Friday, May 04, 2018

Being a Xennial Parent- Also, a Contest!

I'm apparently of the "Xennial" micro-generation (Finally, I've felt so lost without a designation for years), which means that I was born in the late-70s-early-80s range. Not quite Gen X, not quite Millennial. We grew up with an analog childhood and a digital adulthood (Atari and Super Mario Bros doesn't count, I guess? Pfft). It's true, I suppose; I didn't get an e-mail account until I was in university. My teenage life was free of ICQ and Instagram.

So, being the nostalgia fiend that I am, I sometimes I like to blow my kids' minds with stories of life back in Stranger Things times: Home phone lines! No Googling! Cameras with no view screen and 24-exposure film and photo counters! Renting movies from an actual store! Having to rent a giant camcorder from Ron's TV and Video once a year to record home movies!

And how about: Having to plan ahead to watch a show "when it's on"!

In our house, we don't have cable (I know it still exists), so the kids don't know what it's like to come home on Friday afternoon and know your choice of after-school show is The Monchhichis or nothing. The kids are only used to YouTube and Netflix, and all the choice and instant gratification that comes with it, they had a bit of a culture shock when we stayed at a hotel with old-fashioned cable TV:

The humanity. At least it wasn't the Monchhichis, but I'm sure they wonder how we managed.


CONTEST: Win a Family Pass to a show at the Children's Festival!

The Ottawa International Children's Festival is coming up once again, May 11-15! My family and I have been the past 3 years and are delighted to have been invited to go and review the experience once again. 

It's "an extravaganza of the finest quality theatre, dance and music for young audiences" and "the only annual festival of its kind in Ontario to offer international, live performing arts for families". There are always lots of activities to do onsite as well, including a rock-climbing wall and Instrument petting zoo. 

This year, Fred Penner will be performing, for all you fellow Xennial parents nostalgic to see a childhood favourite. Will he sing "Sandwiches"? Check out the rest of the program here.

Want to win a family pass to a show at the OICF? Comment below and tell us what show you'd take your family to... or, tell me about your "generation gap" experience with your kids, whether or not you're a Xennial. One winner will be picked on May 7. 


  1. My Xennial experiences with my my child include: having to explain to him that swiping doesn't work on my laptop screen (he's imprinted on smart phones), and trying to explain that Grandpa doesn't Skype, so he won't see the things that my kid waves in front of the phone. Also, explaining an old-fashioned telephone (Fisher Price toy phone).

    1. Haha! My kids have done those, too. Holding stuff up to the phone going "Look what I made!"

  2. Contest- woo hoo!
    I would take my family to Secret Life of Suitcases.

  3. Growing up if I wanted to know something my Dad would tell me to look it up in the Encyclopedia or the dictionary. These days my six year old just asks our Google home.

    1. So much easier now. What's the world's biggest toaster? Answers in seconds!

  4. Kenda StathopoulosMay 06, 2018 7:27 am

    We had the exact same experience staying in a hotel last week! So true and so funny!

  5. Gosh, I had never really thought about this! Our kids have it so easy... too easy?
    I'm sure my daughter would love to see the Machine de Cirque... or possibly Swan River... and I kinda need to see Fred Penner!

  6. This has happened to us too - while visiting the grandparents, the kids asked to pause the TV, and we had to explain that this was a live feed - they absolutely could not wrap their heads around what we even MEANT. It's so weird to me that they will grow up with all this content so instantly available to them.

  7. Ah, Fred Penner. He performed at the venue where I work a few years ago. It was great watching the parents so excited to finally see their childhood idol and hearing kids say, "MOM! Who's Fred Penner??"

    Others, like the guy who's now my boss, had no kids but showed up just the same because, well, it was FRED PENNER!!!