Thursday 4 December 2014

Old Fart Time Again.

I can remember when the kids were small and what a nightmare it was going anywhere at all. You had to have eyes in the back of your head and even with the two of us watching; sometimes the little darlings would slip out of sight. Then the panic would set in. One of us would grab the other two and one would go in the most likely direction. The nearest store with blinking lights or toys would be the first place to check. We were lucky enough not to have lost one or two along the way and all three survived long enough to move out of our home.

I can’t imagine what it must have been like a hundred, two hundred or even a thousand years ago walking with your kids. Kids would have been like the kids now, an unending supply of curiosity, coupled with no fear at all. Well, until they look around and find that they are alone in a great big world. Now it is a world of kneecaps, but in days of yore there would be real world fears and terrors. There were all sorts of hungry animals back in those days and we were less muscled, toothed and clawed than anything we might run into.

A hungry wolf or coyote wouldn’t think a crying child was cute and something to be helped, they would think “SCORE! I just found an easy meal.” Humans have always found safety in numbers. I always thought that meant the more of us there were the less likely it would be for any wild animal to attack. It could have meant that parents would have a lot of children to make up for the ones that wandered off and fed the local wild life. Once the kids passed the getting lost stage, they would have become a financial burden and solutions like Hansel and Gretel’s father took would become the norm.

I can just picture the woods around a largish village would be crowded with crying, lost children. Mind you, it would be pretty hard to get lost because in no time at all there would be an obvious path beaten in the forest floor which the kids could just follow home. If you didn’t like your neighbour, you could just wait until he came back from the woods with a smile on his face. Then you could go into the woods, find the kids and return them home with a smile on your face. Small towns in the old days had little or no entertainment to speak of.

I’ve heard that now, you can buy a computer chip that attaches to your kids clothing (or under the skin) and if they go lost, you just have to go to an app on your phone and it will lead you to the missing child. That kind of takes the fun out of it though. You get used to that rush of adrenalin to get you through a long day of shopping. It also has an added benefit of frightening the bejesus out of the kid, making him or her just a little more docile for thirty minutes or so. It’s harder to shop with a kid clinging to your leg, but at least you know where he/she is.

Maybe it’s just best and easiest to get a baby sitter or sympathetic relative to look after the kids while you go Christmas shopping

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