What a week it’s been!
I'm inundated with friends offering babysitting services while I pack boxes, racing to get the cats' veterinary needs up to date, making sure my kid is eating nutritious meals (out of a microwave) and of course I'm wondering what to write about instead of moving house, which frankly bores the pants off me.
You know how when you move, you find old passports, birthday cards, love letters (pre-marriage) and old-fashioned photographs? Well as I perched on the tiny corner of the bed that’s left exposed, I started to remember my past in England and about how I was brought up, which got me thinking about how different my baby’s upbringing will be from mine.
It’s is funny because earlier today, I sat and watched her execute uncharacteristic patience as she sucked and chewed on one gummy sweet she’d received from Granny as an early Easter present. It was a tiny Peter Rabbit sweet and she made a meal out of it! First its ears, then its arms, legs and finally after trying to just nibble his tummy she gave up and shoved the remainder of it in her gob. I could not believe it. She usually eats her food with such gusto, demanding “More!” before she has even chewed what’s in her mouth.
When I was a kid, I was handed 10 pence a day for a ‘penny mix up,' — in your money, this is about 20 cents, and you could get about 15 little sweets for that, all wrapped in a tiny white paper bag with zigzagged edges.
You helped yourself from a tray that was not covered and placed at sneeze-catching-counter height. This is illegal today; there are sneeze guards at all of the salad bars I have seen here. Mind you, back in the UK I am not sure; I just know you’d get one sweet for 10 pence these days.
Being a modern parent, my kid got all the firsts at a birthday party this weekend, 1st pizza, 1st cake, soda (by mistake, mama thought it was water, not Sprite), and balloon thing-imal. Was I spoiled or was it a British thing (you all know how bad our teeth are right?)? One thing is for sure — I limit sugar for my own sanity, and wallet; there’s no free dentistry here!
When I was a lass, this was the highlight of my day and was payment for escorting my hyperactive brother to school. We walked (not exactly hand in hand) the mile to and from elementary school. I would have given my right arm to hop on one of the iconic yellow school buses, which were only seen on Little House on the Prairie or The Waltons, (I forget). I even had to walk to church on Sunday with him in tow since my Mum is Church of England and we were brought up Catholic (go figure).
Imagine allowing an eight-year-old walking with a kid brother anywhere here? In fact there are two issues here; one, you guys don’t seem to walk many places and, two, it would be deemed completely irresponsible to allow kids to roam around willy nilly with all the weirdos you have on file, let alone the ones who have never been caught.
Is it the day and age we are living in? Do we want better for our kids than what we got? Or do we just want to adopt the opposite of the parenting we were given?
GLOSSARY (page down)
Sweet = candy
Gob = mouth
Lass = girl
Willy nilly = carefree