you would whine to be allowed to eat it, be told ‘It’s nearly dinner time!” and when you did eventually get it, you’d spend most of your time sucking the icign out of the soggy napkin. The party bag might even have been attached to a helium filled balloon, if the hosts had gone all-out.

It was heady stuff and only death or German Measles could stop you getting to a Birthday Party.

My eldest is turning six this week. We invited a few of the children from his class over to our house for a party. We don’t have a huge house so it wasn’t the whole class, just his favourite few. I’m a little nervous, but not about the prospect of having a house full of children: no, I’m nervous that they might all be too busy to come.

I managed to shoe-horn A’s party into a weekend in between two other birthday party weekends from his class, but I still wasn’t sure if people would come. So far I’ve only heard from a few people: one kid can’t come because he has a football (American) game. One can’t come because she has a skating lesson. Our favourite family friends might not make it because their son has a basketball playoff match.

Did I mention that these kids are six?

I know people who spend two hours two nights a week sitting by the pool at the Y while their eight year olds trains for the swimming team. I know six year olds who are on three or four sports teams (American football, baseball, basketball, soccer or icehockey). They also go to Karate classes. Then there’s the Cub Scouts and Brownies.

My children go to swimming lessons once a week (if I remember to take them) and the little one has a knock-about ‘sport’ class one morning a week when he’s not at pre-school and I think that’s extravagant! We play board games and video games and maybe they watch a little too much TV on Saturday mornings. We probably spend a bit too much time in toy stores. We kick a ball around the garden and try to learn to get along. We read. We make up stories. I’m grateful that I can’t imagine my eldest volunteering to do anything that would take him away from his toys yet, if ever.

And I just can’t believe that we’re wrong: that we’re somehow putting our kids at a disadvantage because they don’t yet know how to dribble and pass and be a “team player”. I don’t believe that having extra-curricular activities to run to every day after school and every weekend does much for a six year old’s health or disposition. I worry about what it does to the family dynamic when the parents have no time for themselves and become slaves to their children’s schedules. I wonder when these children have time to think and to dream and to become curious. I secretly suspect that they don’t. I strongly suspect that this constant stimulation shuts down their brains and breeds incurious adults who need to be busy but never really question anything and swallow whatever the ad-makers put on the mass media brain-suckling-tube. I foresee a hideous, dystopian future — a brave new world, if you will — all caused and created by childhood over-scheduling. (I have also been accused of over-thinking things.)

Or maybe I’m just ticked because I’m scared no-one will turn up for my boy’s party!,

Millennial Mom Monday – New Traditions

Getting married and having children means blending the traditions of your own family with those of your spouse.  This really shows up around special occasions, like Christmas and birthdays.

Our first Christmas together, I hadn’t thought to tell my husband that, in my family, Santa had begun to fill the stockings of the grown-ups as well as the children, some years ago. This meant there was some awkwardness on Christmas morning when only one of us had a sock full of loot. Easily remedied the next year and ever since, as you can imagine.

On birthdays around here there is a choice: Mum’s sponge cake or Dad’s dense Biscuit Cake (the crumb-filled and delicious chocolate slab his mother made for him).

But as well as adopting our parents’ traditions we have gradually been building our own.

After lugging a real christmas tree home (the first year in a shopping cart, because we lived in the city, didn’t own a car, and had underestimated how much a real tree weighed. The next year hanging out of the back of our tiny Mitsubishi), Kevin never has the energy to do much but observe as I, kid at heart, drag out the tinsel and the baubles and decorate the tree. So now, every year, I decorate the tree while Kevin snaps pictures from the safety of his armchair, and tells me when I’ve left a bare spot.

A few years ago, now that we had a couple of kids who were probably old enough not to eat the fallen pine needles, we thought it would be fun to go back to a real tree. We were seized with the urge to go and cut down our own Christmas tree; something we had heard other people talking about doing year after year. We thought it sounded kind of crazy but kind of nice, and that we’d give it a try.

From that first ‘timber’, it has been something our boys look forward to, and take for granted now. Their excitement over this new tradition is the thing that drags us out of the house on the first weekend in December that doesn’t include high winds or sub-zero temperatures, and gets Kevin face down in the mud with a hacksaw.

