Monday, February 28, 2011

GOW 1...........

You may call me the Grumpy Old Woman, people.

I am turning into one fast, and so are most of my friends who happen to be my sort of age. It is the source of great mirth at times for us all, though. I mean - take the age of all the reporters - the "experts" on TV. Give me strength. And when did policemen become policemen at 12? Or that is the way it seems. And who decided that school holidays were a good idea? I went shopping last week and it was like negotiating a fairground....... all those little ones tearing around at knee height. And we all know my knees are sensitive souls, don't we. Not to mention the bigger ones, some of whom I happened to have taught. They were pushing prams. I will say nothing. Memo to self: Avoid shops during school holidays.

Sigh. Yes, I do remember being a young Mum. And I also remember being young and knowing all the answers to global problems. I think I remember my parents rolling their eyes a lot at that stage. I also remember how we were going to fix the world.

Well, didn't we do well.

Music - another source of grumpiness. The hearing may not be what it once was, but good grief, does the music HAVE TO BE SO LOUD?????? If I am in control of the volume, however, I can have it as loud as I want. The same goes for the TV volume but this is why I qualify for the Society of Grumpy Old Women, you see. I make the rules to suit me. Oh the power.

And did you know that apparently one can buy a thingy into which one puts nappy wipes so they can be heated??? WHAT??? Exactly how far are they taking the "make your baby into a super wimp" idea? In my day, pure luxury was a squirt of baby lotion onto cottonwool. They survived to tell the tale. Their rear ends were soft too.

Ah yes, the good old days.

And speaking of babies and toddlers, there seems to be a tendency to treat the lot with kidgloves, and ask instead of tell. Please do this, that or the next thing, darling. (Insert sugary sweet voice.) Darling completely ignores all requests, and yet the firm instruction and expectation of obedience never seems to follow. Hmmm. (And no, young Mums who are close to me, I am not speaking of you here.... I have had a morning with little ones unrelated in any way, which launched another GOW chat with the older friends I happened to be with too. You may relax.)

Rules. Boundaries. Groan. This could move to an "I used to teach" post, and that can wait until I feel ready to inform Mr Gove of my view of how education needs to change and how the kids I happened to encounter seemed to have no idea that they are actually supposed to follow rules. Rules? What are they?

The price of petrol - I remember when it was 30 something p a litre. The price of bread. The price of just about everything on earth. See? Don't I do well at the GOW thing? I am so proud.

Have you ever watched any police reality shows? Does anyone remember when "yes sir" was a standard answer to a policeman? Not today. Policemen are more likely to get an earful of verbal abuse coupled with a screech about rights of the human variety.

Health and safety.

You know those little badges with numbers on which you get for birthdays? They all used to have pins on the back. To my knowledge, not one of my children ever managed to insert the pin into their bodies. I am sure I would have heard if they had. Now, they have little plastic clips which do not seem to stay on very well. And on a more serious note, there was the horrendous incident here in the UK a few years ago where 2 policemen watched a little boy drown, because they were forbidden to enter the water on H&S grounds. I still shudder when I think of that. Risk assessments for everything. Even climbing a ladder at work. One with 3 steps.

We are drowning under layers of legislation intended to wrap the nation in cottonwool and protect everyone from everything. Life isn't like that. No failure allowed because little egos may be dented. No competition, because there are losers in competitions. Aiyaiyai. And sterile environments which lower our resistance to absolutely everything. Allergies are on the increase. And that could well be because kids never come into contact with germs.

When my oldest was a baby, I sterilised everything known to man. And he was constantly developing infections. By the time #3 appeared, I was beyond worrying about germs. His dummy (pacifier) was picked up dusted off and plonked back in the mouth. He is as tough as nails, and never got sick. One of the ladies I was walking with this morning told of how her father-in-law, who was a GP, put her baby on the not pristine carpet on its stomach, to her horror, years ago. He apparently grinned at her dismay, and told her - that, my dear, is as good as a vaccination. Point well taken. Her child survived.

By now, I am sure your eyes are glazing over. I am not at all surprised. I do believe that this will become a series here at RCR. Consider this Episode 1.

I am on a roll........


Crystal said...

You are right about little ones and how much things change from #1 to #2 and beyond! Bob and I were just commenting on Saturday about that with our daughters. So much more relaxed already! Our kids played outside in the dirt and on the ground and they were always so healthy. Thanks for sharing your GOW reflections :)

P.S. Looking forward to seeing pictures of the house :)

Carole Burant said...

My friend June and I were talking about this very subject yesterday over coffee! With all the new laws about safety, sterilizing, etc, etc, etc, it's no wonder kids are always sick or have allergies, they have no immunity to any of it. As Crystal says in her comment, we played outside in the dirt (my youngest brother was forever eating that dirt! lol) and we were never sick! It's just getting beyond ridiculous all these changes and I don't like it one bit. Maybe I'll join you into being a GOW! lol xoxo

Anonymous said...

I love it. I am a GOW, too.

The Bookworm said...

Child number 1 got baby food from jars because I wasn't sure I was getting pureeing right. Child number 2 got purees for a while and then thrown scraps of what we were eating. Child number 3 skipped the purees and went straight to scraps (aka "baby led weaning", which makes it sound better!). Said child (now aged 4) also pinned one of those real, safety pin badges to her top today without damaging herself - she was most indignant when I tried to do it for her.

Oh, and I am not allowed to collect anything from the store rooms at the archive because I have not had ... wait for it ... ladder training. Ladder training, including the use of step stools. This is for a maximum height off the ground of maybe two feet, three at the most. Now if I was volunteering for the Fire Brigade I could see a need for ladder training, but step stools? Huh? Rant over. Turning into a GOW here too.

Stripeyspots said...

Oh I loved this!

Linda said...

I think we need to get a widget and get this group off the ground Linds! All I can say is, "Yes, yes, yes!"
Sign me up for GOW club.

Olson Family said...

This was great. I think it should be a regular column. I think GOW would be a good regular column in an actual newspaper - to impart some knowledge and common sense to the communities. :) I fear I am pre-GOW - I have about half the symptoms!
Your H&S comments strike me too. One thing I appreciate about Switz. is that in spite of so many rules, there is also the unwritten rule of Common Sense within the Community. Of 'gasp' - self responsibility. I've been watching a young man, about 11/12 yrs old, working with the crew on the construction site near our place on Wed. afternoons (schools out) and this Sportfereien season. He wears a vest and hardhat like the crew and does odd jobs. Staying out of trouble, learning something - still going to school. Based on an issue a family member had recently in the US, this would be illegal back home. Many children are no longer allowed into the facilities where their parents practice their trade - no wonder the laborers are few. I'll stop as this is supposed to be a comment not a full post!

Lu said...

The one that amuses me is when on television anyone near any building work has to wear a yellow safty helmet, even when they are only looking at the foundations and there's nothing to fall on them.
And not forgetting the price of chocolate, back in the late 50's my mother would buy my little brother a 1d or 2d bar of chocolate you could get 240 or 120 bars for a £1. You can now buy a simular bar for about 25p or 4 £1