What do these things have in common?  They are “tools of the trade” for my daughter, the mother of a delightful two and a half year old!

hand sanitizer

Things have greatly changed since my children were toddlers.  I am fortunate I never had to carry babies around in those heavy seats. I would not have been able to have more than one baby at a time, and I am sure I would carry it with 2 arms wrapped around it lest I drop it.  For the child’s own safety due to my clumsiness, I probably would have stayed home all the time! Our car seats stayed in the car and the babies and toddlers went straight into the umbrella stroller when we were out.  It was easy.  They could see the world, and my hands were free. Using the stroller also had the wonderful advantage in that when clothes shopping, they could be hung on the back of the stroller.  I had to be careful on clearance day, though, lest the weight of the clothing supersede the weight of the particular child in the stroller.  While I did misjudge several times, the stroller and the child would just fall back onto a nice, soft pile of clothing. I have such empathy for parents lugging the infant in the infant seat.  They look sooooooo heavy!

My daughter, Dinora, has child proof locks on her cupboard doors.  What a great idea!!!  I used to keep the poisonous soaps, sprays and cleaners on top of my refrigerator.  They were safe there, at least until Steven began to climb like a monkey!  Whoever thought of the lock on the cupboard doors was a genius!  Unfortunately, I am not genius level.  When I babysit for my grandson, I cannot figure out how to open the darn locks!  It appears that you have to use 2 hands to do so and my hands do not cooperate with each other.  During my futile attempts, my grandson stands there crying for his macaroni and cheese for supper, and I can’t get in the cupboard to get the box!  Those locks are childproof and grandmother proof! He doesn’t really mind, though, as he much prefers the pizza I order instead.

The other amazing “new invention” is a toilet that makes music when you pee in it!  (I am, of course, talking about a toddler potty.)  What a wonderful motivator for toilet training!  It is certainly be healthier than the M&Ms I used to give, and everyone within earshot can hear the delightful music and cheer the performer on!  The only downside leads to my next observation about toddlers these days; my daughter will need to get a different potty if her next child is a girl, who wouldn’t dream of peeing in a Superman potty.  With parents knowing before hand if they are having a boy or a girl, baby items now seem to be all girly or all masculine, with little in between, unlike in “my days” when babies wore a lot of green or yellow which would suffice for either.  I have never seen so many princesses and action heroes in my life! So much for sexism, I guess…

Imagine my surprise when my grandson climbed in my lap carrying an IPad and started to play a game of Angry Birds.  At TWO and a HALF years old he was independently using a computer!  But ANGRY BIRDS?He was lopping these little birds through the air to their deaths, feathers flying everywhere.  And giggling! This must be the training game for all of the fighting and war games that will come when he is older.

A final reminder of how much things have changed happened when Dinora, my grandson and I went out to eat breakfast in a restaurant.  While he played with child aps on the IPad, we had a lovely adult conversation with fussy interruptions.  (There were times when raising young ones that I would have died just to be able to drink a hot cup of tea without an interruption.)  At the completion of this wonderfully enjoyable meal, my grandson, whose speech is somewhat delayed, managed to ask his mom for some “sanitizer”.  I almost flew off my chair! SANITIZER?  What a word for a 2 year old! He dutifully put out his hands and she dutifully squirted the sanitizer, a beautiful fragrance of lilacs and honey. (Who comes UP with these combinations?)

Things are certainly different these days, with computer aps for toddlers, musical potties,  disposable training pants and bibs, sippy cups in all shapes and sizes, locked cupboard doors, and super hero and princess everything (sheets, toys, cups, dishes, silverware, hairbrushes, toothbrushes, shirts, pants, socks, shoes…you get the idea.) With the exception of having to tote an infant around in a car seat instead of in an umbrella stroller, these days of raising children seem like a lot of fun!  (Maybe it’s time for me to foster a few more…)

My husband must be a mind reader.  I just heard him faint…


Link to my book


The Apple Tree: Raising 5 Kids With Disabilities and Remaining Sane

Link to the Readers Digest review of my book:  http://www.rd.com/recommends/what-to-read-after-a-hurricane/


Comments on: "Sanitizer, Angry Birds, Locked Doors and Singing Toilets…What Do These Things Have in Common?" (97)

  1. How well I can relate to all this! My grandson also plays Angry Birds on some contraption I don’t know how to operate.

