Monday, 6 June 2011

Progress: the things my children won't know

I've just got Boy Three ready for bed. These inefficient ablutions usually involve a lot of splashing and some bubbles. 

This time he spied a mini bar of soap brought home from some hotel or other. "Wazzat?" he pointed. 

"Soap," I unwrapped it for him. It must have been there years. 

He was baffled. He tried licking it then shoving it down the drain. Finally I showed him that if you rubbed it you got bubbles. Now he could see the point. 

But while this was going on and during the ensuing comical attempt to catch the soap in the sink I realised that he will probably never normally come across a bar of soap. We have bottles of liquid soap everywhere, don't you?

Then later I was writing a cheque for the football team's fees. That's something else he and his brothers probably won't know - cheques, not fees. 

It's fairly certain they'll only meet records, cassettes and video tape in museums. And blackboards are no longer part of the furniture in classrooms. 

Phones with bits you put your fingers in to dial are only ever special retro features. Smoking inside public places is, thankfully, gone for good.

What about floppy discs and their more modern successor 'hard' floppy discs?

Will children ever have to buckle small shoes? The idea of making arrangements to meet someone that don't depend on mobile phones already seems quaint. 

The way Kindle and the like are taking off, perhaps they'll forget what a book feels like. 

My Boys have only once used a public phone - yet when I was in the Brownies, we had to carry a two pence piece for just that reason. 

I remember my younger siblings enjoying nappies made of towelling fixed with pins. That doesn't happen any more. 

It does make me wonder: what's going to change before my Boys are grown up with their own children.

What will they look back on and say: "Do you remember... ?"


  1. Interesting post. However.....

    We use bars of soap in our downstairs toilet. Although saying that it is so hard to find pretty bars of soap these days.

    I can't bear to part with my old cassettes so my daughter will no doubt come across these even though I never listen to them!

    And I will never swap proper books for a kindle. Totally not the same in my opinion.

  2. We've never managed to come up with a word for that 3 minute movie that accompanies a song - you and I know this as a video, a word my children glaze over at.

    The really scary thing is when they hit secondary school and you realise that what you remember as Modern Studies is now called History... The Cuba Crisis, The 7 Day War, The New Right... The Soviet Union!

    I imagine by the time my 5yo is sitting his National 4s and 5s History will be Gadaffi and 9/11 - how time marches relentlessly on ;)

  3. PhotoPuddle, do you still have something to play casettes on? And I agree, I don't think curling up with a good Kindle will ever replace a book, but for our kids...

    Nikkii, Modern Studies is now History! I hadn't thought of that. I remember at one parents evening, the head teacher saying that by the time our children finish their education a good chunk of them will be doing jobs that we've not heard of yet.

  4. Me and MadDad were musing the other night that our boys know nothing of 7 and 12 inch records or mix tapes and sony walkmans or personal disk players or even mini disks. Life has changed beyond recognition

  5. The MadHouse, Oh yes, what about taping the Top 40 from the radio on a Sunday evening?

    And I just thought of another one, getting photos developed at the chemist.

  6. Yep, we do have a stereo with a tape player on it. I hope it doesn't break any time soon as I'm not sure if they even sell them with tape players anymore. I'm sure I must have an old walkman lying about somewhere too!

  7. Apparently it ages us when we say 'mobile phone' - to Generation Y it's just a phone.

    Writing letters and sending cards - are they on their way out? Knowing where to put the address at the top of a letter? And the appropriate greetings ... And don't forget buying stamps!

    Record shops? Nearly a thing of the past.

    Phone directories? Very nearly extinct.

    Address books - see comment on phones!!

    Very sad and even worse that we sound like our parents :-(

  8. Ruth, yeah, but at least there's a bit of life left in our parents yet!


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