I assume it's because we grew up in a different time. When "free-range parenting" was just simply referred to as "having kids" and the over scheduled kids being shuttled all over town in "Mom's taxi" were the exception, not the rule.
Kids were kids who did kid stuff while parents...I have no idea where they were or what they were doing. I was a kid!
It sometimes feels, looking back, that times have really changed. I am so IN my kids' lives! But all it takes is a sleepover at my house to remind me that, actually, things are just like I remember.
Bill and I are holed up in our room like prisoners of war, afraid to open the door for fear of what we might find. Last time I snuck out for more coffee, there was a trail of pillows running the entire length of the house; toys, dishes and blankets pretty much everywhere I looked; and four "wild boars" in the living room where the children had once been.
I was warned to stay back. "We bite."
It's a strange thing to have your space taken over by little people. No wonder I can't picture grown ups hanging around my childhood sleepovers - they were hiding from us!
Bill and I are well aware that WE are in charge here, but I'd be lying if I told you we were comfortable with that. The truth is: we're terrified.
We're scared to lay down the law which is so not how we usually are. I'm not sure if it's because we don't want to be meanies (no one wants to be those parents...) or if it's simply because we're outnumbered, but there's definitely been a lot of "not it!" called around here in the last 18 hours.
"Do you think the kids should brush their teeth..."
And now, since there's nothing else they have to do, Bill and I are just hiding out, hoping that whatever it is that let us survive a "parentless" childhood is still in full effect.
We'll be in our room if you need us.