  2. Funny! You a right. Things really have changed so much since my time of being a mom to a toddler.

  3. Too funny! You are right. Things really have changed.

  4. Very much enjoyed! Even the ‘prenatal’ rules have changed in 30 some years… With all the revision! Eat this NOT that! MAKES one wonder how any of us are ALIVE to witness the evolution! ;D

  5. Just so enjoy reading your post. Thank you for sharing glimpses from your life with your family.

  6. LMBO at your husband fainting! That was hysterical!! It amazes me that my 2 yr old nephew can operate my iphone. He knows what pocket I keep it in and he takes it out, slides the bar and hands it to me to key in the password. Then he goes to the videos I keep on there for him. At first I was like “that’s insane for him to play on my phone” and then, when we were all out to dinner I handed him my phone and he played while we finished dinner. At that point I was like “dang, I wish I had that when mine was little!!!” Being a germ phobe, I carried sanitizing wipes in the diaper bag, cause it wasn’t near as prevalent then as it is now!

  7. I can relate to all of this. I am a nurse so I keep hand sanitizer in my purse and my 4 year old knows how to operate my Samsung Galaxy better than me. And yes, he loves to play Angry Birds on my phone. I do not even play the game (don’t know how either). The musical potty chair my daughter who is now ten, did not care for her princess potty. When she used it and it made that sound, boy if she didn’t dash off that thing at full speed, screaming and crying!! LOL needless to say, I had to take the batteries out.

  8. I agree, things certainly have changed in good and bad days. My kids are always tapped into technology and never fully engage with me. That gets frustrating. But I too am absorbed with my iPad and cell phone. The best new invention is the new trend of socks that purposely don’t match. Although I shake my head every time I look at my 14 year olds feet, it sure saves me a lot of time 😉

  9. You are so funny! With my second child, I use my beat-up umbrella stroller all the time! First-time moms look at me with pity because she’s not riding in a $400+ designer stroller like their child is (and like my son did)! 🙂

  10. Absolutely brilliant post! Thank you for a wonderful read!


  11. You know what? I don’t WANT to buy princess or action hero stuff for my kids because I don’t want them to grow up as a stereotype…

    • I know…that’s why I was so surprised that everything these days seems to be one or the other, not too much in between toys. There is the girls aisle of dolls at the store and the boys aisle of action heroes!

  12. As usual, your post is filled with humor and situations we can all relate to in one way or another. Hear, hear for the umbrellas stroller. They were the strong, easy, inexpensive, perfect way to go places…the Ford truck compared to the Cadillac Escalade–I would constantly worry about someone wanting to take revenge for my “uppitiyness”. No one ever coveted my little stroller! When my boys were in high school, my oldest, who was driving out in the boonies most of the time, got his first cell phone…a big clunky thing that gave him 140 min. a month! He was more than thrilled and was first among his friends so that was a bonus for him. He now works in the computer industry as a systems analyst. And, this was without the benefit of Angry Birds on his phone! I, for one, am enthralled with the technology of our time. Now, if I could only learn to master even a little portion of it.

    • I agree! I now how to blog, a little, and I can use my cell phone. I am not on Facebook, and I have missed out on several important life experiences, (like birthday parties and baptisms,) because they were advertised on Facebook!

  13. Sometimes I wonder how our children managed to survive. My girls are going back to cloth diapers because they WANT to. ( I remember being thirlled when I could afford disposables.) They also wrap their babies on and carry them everywhere which seems very convenient. It does take some skill to learn, but its better than the umbrella stroller falling over from the weight of the packages. That used to happen to me all the time, too. Thanks. I enjoyed this post.

