I often come across lists on Facebook that say, ‘If you were a child of the *fill in decade* then you’ll love this!’ And the other day I was chatting to my Mister about how, when we were small, things were different (obviously) but in particular, we never seemed to get thirsty. Now I never leave home without at least one bottle of water and I usually have two or three bottles with varying volumes in my car. This got me thinking about Things We Did As children That We Don’t Do Now.
1. Have spontaneous running races
Imagine the scene – you’re walking to your car with your colleague to go and buy a salad from Woolies when she shouts, “I’ll race you to the car! Last one there’s a stinky poo!” Or, you’re in Edgars and you ask the sales assistant where the pantyhose are and she yells, “I’ll race you – last one there’s a rotten egg!” Life would be so much fun and exciting! You’d never know what to expect and there’d be so many opportunities to win!
2. Climb on the roof of the house
Remember how you and your brothers would decide to climb onto the roof of the house to ‘fetch a tennis ball’ but actually just because you felt like climbing onto the roof? Why don’t we do that anymore? Is it because we now realise that if you fall off you’ll probably break an important part of your body into pieces, or is it because we’ve lost our sense of adventure? I’m pretty sure we can all spend a little more time on the roofs of our houses…
3. Drink water straight from the hosepipe
When we were little and very busy playing Thundercats, Barbie or He Man in the garden, no one ever said, ‘Let’s stop and go get some water – we mustn’t dehydrate’. We would never have stopped our fun-having to do something so boring – we just used to run to the nearest garden tap and slurp water right from the hosepipe. And it tasted amazing, like the purest spring water from the mountain streams of Switzerland. Now, people can find me by following the trail of water bottles from room to room.
4. Make mud pies
Playing in the mud has got to be one of the all-time favourite activities of children around the world! What child doesn’t love getting filthy and muddy? So why did we stop doing that? I never tell friends who phone on a Saturday afternoon and ask what I’m doing: ‘I’m making mud pies! Do you wanna come over?’ Yet we’ll pay hundreds to a spa to paint us with their special unicorn mud and play tinny elevator music as we lie on the uncomfortable, skinny-people beds. Go to http://bit.ly/16SPJJs – Tessa may not show you here how to play with mud, but she will give you her best beauty buys!
5. Play ‘let’s pretend’
For some reason when we were small we ALWAYS used to play ‘let’s pretend we’re Americans’. I don’t know where this obsession with Americans came from – it may have come from the fact that it was the 80s and anything that wasn’t South African was über-exotic. I think I sometimes still do play ‘let’s pretend’ now when I’m chatting to my Mister, but it’s more along the lines of ‘What would you buy first if you won the Lotto on Saturday?’
6. Play dress up.
This is something I loved to do as a child. I’d take one of my mother’s bras, stuff the cups with socks and tennis balls, put on her high heels and stomp around the house. To a certain extent, I still play dress up but more so with make-up than with clothes. I’ve recently fallen in love with make-up all over again and I get so excited every morning when I put on my primer, tinted moisturiser, eye shadows and then choose from one of my 15 shades of lipstick! I can’t wait until my baby girl is old enough to play dress up with me. Have a look at page 12 of the April issue of Essentials to see how you can dress up too.
7. Eat mulberries straight off the tree
We used to have a mulberry tree at the back of our garden and my brother and I used to run barefoot after school and stuff our faces with bright red, juicy mulberries. We didn’t even look first to see if there were insects on them – we just used to scoff them! Now, when I eat berries of any sort, I soak them for ages first in water to make sure there are no little goggos hiding in them.
There’s so much we used to do as children that we don’t do now because we’re adults or because we don’t have time. I reckon it’d be a good idea for us to stop for a second and think about what used to make us happy as children and maybe do that once in a while. Even if it is going out into the garden and making mud pies for lunch. And if you’re looking for a delish recipe, without mulberries and goggos, visit our recipes page: http://bit.ly/XphQfP.