Lumberjacks

So what new traditions have you formed in your family?

Leave your comments here

Millennial Mothers – The Joy of…

Recently I was having a bad morning. I was kind of grumpy anyway, and then my dearly beloved hove into view and said something that I took the wrong way (of course).

I barked at him, he barked at me, and there we were faced with the prospect of spending the whole day circling each other, scoring points and holding grudges.

Frankly, I couldn’t be bothered. But I wasn’t sure how to get myself out of my bad mood, either. I felt it from my brain to my slumped shoulders, to my clenched fists. It was up to me to do something.

So I took advantage of the fact that I was locking myself in the smallest room in the house – alone for once. I turned the shower on as hot as I could stand and then I jumped in and started to sing. Loudly.

“If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands!”

I didn’t know it, but I clapped anyway. It was very silly. By the time I had reached,

“…do all three: clap, clap, stomp, stomp, hoo-oo-ray!” I was starting to feel a little cheerier.

So that I didn’t lose momentum I launched straight into a chorus of “On Top Of Spaghetti…”

Hanging out with little kids for the past almost-six years, has really upped the silliness quotient in my life. It has allowed me to rediscover all kinds of things, from the joy of silly songs, to the smell of Play-Doh and the fun to be had colouring-in.

What about you? What has hanging out with little kids brought  back into your life?

Leave Your Comments Here

Millennial Mom Mondays – Summer Review

Mondays are for Millennial Mothers.

Post a reply or a link to your bloggy millennial musings in the comments (Your musings don’t have to take the same form as mine. Go wild…)

This Week’s Topic: What I Did This Summer

It’s Back To School time and I’m taking a minute to review this summer (before I forget) to see what I did right, what I failed to do, and what I”d like to remember to do next year.

First the things I would definitely do again:

  • SWIMMING LESSONS – We took the YMCA’s two-week, four-days-a-week swimming lessons twice this summer, with a two-week break in the middle and it worked out really well. Four weeks all in a row would have been too much (by day six of each session we were all getting a little wild-eyed and finding it hard to get there on time) but two sessions definitely made an impact on the boys’ swimming abilities, and it gave a structure to our day for four weeks out of the summer. We took the 10.10-10.40 AM class which meant that, by the time we were finished the outdoor pool was open. More often than not, we wandered over there. I packed a lunch most days and we hung out until about 2. We often met friends from school or the Y, which gave the boys someone to play with. (Hallelujah for the civilizing influence of pre-school, that allowed my Angus to actually get along with other children most of the time, instead of just stalking them).
  • SUMMER CAMPS – Angus took three different summer camps this year, which wasn’t the cheapest option, but worked out really well. The first was the church’s Vacation Bible School, which was all of $20. We can walk there, too, so that was lovely. I might get roped into helping next year though, since G will be old enough to go, too. Still, it’s early enough in the summer that I shouldn’t be totally sick of kids by that point.
    The Nature Center camp was, I think, good, and right up Angus’s alley. It was expensive but I think it was worth it. Plus it ran until 2 pm which seemed like a luxuriously long time to only have one (easy) chld at home.
    The YMCA’s Wooden Shoe camp gave us all a little break from each other one week later in the summer. It has the virtue of being relatively inexpensive and involved two days at the pool during the week. Next year I’ll send them both in the middle of the summer and spend the time doing yoga and drinking purifying preparations. Ommmm.
  • VACATIONS – we had a short get away at either end of the summer holiday and that was a very nice way of doing things. You don’t have to spend so long in one room with your family that you want to do them harm, but it doesn’t feel too short, either because you have (had) another trip too. I”d definitely consider doing that again.
  • LIBRARY – Our library has a ton of stuff going on during the summer and I didn’t really take advantage of it. Next summer I should really pick a day of the week and make it Library day, because the boys missed out this year on earning and cashing in their Book Bucks, because we didn’t go every week. They have concerts and shows too, but A’s head tends to spin right round when he’s in a theater with All Those People plus noise, so we’ll see.
  • CONCERTS AND BABYSITTERS – I took advantage of the nearby family which has three baby-sitting aged girls (and more on the way up) and went out a couple of times. I also took advantage of the visiting grandparents for the same thing. We went to a movie, a concert and out for dinner on the back deck of our friends’ house (their children are grown up, ours were at home!). I would definitely like to do this a few times next summer. Otherwise, it’s a bit all-about-the-kids
  • HANG OUT WITH THE NEIGHBOURS – I”m hoping this doesn’t stop with the summer, but this summer we arranged to spend Wednesday mornings doing something at one of our houses each week. Just low-key stuff like dragging out a pool, or making ice-cream sundaes. One week everyone descended on one yard’s picnic table, with their craft supplies and we decorated t-shirts. I’m a bit shy and retiring (unless there’s a stage in the vicinity) so I appreciated having a set time when I knew I was invited…

