I remember my childhood was loads of fun – our toys were cool, the places we went to were fun, and we were happy and satisfied. My sisters and I used to go out on weekends with my parents to – which was back then – the most popular area for shopping, eating, or just walking. It was outdoors and composed of shops and restaurants that were lined up next to each other, in a time when malls weren’t so popular yet. Our favorite evening out included having dinner at Hungry Bunny (a fast food place that’s become extinct), ice cream at Baskin’ Robbins, buying music cassette tapes from a place called Swan Lake (again, gone with the extinction of the cassette tape), and then getting Archie comics or teenage novels from The Family Bookshop, which recently announced that it’s closing down what with the rise of digital books and e-readers.
We used to have the coolest toys (see below images)! We played with karaoke microphones (not connected to televisions or game consoles), we had Barbies (that weren’t back then the subject of controversies over gender-focused toys), we had these cool hand-held “cameras” that you used to look through and flip to enjoy “3D” images, and we used to play pretend games – our favorite had my sisters, cousins and I imagine that our beds were boats and we were each stranded on them, trying to get away from alligators and onto island safety.
When I look at my lil’ girl and other kids her age and older, I really miss my childhood and wish that my daughter could have experienced it. These days, our lil’ ones are obsessed with their gadgets, devices, gaming consoles, televisions, etc. Toys don’t capture their attention anymore – I recently bought my lil’ girl a small bed for her dolls, thinking she’d enjoy it. She took one look at it, asked what she’d do with a “bucket” (which is what she thought it was), played with it for a whole of 2 minutes, and then asked for her iPad.
Their days out are spent at malls or indoors. Even when we take them to parks or outdoor kids’ areas, we’re so overprotective and careful, worried that they’d fall, talk to strangers, or other such modern-day fears of parents. We’re also overly protective about what they eat – we read articles, books, and advice over what we should and shouldn’t feed them. No fast food, no overly sugar-coated candy, no soda, and other such rules. When my lil’ one asks for ice cream, she prefers having frozen yoghurt! At her age, I wouldn’t eat frozen yoghurt if you paid me.
Yes, I miss my childhood. I hope to create a childhood for my lil’ one that she’ll also remember with a smile one day.