    • I can’t help but think that parents who carry babies and toddlers are lugging around extra weight. I liked my hands free and easy! Kiddos these days seem to be soooooo heavy that I don’t envy the parents.

      • I know! They do have their hands free, though. They wrap them onto their backs as well as fronts. I would have felt back-heavy and fallen over like the umbrella strollers.

      • Yes! Me, too. I remember once having to hold Steven at the bank and my arm and shoulder were killing me. Also, Steven was very ADHD so he was very squirmy. We actually had an umbrella for his that had a 4 point harness so he couldn’t wiggle out. Once he knew he couldn’t go anywhere, he’d settle down.

      • I know! They wrap them on so that their hands are free, though–sometimes on their backs. I would have fallen over just like my umbrella stroller!

  14. I am scared to think what life will be like when I become a grandma in a few years. Not being around babies or small kids in over 17 years will be a big change. Good luck to you.

  15. I have that toddler potty also. My son sings the song while off the potty…it’s motivation but, if they are not ready nothing helps:)
    He sure knows how to operate my iPhone even bypassing the pass code though.

  16. Yup. Like your daughter. Those are all very handy tools I use with my girls. However they now fight over the iPad at 11/2 and 41/2. Oh the screaming!

  17. Changed in some ways but not in others. We still have to feed, clean, play with, teach & toilet train our little darlings. We just have some different tools to do it with. One change I don’t like is all the licensed stuff for kids. I really hate seeing kids dressed in brand names, wearing a branded backpack, branded underwear, potties, beds, sheets, bowls, cups, cutlery etc, etc. I try to avoid this if I can because I don’t want my kids living their lives like an advertising billboard. But it’s hard work! Finding and buying these things without branding. Still, it can be done. I’m not totally hard line. My little boy who has autism and had no interest in toys, tv or anything except his ribbon, got interested in Dora. I was happy to get him a few Dora toys so that he could follow that interest. It was really hard to find anything even vaguely gender neutral in the enormous range of Dora (not interested in Diego!). We got a few different things – mostly chosen by him. Finished my rant now 🙂

    • I agree completely with you! So much commercialization! Although my kids did have Winnie the Pooh, at least he was gender neutral. It is the same mount of work, just different tools. (Although it was nice to have my grandson use a learning ap on the IPad while my daughter and I chatted during breakfast.) For kiddos with disabilities, like my son and yours, though, IPad or no, they probably would not have been interested in playing independently. (I didn’t eat out much when he was younger…)

      • Playing independently – nope! But…I enjoy going to a cafe for a coffee or whatever, so from an early age encouraged my boy to enjoy this experience. I’d buy him a drink & a cake and have just enough time to gulp my coffee down before we needed to leave. He’s now an expert and enjoys it. Now we are working on restaurants! Not easy, but we will get there 🙂

  18. The car seats are SOOOO heavy. We’ve tried to avoid the apps. I’ve seen kids at 5 or 6 who start choosing their electronic games over playtime with friends…that seems like a sad consequence of these handy devices. On the other hand, I find myself giving in to TV far too often, and that can keep kids from being physical as well. Picking my battles!

    • Your mention of tv is ironic because that was the only babysitting “tool” I had. My kids loved Barney and Sesame Street. I don’t care what people say about tv being bad…my kids learned a lot from those shows!

  19. Wonderful post as always…my son’s and I loved their strollers too, and they were sooooo handy! Singing pottys…and iPads at 2 and a half…well, must say my grandson went for the Nintendo at that age and my granddaughters could choose their favorite YouTube videos at that age…and to think, all a poor Mom had “back then” was the boob tube to fight with (now there seems to be a tv in every room)…oh well, times change and each has it’s hazards and pleasures… 😉

  20. As the mom of a 1 1/2 year old I can relate to a lot of the “when you were little…” things. I don’t know about your daughter, but we have a stroller that fit her baby car seat but can now be used as a toddler. I inherited a hand-me-down potty chair from my cousin, the youngest is a boy. It’s blue and green with turtles and frogs on it. She doesn’t seem to notice or mind. I’m for gender neutrality…or not just pink for my girl. I’m kinda anti-princess.

