Tuesday, April 1, 2008


When I was a kid, I had this book called (something like) 500 Hints for Kids. It was so incredibly useful. It had information on just about every subject you can imagine, and some of the things I learned from that book are still in use today. For example, remembering the correct spelling of "cemetery" by picturing the 3 Es lined up like gravestones. And the correct way to hold and use chopsticks. And the "one divides, the other decides" rule for when you and your sibling are trying to split a piece of cake or whatever. I guess it was my first self-help book. It was full of little cartoons and dry humour. I loved it.

The other thing that keeps popping into my mind lately is the record (yes! record!) we used to have of Free to Be ... You and Me. Did anyone else have this? If 500 Hints was my first self-help book, this was my first exposure to feminism and gender equality. There were songs about how it's okay for a boy to have a doll and it's okay for a girl to be an athlete. Controversial stuff in the early 70s, I guess. I'm sure I didn't realize that the songs and stories were supposed to have "messages", back then, but now that I look back I'm really glad I was exposed to that. And naturally, I want my daughter to get the same messages.

In a fit of nostalgia and whimsy, I've just ordered both these items from Amazon. I'm really curious as to how they will stand the test of time. Could be that baby girl Buechler will find both of them to be hopelessly outdated and useless, but if all else fails they will tickle me immensely.

I've already got the "Free to Be" song stuck in my head!!


globalfruitbat said...

I totally had the Free to Be book AND record! I also remember with great fondness the Sesame Street song that said "We can be astronauts, we can write books" -- all about all the things that women can and could do.

Amberism said...

I don't think I had either, and I'm mighty jealous right!

I LOVE the old toys, way more than I do the new toys. I'm all over that sort of stuff, I think its a fabulous little baby gift for your girl!

sarapants said...

I still have the "500 Hints for Kids!" I snagged it from Mom & Dad's house a few visits ago, along with some of our favorite childhood books. When you get your copy we'll have to have a over-the-phone-reminisce-a-thon!

adequatemom said...

Sarapants! If I'd known you had the Hints for Kids book, I would have beaten you up for it, er, I mean, asked you the authors' names so I could make sure I ordered the right one. (There were two - one was like $5 and the other was $40, so I took a chance on the cheaper one.)

Oh well, we'll see! Maybe we'll end up with A THOUSAND helpful hints for kids!!


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