Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The good/bad old days?

Yesterday, K1 and K2 were fooling around in their room and broke one the CFLs on the ceiling. I wasn't there but I imagined that glass and mercury must have showered down on to the bed and floor. I was there to vacuum up the glass remnants but I did not see any trace of mercury anywhere. When I got to the scene they had thrown out most of the larger pieces of the glass in the trash. I'm not quite sure what they did with the mercury if they even know what it was.

It reminded me of the time when I was in 5th or 6th grade when a classmate brought mercury to school and we actually played with it. We watched it coagulate on our hands when we spread it around, etc. and thought it was kind of funny.

In any case we followed (some) of the advice on what to do about a broken cfl:
1. Washed all the sheets (yes even though it says not to do it in the washing machine) since we did not see any mercury on them.
2. Ventilated the room (but not till 2 hours later when M checked the web to see what to do)
3. Changed the vacuum cleaner bag (it was due anyway).

In any case, it reminded me of how the "bad" old days were back in the 70s as posted on Half Changed World (reading Judy Blume):

1. Peter (age 9) gets to go to Central Park without an adult, as long as he's with another kid.
2. But not because it's safer than today -- Peter says his friend has been mugged three times, and he assumes he'll get mugged someday too.
3. Three fourth graders are left alone in charge of a 2 1/2 year old.
4. The reason Mrs. Hatcher goes back to the apartment is that she realizes that she forgot to turn the oven ON.
5. At Fudge's 3rd birthday party, the other kids are all dropped off and their parents leave -- even though one kid is a known biter and another is terrified.

K1 read some of the Fudge books last year and I did not really care for them (my first exposure to them, believe it or not!). It served as a reminder of how things have changed - for better or worse. Are we too overprotective now?

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