    Jeez, writing a blog within your comments…sorry!

    • My daughter has a stroller that holds an infant seat, too. But it is so big and bulky she never uses it. She is so tiny that she has to struggle to get it out of the trunk of the car. She used to just carry him instead. And now that he is a toddler, she lets him walk everywhere. Having had kiddos with psychological problems, mine would never have just walked somewhere. Dinora would have run, Steven would have crawled under the nearest bush and hid, Angel and his “parts” would have been distracted by something one of him wanted, and Marie would have run up the down elevator, (as she so often did when she first came to live with us.) It was unsafe to leave my kiddos restrained. (As Steven got older, we even got an adult size stroller with a safety harness for him. It was the only way we could move him from place A to place B!)

      The biggest change that I have seen is the tendency to have everything for boys or for girls. This does a disservice to both sexes. What about that boy who wants to cook on the play stove and grow up to be a great cook like my husband? Or that girl who wants to play with motorcycles and cars who grows up to be the first female race car driver? That’s not to say that they can’t still play with those toys, but it makes it much harder when they are immediately identified as a boy or a girl toy. Thank Goodness for Sesame Street toys!

  21. this is so true! and really funny 🙂

  22. I have finally stopped giggling long enough to write a reply… ! I just love your posts–they make my day!

  23. I would very much like to nominate you for the ‘sisterhood of the world blogger’s award’ 🙂
    Details can be found at: https://marzipanmelloo.wordpress.com/

    • I greatly appreciate the honor, and it sounds like an award that is close to my heart, but I do not “do” awards. I find that they generally include extra work on my part, and my brain has all it can do to think about the next post!
      Thank you for thinking of me, though!

  24. Haha my mom is always mentioning the changes between ‘now and then’ when she looks after my little ones as well. What a truthful and great post! 🙂

  25. Things have changed so drastically over the years! I’m trying my very best to bring old school back when it comes to raising my babyboy.

  26. greenandclean said:

    Yes, times have changed. I’m not that old but when I was little, we didn’t have car seats, my mom smoked in line at the bank, and preschool was unheard of. Some things change drastically and others stay the same. Great post!

    • Yes! I remember when I was growing up, there were no such things as seat belts. My family used to travel in a Volkswagen van and my brother and I used to lie on a raised platform looking out the window. In retrospect, if my dad had ever stopped short, we would have flown through the windshield like torpedos. Of course, the danger of that was slim as my dad rarely drove over 25 miles an hour!

  27. My carriers stayed in the car also. With two munchkins, 3 years apart, my going to the store routine was a front pack with the younger one, and a backpack with the older. Good workout, hands free, no climbing out of a shopping cart, no tripping others with the stroller. I lost a little hair in little fists, but well worth it! Love your blog.

    • You must be so strong! I have seen parents do that, but I would have felt like the kiddos were taking over my body, (kind of like in the movie Aliens!) Good for you that you managed to do so with only some minor hair loss!

  28. I really enjoyed this post as someone who has at least a few of those tools of the trade (no singing potty, thankfully). However I think all these gadgets and gizmos make parenting so much harder. So many things NOT to buy, temptations to avoid.

    And all the branding, polarised boy/girl as if a girl can’t like spiderman or a boy love peppa pig, infuriates me. I have one of each and struggle SO much with buying things. The range of girl’s clothes is huge and boys clothes are so boring… my 2yo son would rather wear his sister’s pink peppa pig tops any day. And don’t get me started on pink toys or things being labelled ‘boys’ or ‘girls’. Anyway, I’ll stop ranting now! 🙂

    • I appreciate your comments. I do agree that in many ways it is much harder to raise kids these days. I guess every generation has good and bad things about raising our young!

