I was watching the kids commercials for toys on television one day when I was held captive by my grandchildren.
Things have really changed.
When I was growing up we asked for permission to watch television and then we quietly sat down and watched Don Messer's Jubilee, Hockey Night In Canada or the news. We never walked to the television and turned the channel. We asked for permission to watch a show, pleaded our case, and accepted the verdict. If we won, one of the parental units walked to the television and turned the knob.
Then I grew up and I had kids. That was bad enough. That day when you are sitting there rocking and singing along with Mr. Dressup and Casey and you realize that you are not holding a baby, and there are no children in the room. Like, where was that picture in the birth control section of sex-ed? You know, when you go out with your friends finally for a night out and you have no idea who they are talking about because the only adults you have been around for the past 5 years are named Sharon, Lois and Bram.
The other day I was with the grandkids and they were watching children. I asked for permission to turn it to something else after 17 hours and forget that. I was forced to surrender the television, the remote and my sanity, the moment the children decided they wanted to watch television.
I watched the commercials where a doll, a dinosaur, a muppet and a unicorn all moved and chatted with the child they were playing with. Of course it started a chorus of "MOMMMMMMM!!! I WANT that!!"
Do you have any idea how embarrassing it is to recognize that one of the voices screaming is your own? And to discover that you are jumping up and down on the couch at the same time?
I had a brother. A lousy crappy brother that made my life a living hell. I had stupid pointless cows for pets. I had farm kids as friends. None of them had conversations. None of them said nice things. And not one of them sparkled.
I did the only thing I could. I called my brother to meet me down at Walmart where I spent 3 hours trying to trade him in on a decent toy. I pointed out how broken he was and how he didn't ever sing.
They wouldn't take him.
Life sucks. It really does. It lets you live just long enough for you to realize that you had a really lousy crappy childhood. No wonder my great great grandfather spent the last years of his life hitting us kids over the head with a cane or using it to hook our necks and fling us into the back room when someone wasn't watching him. No wonder he used to take his false eye out and chuck it at us. We had Gi Joes and Barbies. We had Chatty Cathy and robots that boxed. We had Mouse Trap and Etch a Sketch and Slinkies. He had a rock and a stick as a kid. He resented the hell out of us.
The poor man's soul was in agony and there we were, children, laughing and enjoying ourselves, playing with our toys, rubbing his face in our cherub fresh faces and curly heads that had the whole future ahead of us with a lifetime of better toys, while he was old and dying and realized that his whole life was shit.
If anyone is looking for me tell them I am out shopping for a cane and a false eyeball.