I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means
If you’ve been following this blog, you know that I love The Princess Bride and you know that one of my favorite lines is, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” In yesterday’s post, I talked about things in my childhood that I wish they’d bring back and how I wish my daughters could enjoy some of the things I loved in my childhood, but I know that being a kid today is very different from when I was a kid. I’m also reluctantly coming to terms with the fact that every day, my coolness decreases exponentially, which is especially troubling since I had very little cool to begin with. How do I know? I used to know and use most words found on Urban Dictionary, but now, I not only don’t know most of the words and terms, I find myself saying, “Really?! Kids say that nowadays?” Seriously, what the heck is a Dougie and why do so many people want to teach it to me?
In short, I’m fastly becoming out of touch and pre-school/kindergarten is fastly approaching, and there may be words/terms/concepts from my childhood that don’t mean what I think they mean today. Here are some examples.
Show and tell
I used to love show and tell! Well, sort of. I loved it when I brought in the coolest toy. Back then, show and tell meant you bring something in and tell your classmates about it to practice being a show off public speaking. Today, show and tell can be sexting. This is a very serious subject, and something I am absolutely horrified about, so I’ll just say it’s something I’m educating myself on.
To combat potential sexting from my daughters, I’ll forgo giving them a phone and teaching them how to use smoke signals. That way, they can reach me when I’m needed and there’s no possibility of sexting. I mean how salacious can smoke signals be?
Milk and cookies
I loved snack and nap times in kindergarten. In fact, I think all employers should make them mandatory. My favorite snack was milk and cookies, which the teacher provided and all the kids enjoyed. And if you didn’t like the snack? Well, that never happened; we just ate what we were given.
Today? Kids have to bring their own snacks and they’re food snobs at such a young age. Note: For the soon-to-be or newb parents out there, not only will you feel like a beast of burden carrying around all those bags, you’ll also feel like a freakin grocery store carrying around all those snacks and drinks. Heck, you’d think you were preparing for a zombie apocalypse when in fact, you are just running an errand. A weekend getaway? You’ll feel like a Costco. When I was a kid (I just lost 5 coolness points for saying that and gained +2 Crotchety), we ate anything so long as it was edible, and even that wasn’t a requirement.
Not only that, but with all the food allergies, you have to be careful what snacks you provide for kids. Again, I know this is a serious topic for many parents but would you excuse me while I rant a bit? If your child is allergic to things and you’re worried what other parents are going to feed them, send them out with their own snacks, otherwise, don’t be upset when your kid comes home hungry because I didn’t have gluten-free treats. I didn’t even know what gluten was until a few years back.
Pop Fact: I first encountered the word gluten about 4 years ago. I was looking up the menu for a steakhouse and saw “Gluten-Free” next to some of the items. I seriously thought they misspelled glutton and thought, “Now who the heck goes to a steakhouse NOT to be a glutton?”
Go play some games with your friends
I now know that what my mom meant when she said this was, “You are annoying. Go bother another mother and give me some peace for an hour or two.” Growing up in the era of the Nintendo Entertainment System, playing some games with friends meant that we could play outdoor games or video games. And back then, we didn’t need no stinkin’ memory cards. We either had to sit our butts down for 3 straight hours to beat a game or write down passcodes on sheets of paper.
Today, kids don’t even have to go outside to play games with their friends. I’m not just talking about playing outdoor/physical games, but they don’t even need to go outside at all – they just have to log-on.
Go play outside
When my mom said to go play outside, there were tons of kids to play with and we’d all run around the neighborhood just being kids. Not so these days.
There are lots of kids in my neighborhood–as evidenced by the 5 minute wait when I get stuck behind a school bus when it stops to drop kids off–but I almost never see any of them playing around the neighborhood and certainly not unsupervised. In fact, when I see a group of kids walking around the neighborhood not doing anything in particular, I wonder what those hoodlums are up to (Crap! Just lost 5 more cool points and gained more Crotchety). Now playing outside often means you gotta load up the minivan, pickup the other kids, and take them to practice/games/some other organized activity. And don’t forget to pack lots of snacks and water.
So help me out parents: what words/terms/concepts no longer mean what I think they mean?