Childhood. The old-fashioned way.
I was under the weather a couple of days this week
Being forced to slow down a little allowed me to take some time to reminisce about the games I played when I was kept home from school sick as a child back in the 1970s.
In our family, the sick kid was pampered. We didn’t have to put on too much of an act to be kept home from school. Of course, in the 1970s, less than one-third of households was dual income, so one parent would usually be home to accommodate sick days and snow days.
The first treat that a sick child received in my home was having the “sick bed” made up on the recliner in the living room.
There was something very comforting about being sick in my childhood. Of course, it meant that you didn’t have to go to school. It also meant that you got served warm, sugary tea, cinnamon toast and Ginger Ale left to sit a while so it would get flat (of course, I always drank mine before it got too flat.)
Being sick as a child also meant that you received a small sicky gifts – just some things to help a poor thing to bide time. My mom and older sisters rocked.
Today, I do all of these things for my three daughters when they are sick
Of course, being sick meant that we weren’t able to go outside to play with our friends. This was most difficult if you got sick on a weekend or during the summer because you could hear the other kids playing outside in the neighborhood, having a great time running around while you were laying in your sick bed.
But being sick certainly didn’t stop us from playing inside!
The Magic Slate: This was my first computer. The technology was incredible at the time and it was as fun to erase what you drew as it was to draw it — slowly lifting the plastic sheet to remove all trace of your artistry.
Silly Putty: What couldn’t you do with silly putty? And don’t tell me that you never tasted it either! I remember how it cracked when you chewed on it. Of course, the best thing to do with silly putty was to copy comic strips with it by flattening a piece of it and pressing it down on the comic so the print would transfer to the putty.
Comic strips or Funny pages: Of course, when you had silly putty, you usually had the funny pages nearby. The funny pages were always good for a couple of hours – even more when you combined them with some silly putty.
Etch-a-Sketch: Did anyone NOT have an etch-a-sketch? These were so fun that they are still popular today. I usually drew cars and houses with my etch-a-sketch, but the only thing that limited you was your imagination. Well, skill had a part in it too I suppose.
Colorforms: I don’t remember exactly which colorform sets I had, but I have a feeling it was a GI Joe set. Could have been Batman or Spiderman too though. Whichever one it was; it was always fun to create scenes with those reusable vinyl stickers when sitting in the sick chair all day.
Wooly Willy Magnetic Drawing Pad: Wooly Willy provided hours of fun. Hmmm, let me try to give him some hair on the side of his head and a mustache. There was something very cool about dragging the metal shavings with that magnetic wand. Wooly Willy required a slow and steady hand and good attention.