Thursday, February 23, 2012

Five Antique Postcards that Make Me Say 'Whuck?!'

Last weekend in celebration of Mr. Louise’s birthday I executed an elaborate plan to drop the kids with my in-laws and whisk him away to a tiny, picturesque New England town for a grown-up weekend of fun. It. Was. AWESOME. The unexpected highlight (get your mind out of the gutter) was a stop at the local antique store. We rummaged through dust and junk and found some extraordinary discarded treasures…a decrepit cuckoo clock, a beautiful, chipped china set, and dusty a box of antique postcards from all over the world. I always feel a bit guilty looking at old postcards, like I’m riffling through someone’s private mail. But oh Dear Maude, it was worth my uneasiness because I found five postcards from as far back as the turn of the century that illustrate the lowest lows of parenting.

“I Can’t Keep it Quiet”
No schmidt, Sherlock. That same expression of sheer terror/confusion was plastered on my face for the first three months of my daughter’s life. Newsflash: they only get louder.

“I’m Going to Change My Will in the Morning.”

This one is amazing because it truly captures the irrational 3am negotiations a parent makes with a crying infant. I maaaaybe once promised my daughter a pony and a new car when she’s 16 if she’d just go to SLEEP. Meh. The dad in this postcard took it one step further and went for a straight-up threat, though. I sure hope that kid wasn’t in line for a trust fund.

“Good morning! I passed a restless night till I caught up to a happy thought of you.”

OK, this one is actually pretty sweet. Except that if my kids were having a restless night they wouldn’t quietly toss and turn until they had a happy thought of me…they would release an ear-piercing howl quickly followed by an hour charade of complaining that the room is too dark/light, the blankets are “itchy”, there is not enough water in the bedside cup, there’s a stuffed animal missing from the bed, etc. Conversely, if I was having a restless night I might think of my kids, but it’s more likely I’d probably settle down at the fantasy of all my laundry being folded. By John Hamm.

“I’m Putting Something in the Kitty.”
WHUCK?!?! Um, no. Just NO. I hope I never, EVER hear one of my kids say this under any circumstances. Gah!

“One little darling, all my very own, / Noisy of course it is, but bone of my bone!”
This one, mailed in 1908, freaks me out the most. I suppose it was intended to be a PSA about how you should be kind to your baby even when it’s loud, but to me it just looks like this guy is going to eat his own baby. It was addressed to a Mr. W. Henchey in Northampton, MA with no message written on the back. Poor Mr. Henchey. I’m a little worried if you’re taking parenting advice from this dude...

(c)Herding Turtles, Inc. 2009 - 2011

22 comments:

  1. That last one terrified me to the core. And is it me or does "sweet baby" look like it's having a stroke? Yeah.... I said it.

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  2. The kitty one is amusing to me... Kitty is another word for till, or petty cash tin. I could see how a young child would hear that and take it to mean the cat :D

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    1. LOL Bri... Kitty is another one of those "pet" names for a female body part, also... so in any context, in the US, this would be cringe-worthy. Now, with your meaning, it's not quite so bad hehe!!

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    2. maybe it's a British english thing (I'm from Australia). It's 'P' counterpart is bodypart for me, same as the US.

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    3. Remember the scene in Tom Sawyer where he feeds his medicine to the cat? I wonder if it isn't supposed to be that.

      -Teshumai

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  3. I'm sure it's just the shading of the card, but the one that talks about changing the will... looks like the wife has a black eye. LOL (I mean that in a way that does NOT condone violence. It's just funny that it looks like that.
    Just think, in 50 years, people will look back at things we've posted online and think "Wow, those were some whucked-out people!"

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  4. omg.. I live a mere 20 mins away from good ol' Northampton, Ma :) and the look on his face is super creepy! Which town did you visit?

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  5. wow. that last one is creepy. to. the. core. seriously? bone of my bone? ha! makes me *kinda* want to google mr. w. henchey and see if he became some kind of freak.

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  6. I kind of thought the dad in the will was threatening the wife because he had to get up with the baby---but your interpretation is much nicer!

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    1. Glad I'm not the only one who thought this. hehe

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  7. FUNNY! And you also gave me an idea for my hubby's birthday...but next year...my parents MIGHT be done with their house renovations by then!

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  8. Laughing so hard at the first one and your follow-up comment I almost spit out my coffee. Pure awesome right there. Good to know that some things NEVER change.
    Ashley
    http://www.thedoseofreality.com/2011/11/03/is-it-really-all-you-thought-it-would-be/

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  9. Bone of my bone, eh? I suppose the wee ones are a result of much boning with...I'm sure you see where I'm going with this one. :)

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  10. If I'd had multiple copies of the last one, I would totally have used them to send out birth announcements.

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  11. A little slow on the uptake, but my first thought was why were Kate and Lydia vacationing with Mr. Louise...

    Lori

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    1. Hee hee , I thought that too! My first thought was that this post wasn't going to jive well with the marriage research!

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  12. Totally freaky, especially the last one! I like the birth announcements idea. A friend and I just started co-blogging about funny mom stuff, too, at mamanervosa.com -- you guys are an inspiration!

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  13. Man, I want the children in the third postcard. My 20 month old not only thought of me during his restless night, he decided to inform me of that thought, refused his daddy who was up anyway (Army, up at ungodly hour to get ready for PT), insisted on moving into my bed, and then kicked me and refused to sleep under any blankets...leaving me huddled at the bottom corner of a king sized bed. He's 25 pounds, people! Of course it was the one day that the 3.5 year old got up early. *sigh*

    Awesome postcards!

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  14. OK, anyone know why I can't see the postcards? I just see black squares with a white exclamation point inside a white triangle. What gives?!

    The explanations are still funny though!

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  15. THe postcard pics aren't showing up anymore! Just black with a "caution" sign in the middle. I'm disappointed. : (

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