Candy cigarette anyone?
Things have changed since I was a kid. I remember one of my favorite candies when I was a kid was the candy cigarette. Remember? There was the gum kind that was wrapped in paper and if you blew really hard a little puff of "smoke" would come out. The other kind were little candy sticks that had red ends to make the cigarette look lit. Both came in a realistic cigarette box. I thought they were so cool. Can you imagine buying a treat like that for your kids now? You'd be shunned from the playground in no time.
School work has changed too, you know. Parents are way more involved with kids projects than they used to be. When I was in school, if I had a paper due it was all up to me. I wrote it, I dragged out the old typewriter and typed it (it was electric, I'm not that old!). If there was any kind of diaorama or poster required, my mom passed me the glue and walked away.
These days, parents spend just as much time in threnches as the kids, sometimes more. A friend recently told me that her husband spent five hours with an erector set for her eight year old's "machine" project. My own sister typed (and possible wrote) every paper for her now grown son. I bring this all up because I have joined the ranks as well. I spent my evening typing and editing my daughter's health paper last night. And after she went to bed, I watched Law & Order and colored in the poster of "Tuberculor Bob" - an informative and entertaining visual on the disease that ravaged the 1920's. I probably wouldn't have done so much work, but darling daughter mentioned at 7:30pm that her report was due today. She thought she had more time, got confused when it was due, told me and I forgot- pick your excuse. At first, I told her tough luck. She didn't budget her time and was going to have to suffer the consequences. We didn't even have any poster board! I soon calmed down and sent her to her room with her notes to write the report. While she was doing that, I quickly scared up some facts from the internet on Tuberculosis to add to the report. I wasn't going to let her take the F grade. She deserved it, but I couldn't let her show up unprepared. Jasmine works hard for her grades, but she can be very forgetful. I need to remind her of due dates constantly so she can stay on schedule. This is my child. When she moves out in her own, her electric and cable will probably be shut off more than once. Not for lack of money, but simply because she forgot to mail the check. I know she's only twelve, but she's the kind of kid that has to learn everything the hard way. She's always been like that.
So hubby ran to Walmart for poster board and drew her a lovely Tuberculor Bob. Jazz filled in the facts on the poster and wrote her notes for the oral presentation, and I typed and edited the paper, and colored in Bob. It was a group effort to get our kid the best grade possible. But there are consequences for not being prepared for project worth a test grade - Dad just happens to be chaperoning the dance in a couple of weeks. And if that wasn't already punishment enough, he's going to make a special song request "to my darling daughter Jasmine, from her Daddy". She chose that idea. Her other option was having the last dance of the evening with her dad. She'd rather be brutally murdered by a grizzly bear than have that happen, so song dedication it is. Boy, now that I think of it, disipline has changed a lot over the years too.