Things Our Kids Just Don't Understand

The ladies on the FIT4MOM Ann Arbor team were all born in the 80s, which means a majority of our childhood nostalgia surrounds 1990s culture. We thought it would be fun to put together a list of things we experienced that our kids will never understand.

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Let's not even get started on the Internet. Just basic computers. When we were kids, we played Sticky Bears to learn letters or "guess the number" on a cartridge. If we were lucky, we'd get to spend our entire indoor recess as a group trying to keep our family alive in The Oregon Trail. As the 90s went on, Mavis Beacon taught us how to type and we spent hours trying to figure out where in the world Carmen Sandiego was...

Our kids now? Well, they can download a free app that will teach them how to spell, all the presidents of the United States, or even geography all while we are in the waiting room of the doctor's office.


Going to the Video Store.

Our kids will never understand the stress and excitement of a Saturday night. We would load up the whole family into the minivan, drive across town to our local Blockbuster Video, and divide and conquer. We all went rushing to the "new release" section only to find there were no videos behind the pictures of 'Casper', "The Lion King' or 'Jumungi'. Looks like we're renting 'The Mighty Ducks' again...

Our own kids just have to say "Alexa, play Incredibles 2" and voila, there it is. Magic.



A staple of our 90s childhood was learning about all the new products that we as consumers COULD NOT LIVE WITHOUT! Barbie, Gak, SkipIt, My Little Pony...all the toys! And food, oh the food! From crazy colored (and unnatural) foods, to cartoon character based cereal, we learned at a young age what was cool and what we needed to add to mom's Saturday morning grocery cart.

Our kids are so used to streaming, many of them haven't even seen a commercial before. They don't know that there was once purple colored ketchup (okay that was 2000...but unforgettable nonetheless), or that Trix are for kids...


Family Photos.

Every holiday season, we all receive a mailbox full of family photo cards. They're beautiful. Everyone is matching. Everyone is smiling, The image is crisp and clear, and the lighting is perfect. Not in our day! Whenever it was time for a family photo, we would have to wait for mom and dad to adjust the camera settings for the current lighting, then we would all hold still for about 15 seconds while one (maybe two if it was an important moment) picture was snapped. We would all assume perfection, send in the film to get processed, then receive our photos a week or two later only to find that someone sneezed right as the picture was being taken, or we were looking at the wrong camera, or the dreaded blurred image of an unsteady camera hand.

Sure our kids might be annoyed that we are taking 100 pictures of them eating spaghetti, but at least we know at least one will be worth saving and we can delete whatever we don't like. When they are in their 20s and 30s writing a blog post about how their kids just don't understand how hard it was to grow up in the 2010s, they'll have an entire cloud to sort through, versus the couple of photo albums we are working with!



We don't know why, we don't know how, but YO-YOS WERE THE GREATEST THING TO GRACE THE 90s! We would spend our evenings trying to master walking the dog or around the world. Our elementary school talent shows were filled with self-proclaimed yo-yo masters.

When we give our kids yo-yos now, they ask what it does. What do you mean 'what does it do?!' It goes down, and comes back up!


Mediocre Birthday Parties.

Pinterest. How we both love and loathe thee. Our children's birthday parties always have a theme, no matter how simple they are. The decorations match the invitations, which elude to the goodie bag contents. The cakes are usually bought from an actual bakery. We've all been to a birthday party with a professional photographer, children's entertainment, and even the food is catered. It's awesome.

Let's talk about the birthday parties we had as a kid. First off, mom ALWAYS made the cake. Always. Every children's party consisted of sloppy joes, chips, and soda. It was held in someone's back yard or dining room, and everyone would gather for some variation of "pin the tail on the donkey" right before we sang "happy birthday" then watched presents being opened. If it was fancy, it was held at the local roller rink, DZ Discovery Zone, Chuck E Cheese, or (in very rare but amazing instances) McDonalds. Our goodie bags were usually filled with pop rocks and pixie stix and we were always shocked when there even was a goodie bag. It was awesome.

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Beanie Babies.

No explanation necessary. We still ask our kids not to remove the tags....just in case.

What is something you experienced in your childhood that your kids will never understand or appreciate?