I was cleaning out an old box and found my mom's calendar from 1973, the year I was born.
She started me on solids (rice cereal) when I was EIGHT DAYS OLD!
I think fruit at 4 weeks, and vegetables at 8 weeks. My how times have changed!
In the 50's (yes, I am really old), it was considered very cute and precoscious that my Dad taught me to make a martini for him and Mom. I was maybe 3. And to fill his pipe.
We didn't even have seat belts; on long car trips, my brother and I brought sleeping bags, and slept in the back of the station wagon.
I walked a mile to the store alone by the age of three. I remember doing it, but I google earthed the address and the store, and mapped it out. It was just over a mile, and I had to cross a major street.
I remember going there a few times a week to buy Sour apple bubble gum. Who gives a three year old money?
Looking back, my mom was obviously depressed, because I remember her ALWAYS being in bed. She'd give me money from bed, and let me go. (this was in the mid 60s...and we lived outside of Chicago).
I remember my Mom telling me my little brother had to ride in the back seat because he was a toddler (which would make me 5-ish), but that I was big enough to stay in my seat (in the front) and not let myself flop forward into the dashboard or windshield, if we had a car accident.
From approximately ages 2-6, my Dad drove an orange VW camper-van ("The Great Pumpkin"). My place, which he called the "(VocalMinority)-seat", was a tall, 3-leg, round-seat stool placed slightly behind the two front seats - and between them, of course, so I could see! Nothing between me and the windshield! And the stool wasn't attached to the floor or anything. (Wouldn't that be inconvenient, when you wanted to camp and move seats around?)
We spent summers at my grandmother's 3rd-floor condo at the beach. It was a late-60's/early-70's design, with a random super-narrow, floor-to-ceiling recessed window in the master bedroom. Predictably, that was every little kid's favorite place to hide, in hide-and-seek. Only a little kid could wedge themselves in there, behind the shade. When I was 3, I was very verbal and my poor mother thought it would be safe to open that window for some fresh air, leaving just the screen down, and reason with me that it wasn't safe to play there. Later, she went looking for me and found me lying in the parking lot, below the window, with a fractured skull! Thankfully - for all involved - I came out of it just fine.
One year when we were financially troubled at Christmas time, my step-dad told my little sister that Santa might not come this year because he forgot to renew the license plate on his sleigh and had gotten arrested. :( (Both my younger siblings were adopted by my mom after they were removed from their bioparents who were unfit and criminals.)
Ah, sitting on Mom's lap in the VW bus. A very happy memory.
I can't imagine letting a 3 y.o. walk that far away. But you survived just fine, obviously. Actually, I think I did something like that when I was 4. I walked to the corner quickie mart. My parents were pretty angry when they found out where I'd gone. I don't think it was the destination, it was that I didn't tell anyone. Well, if I'd asked they might have said No!
When I was about seven, my parents bought a little Datsun pickup truck and put a camper shell on it. Because there were no seats, and four of us kids at the time, my dad built a little wooden bench that we sat on in the back of the truck. One night when we were driving through town, my 3-year-old brother got up from the bench and got too close to the back door of the camper. He accidentally pushed open the door and fell out onto the street. I remember us all screaming to tell my parents that Wade had fallen out of the back of the truck. Luckily, they were stopped at a stop light, which had just turned green, so they weren't going very fast when he fell out. And amazingly, the people in the car behind us saw him fall and didn't start driving.
Oh gosh, when we were kids on long car rides, we would take the middle seat totally out of the van-so that we would have room to lay blankets and a cooler on the floor for sleeping and playing while driving of course! Probably made the car rides easier on my poor parents, but I have to shudder when I think of this now :)
My mother also reports that she gave us skim milk after she stopped nursing when we were around 6 months old, because that was apparently the thing to do then. Yikes! Really though, even nursing that long during that time/area was pretty unusual, so she was trying.
Oh yeah, and we were also allowed to ride in the back of the open pickup truck on occasion, just for short drives :) Though I imagine this still happens out in the boonies.
Car seats were pretty unheard of-my parents say that they had us in infant seats, and maybe boosters after that when we were 1-2ish, but nothing after that. And my parents were/are great, loving, caring parents-crazy how much changes.
Oh wow. Entertaining stories here, all!
I remember riding in the front seat of our cargo van in my carseat (that I could get in and out of completely by myself (my mom really enjoyed us being able to do that ourselves). And later, when my younger sister was born, my folks put a bean bag seat on the floor in the back (they did add a belt buckle, so there was that).
There was also the time in first grade that my dad needed help getting the car to the repair shop, so I got to steer while he pushed it through the streets (until a cop stopped him and helped instead of me - but it was great fun, though, and terribly thrilling before that.)
No car seats. No seat belts. There were many, many times in my daughters' lives that I have longed for the freedom of the far back of a station wagon. Naps, card games, looking out windows in all directions....
My mom let drop that she gave my older sister skim milk as an infant because of digestive troubles. I also found a recipe written by the doctor for my oldest sister, then a newborn: powdered milk, water and Karo syrup.
That's all the regular, "responsible" 60's-70's parent stuff. Then there was my father. Divorced when I was about 6 months. We'd go visit, and he'd let my sister (11yo, and smoking a cigarette) drive miles to the store. He'd let us drink beer. I once rode from grandpa's cabin to dad's house in the back window because we had him and 5 girls in his VW Rabbit (of course I had to be the littlest). He gave me the rudder of the boat going, oh, 100,000 knots or something and I remember vividly trying to turn as we got close to shore and the hundreds of old stumps just underwater (the lake is a reservoir). I will say that man had nerves of steel.