      • Oh yes I agree. It must have been very isolating not having the internet and baby books etc and I can’t imagine doing without disposable nappies and some of my other gadgets! I wonder what it will be like for my children. I hope there is less plastic rather than more…. 🙂

  29. stuffandkids said:

    I am happy for your daughter and the pitty training. Indeed A lot has change. having a 2 yr old girl and a 10 month old boy dispenses the need to decide whether to get pink stuff or blue stuff. Pink or blue whatever is clean then that is what they gonna wear. Thank you grandma. How I wish my kiddies get to have their grandma day too. God Blesa 🙂 x

  30. Hi! Just wanted to let you know I nominated your blog for a Liebster Award because I truly enjoy reading your posts! There are some “rules” to follow upon receiving this award, so if you are interested in responding, please refer to the link below. Otherwise, keep up the good work and thank you for sharing a little bit of your life with me!
    Ms. Jolly Blogger

  31. Just wanted to let you know I nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.


  32. […] her children were little to now with her grandchildren (you should read it too, she is fun to read http://5kidswdisabilities.com/2013/03/24/sanitizer-angry-birds-locked-doors-and-singing-toilets-what… ) Anyway I completely understand what she is telling about, the good and the bad, because if it can […]

  33. Hi, thanks for stopping by my blog. 🙂 just read this piece and had a good chuckle about the superman musical potty. My youngest is just 5 and is in his first year of school. Until he started at school he showed a clear preference for pinks and purples and so called ‘girls’ toys. After six months up close with a lot of boys he has almost completely ditched these things in favour of ‘boys’ toys. I catch him sometimes looking longingly at something bright and pretty that a little girl is playing with but he already seems to feel pressure to conform. Of course we try to encourage him to play with what ever he likes but it is astonishing how powerful peer influence can be.

  34. Wonderful and so very true!! I sat reading and laughing……..what a great stress reliever!

  35. I am reading your blog for the first time. Wow. You sound like an incredible person and your children sound amazing. I just read your post about saying no, no, no all the time. I can so relate. I try to parent in the same way your experience with your daughter has taught you. Thanks for the great reminder about how to successfully talk to our children. Thank you for all your inspiration and hard work with your family. Brava.

  36. Absolutely charming! I just love your blog! As a single mom of “kids” that are now in their 20’s (when did that happen), I joyously giggled along and shook my head in agreement as I read… being a parent has got to be one of the great perks in Life—and dealing with “child locks” has got to be one of the most self-humbling experiences for any “oh my gosh I thought that I was smarter than this” adult! Hee hee!

  37. I just love your blog.its so inspirational. I nominated you The Beautiful Blogger Award 😉

  38. I like the humor.

  39. I love reading your blog – I love the rhythm of your words as you describe the challenges of life. Thank you for sharing your words!

  40. I absolutely LOVE reading your blog! You are one rockin grandmother! Thank you for liking my posts, as well. I’m still trying to learn about this blogging business, so it took me a bit to figure out how to find other people’s blogs! But now, a whole new world has opened up! I’ve got a LOT of reading to do! 🙂

  41. Hi! I’m Katie. I come from a family of 8′ I’m the oldest child of 6 kids and my little brother has a disability to. It’s not really severe, just a sensory problem but still. We have our fair share of fun stories. You probably know what I mean. Life is crazy. Especially when you add a bunch of kids.

    • It sounds like you are a great sister. Sensory issues can be tricky… It is nice that you can have fun with your family, it makes life that much better!

      • I won’t lie, It can be hard at times. And our can make me feel like laughing, crying, screening, and pulling my hair out all at once. But I guess somehow I still manage to be a good sister.

  42. strawberryquicksand said:

    When I was a kid, we used to have a big vinyl covered foam block we would sit on in the car as a booster seat. I had a red one and my sister had a blue one. We got these after my mum twigged that our comments about the lovely trees, clouds and sky meant that that was all we could see. Times have certainly changed!

