Since having children I have become quite fired up about anyone using the term "kids these days" or "back in my day."
People using these phrases are generally old and comparing an entire lifetime (or two) ago with today. But it's hopeless using the past as a reference for how much better kids supposedly were then when so much of the rest of the world has changed.
Sometimes, however, it's easier to be an angry old person just like everyone else.
I guess it's the natural order of things for parents to look at their kids and point out how much easier they have it.
You know how your grandad used to walk to school barefoot in the snow with only fresh cow poo to keep his feet warm?
Yeah well, kids these days have it so easy, with their shoes and global warming.
I was in the toy section of the Warehouse recently to get a birthday present for a 6-year-old when I found myself jumping on the "kids these days" bandwagon.
Kids these days don't even have to fill up their own water balloons individually!
They don't have to spend an afternoon stretching the tiny neck of a water balloon over the hose tap.
No busting balloons when the neck splits as it gets stretched, no accidental soaking when the balloon explodes before it's meant to.
Kids these days fill their balloons up 35 at a time – yes THIRTY-FIVE – in ONE go.
The entire concept is completely counter-intuitive for parents.
Back in my day we'd spend an entire afternoon at the hose, filling up dozens of balloons one, by one, by one. We'd be there until we all had a bucket full each and then it was war. And then we'd do it again.
For goodness sake, I want my kids to spent two hours at the hose filling up balloons, I don't want that sh*t done in 60 seconds.
They don't even have to tie the knot themselves. It does it itself!
What are they going to do with the rest of the day?
I can confirm from my own experience in a family water fight last summer that it's much less satisfying smashing someone with a balloon that took a split second to fill up.
And I don't know if we filled these 35-at-a-time balloons up incorrectly or not but I only saw one smash on a human. They seemed to hit someone then bounce to the ground and smash there.
The one that did explode properly was the one my husband threw at the side of my head from miles away. It was basically a Wet Willy missile that really hurt and filled my ear with water. He too got an earful, just not with water.
Who the hell throws a water bomb at their wife's face in a family water fight anyway?
I'd thrown mine at his back because I wanted to wet him, not hurt him.
But back to my whining. While I was in the toy section, I also found a Whoopee Cushion.
Every childhood needs a Whoopie Cushion.
They don't even need to blow them up anymore! They're filled with some sort of foam that reinflates itself after you make your fart noise. I'm sure it's much more hygienic this way, but isn't that another problem with kids today?
They're practically bathed in antibacterial soap so they don't even have immune systems anymore.
I'm sure the Whoopie Cushion played a crucial role in the evolution of bacterial resilience.
The truth is that everyone who says "kids these days" is just jealous.
Because blowing your water-based missiles up 35 at a time is pretty freaking awesome.
And so is being a kid these days.