THINGS I DID NOT DO

There are things that, looking back, I might have done differently, or want to remember for next year. So I’m writing them down here in the hope that I might do them next year.

  • Have a pedicure on the last day of school — I meant to get to this all summer and of course I didn’t. I’m not a manicure kind of girl, but I do love my tootsies to be painted. I’ve had it done a few times and the paint lasts longer, and they buff and polish your feet so that the skin on your heels doesn’t scare people walking up stairs behind your sandaled feet…Plus it’s relaxing. Definitely booking this one next year.
  • Volunteer to host a neighourhood thing earlier. I missed out on doing this because I got the last date available and it ended up being when we were away. I feel like that friend at parties who bums cigarettes and never, ever buys any.
  • Remember to give Angus plenty of down time between activities (and I’m talking in week terms here). Like me, he likes to sit around at home and commune with his stuff. Don’t be tempted to over-schedule.
  • Go To The Beach – We’ve never done the classic Philadelphia-area vacation “downa shore”. I think the boys are getting big enough to enjoy it. Wildwood is a fave with one family we know, but that’s because they’ve been going there for a hundred years. Other people I know seem to favour Maryland and the Outer Banks in NC. That last one appeals not least because it’s the land of Misty of Chincoteague, which I read as a kid, thinking it was fantasy; and also because one neighbour just got back and told me the water was clear like the Caribbean. Any recommendation that comes with the word ‘Caribbean’ is worth pausing over…

There’s a whole other category that I’m not even going to address: Things I Should Do But Know I Won’t, because who wants to set themselves up for that kind of disappointment. It includes things like setting up more playdates with school friends, getting all the Back To School stuff organised the week after school finishes…Add them to the folder with ‘shopping early for Christmas” and ‘ getting birthday cards out on time”. Good intentions that only serve to make me feel bad about myself. (I still try to get the cards there for nieces and nephews, but don’t beat myself up about the others).

There’s also a category of things that I don’t wish to repeat, but most of those were not things I planned and involved things like trees falling on my car, and ‘significant life events‘ as the psychologists call them. I’ll just hope for fewer and try to roll with what comes along!

So, how was YOUR summer?

Millennial Mom Monday — Gadgets

Mondays are for the Millennial Mothers (and dads too. And aunts and uncles, grandparents and friends. It’s just more alliterative this way…)

Post a reply in the comments. Or write in your own blog and leave a link in the comments. Invite your friends to join in.

This weeks’s theme: Gadgets

A while back, I wrote a Modern Baby Shower Wish List that was slightly tongue in cheek, but not very.

So I started thinking about all the gadgets we have available to us now.

When my mother first saw our motorized baby swing she swooned.

“We used to sit rocking the baby with our foot and joking that someone ought to invent a motorized one,” she said. It seemed so ridiculously extravagant back in the 1960s that they joked about it. Now, no modern parent would dream of leaving off their list some sort of jiggling, bouncing, vibratey-machine.

But how much did you use yours?

Honestly, I used the swing a bit with the first child but eventually I packed it up and used this chair, which took up less space and which, once the baby’s neck was strong enough, converted to a seat that I could, yup, rock (silently) with my foot. I used this as a feeding chair before I got my small high chair, too. With the second child, I mostly carried him around in a homemade sling, because leaving him where his two-year old brother could attempt to swing him around in a circle, or rock him right out of the rocking chair, wasn’t what you’d call relaxing or secure.I did use my little plastic baby baths (this one was good when they were little because of the bump that helped hold their bums in place a seat was good when they were bigger) and I did use my pack’n’play when the babies were sleeping beside my bed.