  43. Loved your blog! I can so relate, even though I have no children, I am a nanny and things are SO different from when I was a kid and what the kids I grew up with had. Granted, I didn’t have cell phones or computers growing up ever since we lived overseas, so coming back to the US has been crazy enough on its own, let alone learning how to relate to kids! Thanks for giving me a good laugh! 🙂

  44. pioneerannie said:

    Your posts are so amazing! I absolutely love your stories of your children and grand son. You are a wonderful wonderful woman, the gift that god has given you to have patience and compassion, not to mention a heart full of optimism is so touching. It is so beautiful to see how he has provided you with these children, fully knowing that you would see, respect and nurture their wonderful little spirits. It is so nice to see how they have grown and are growing and accomplishing so much because of your families love.

  45. While I don’t have children, if I was of similar mind to other woman my age I’d probably be at the half dozen mark by now. Your post here made me smile for a different reason though. I am disabled and use service dogs. When you mentioned your 2yr old grandson asking for “sanitizer” I had to chuckle. I’m a bit OCD myself and unfortunately have influenced my dog somewhere along the way. When we leave a bathroom or some other less than semi-clean floor surface he knows why mum is getting the wipes out and will have the first paw ready for my approach. 🙂 Better safe than sorry! Good ol’ sanitizer!!

    • That is such a cute story.
      We had a service dog, a German Shepherd, that we had to put to sleep after 16 1/2 years old. She held on long enough for my son to graduate high school. (It was always my fear that she wouldn’t because German Shepherds don’t normally live that long.) It was quite the miracle. I hope that yours has a long and happy life with you.

      • 16 1/2 half years is pretty amazing in the GSD of today, what I lovely long life you had together. I’m partial to the GSD myself, but because of some rotten luck with terrible health in two of mine (well three if you include the pup I had been recently waiting for in a special breeding, same luck) I’ve been exploring other breeds. Probably end up with my true love again though, glutton for punishment or perhaps just plain hope it works out this time. Thanks for the wishes, these beautiful, intelligent and noble dogs never do live long enough. Can only wait to see them again on the other side. 🙂 All the best to you and your family.

      • We now have a poodle/lab mix (Labradoodle.) My husband was allergic to the other one so it is nice to have him sneeze-free.
        I do think it is a shame that dogs don’t live as long as people. I guess the only animal that lives long enough to be a guide would be a turtle, but that would be very slow going….

  46. That was really cute! Made me laugh out loud!! We have 3 grandkids, and it really is a different world that they are growing up in! When a 3 year old tells you to just “download” it on to your computer, or any other computer related terminology, it kind of blows my mind! I appreciate your outlook and approach to the differences in the times, and I like the fact that you are enjoying the benefits of it all!
    Hope you have a wonderful week-end with your family and your grandson! 🙂

  47. when I was 4 my mom sewed me a cloth doll I was the happiest girl in the world……….. 🙂

    • I think children get way too much stuff today so that they cannot really appreciate something special, like the doll your mom made. Of course, I gave my kids too much stuff, too… If I only knew then what I know now…

  48. I very much enjoyed the flash back, my son is 20 but I also have a 5, 11, and 12 year old raising them has been night and day!!

  49. Hysterical! I’m a grandmother, too, and a lot of this stuff is wonderful–but sometimes the toys that do so much stuff just get to be a bit much. I’m thankful that we live on a farm and can give our grandkids the “low tech” fun of a playroom lined with bookshelves, a sandbox outside, a treehouse with a swing, a pony, and warm eggs to fetch out of the chickens’ nest boxes. I do love the white noise makers and the star-projecting turtle that help them sleep, and I do have a few DVDs in case it pours rain, but we make most of our fun indoors with puzzles, a homemade play kitchen, an old Brio train set and coloring books. I have apps for the kids on my iPad, but they rarely ask for them!

    • OHHH! Your house sounds like so much fun! I used to have chickens and I LOVED getting the eggs. And I always dreamed of a treehouse. What kid hasn’t asked for a pony?

  50. My eight year old is waiting patiently while I finish reading ‘just one more’ of your posts so he can play “criminal case” on my facebook…ugh!! LOL

  51. Ha ha ha yes we have so many gadgets now and I can’t believe how others cope without them. But people do because they have to.

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