I loved my Baby Bjorn for a couple of months with my first child, but then he got heavy and it was just a bit of a kerfuffle to put it on and take it off, and it took up a lot of space in a bag, that I didn’t use it for shorter trips.(I repeat it was great for a new parent, it’s brilliantly engineered and much easier to put on than most of the others the same type. It holds the baby beautifully and is super-secure).

Eventually, though,I switched to a sling I made myself (with these sling rings). It folds flat, opens up to become a blanket, works as a dribble-rag, tie a knot in a corner of the flap and use it as a distracto-toy or teether, it goes in the washing machine and dryer, and was very comfortable once I’d watched the video secured by the sling rather than held by me. I even carried the baby around the baby pool in the sling while my toddler toddled in the summer. Can’t recommend this enough as a gadget. about how to put it on properly. I am no seamstress, and I managed it. Never did much use the store-bought padded No-Jo one, which was bulky and awkward and felt insecure. The homemade one got lots of use, especially with the second child. Sometimes I had the baby in it, and sometimes the baby was in the stroller, while the two (and even three) year old rode on my hip,

We mocked up a video monitor with a webcam that published pictures to a private web page, because we still had a computer in the baby’s room at the time. That was priceless for catching evidence of the first time the ‘baby’ climbed out of the cot! But the store-bought monitor didn’t get much use. Kept picking up conversations from the neighbours’ houses (there were lots of babies around here at the same time).

I’m not sure why they still sell play yards. I’m sure babies since time immemorial have simply rattled the bars and screamed to get out. The Exersaucer on the other hand, earned its keep.

I did use Stair gates. I have friends who put stair gates across their kids’ doors once they were in a toddler bed, so that they couldn’t escape. We never thought of that and used door knob locks. I suppose the stair gate would have been a bit more humane, since the kids could have felt like they were still part of the world…

My favourite gadget (because I had been wanting something like it) was the Bumbo. We only used it for a while, but it was a great bridge between the time when the baby wanted to be sitting up and watching what was going on, and when they could actually do it themselves. They have trays and all kinds of things for it now, but I spotted my favourite use of the Bumbo on a blog recently. The mother of triplets, this woman uses two Bumbos to make supermarket trips workable.

But the Bumbo tells the sad tale of most baby gadgets. No matter how much you love them, your kid is going to grow out of them faster than you can imagine when you’re being seduced by the advertising.

The things on my Modern Baby Shower Wish List however? I’m still using them, five years on!

Some other things that I’ve used a lot, although they’re not on the traditional baby list:

*My iPod (the type that plays video). When combined with an iPod dock (or more recently a headphone splitter and two sets of ‘phones) this can magically allow me to have half an hour of peace and quiet, even at the supermarket. I can see the eyes of other parents light up as I pass….

*Pop-Up Playsets. I take a bag to any family restaurant, that contains a pop-up-playset and some cars and we get to make our dinner choices without wrestling tiny boys. It doesn’t last but it serves as a bit of a distraction.

*Crayons. Everywhere you go, there is some way to amuse a child with crayons and paper. Draw a race track, a train track and give them a toy. Draw rudimentary steam trains in blue, red, and green and any two-year old boy will tell you you’ve drawn Thomas, James and Percy.

*Balloons. If you can trust your child not to put it in his mouth, always have a balloon about your person. You can blow it up and let it go: hilarity ensues. You can blow is up and tie a knot and ping it all over the room: instant fun. You can fill it with water or cornstarch or rice, and let them squish it. You can draw a face on it and give your child an instant ‘friend’. If you’re at all adventurous, buy the kind you can twist and learn how to make a dog, a sword (really not hard) and a crown, and you’ll be a hit at parties forever (hint, adults want complicated things. Kids want really simple shapes that you can make in a super-human timeframe and they can play with NOW. Kids have better imaginations than adults.) Talk about value for money.

So, in short, things that make noise and require batteries and are designed for a specific stage of your child’s life= disappointing and a trip to the consignment shop/listing in the classified ads. Things that may not be intended for children plus a little ingenuity= happy families.

Just like in the 1960s. And the 1860s. And the 60s…