We '90s kids always talk about the many memorable things we did during that nostalgia-inducing decade, but we don't often talk about them in context of our parental units (breakin' out the '90s lingo, dontcha know). Because just as there were certain things we did back then, there were things every parent did in the '90s — and, hang onto your butts, because some of them are just as hilariously mortifying as our missteps in fashion and our plethora of puzzling obsessions.
It kind of makes you wonder: Do our parents look back on the '90s through rose-colored lenses, like those of us who were kids back then tend to do? Or are they just grateful they managed to get us through that decade in one piece? Let's be real, after all ... some of the stunts our parents let us pull back in the day would never fly now. Parents of the '90s, like kids of the '90s, were a special breed. They were navigating the complex world of raising little humans during a time when there was very little in the way of the modern advances parents today couldn't live without (trust me, I ask my mom constantly how she got by). There are things parents in the '90s experienced that young parents today will never understand. And some, well, some are still surprisingly relevant.
So whether you're a new parent, the parent of '90s kids or just a '90s kid fueling your ever-present appetite for nostalgia, check out some of the things that were part and parcel for parents in the '90s.
1. Bought You Gushers Because They Actually Wanted to Eat Them
In full disclosure, there are Gushers in my pantry at this very moment for that very reason. #IGotItFromMyMama
2. Let You Play with Questionable Toys
It'll be great, they said. Have a field day, they said. It was all fun and games until these stupidly dangerous toys started getting recalled for putting '90s kids' eyes out and eating their hair.
3. Listened to More Radio Disney than Rock 'n Roll
To this day, my mom knows every word to The Little Mermaid's "Part of Your World" and "Under the Sea." Meanwhile, she missed the heyday of grunge rock and has no idea who Kurt Cobain was. Sorry, Mom. Sorry.
4. Stocked Up on Flintstone Vitamins
Sure, these pseudo-fruity chunks of chalkiness in the shape of our favorite family from Bedrock had been around since the '70s — but it wasn't until 1995 that Betty got her own vitamin likeness. And that was big news.
5. Sent You to School with a Plastic Cartoon Lunch Box
How else were your parents going to ensure the safe delivery of your Dunkaroos, PB&J sandwich and Capri Sun?
6. Picked up the Phone and Disrupted Your Internet Connection
Daaaaaaad! Gosh darn it! Now I have to waste another four minutes of my life waiting for dial-up to reconnect so I can finish downloading this Ace of Base song on Napster.
7. Rocked Mom Jeans and/or a Fanny Pack
In our parents' defense, all the cool kids are doing it these days. I mean, fanny packs are super functional. You know, hypothetically speaking.
8. Purchased You Some Article of Clothing with a Logo On It
'90s kids had a mean case of label worship, and our poor parents literally paid for it.
9. Kept a Steady Supply of Snackwell's Devil's Food Cookie Cakes in the Pantry
Right beside the Gushers and reserved for those moments Mommy needed a minute.
10. Gave You Book Fair Money...
... and begged you not to blow the entire amount on troll pencil toppers, bookmarks covered in unicorns, or fruit-shaped erasers that smelled like the real deal.
11. Spent an Exorbitant Amount of Money on the Latest Ridiculous Fad
While it sure would be nice to say this paid off for your parents in the long run because you happened to retain in your possession that one Beanie Babies worth millions, it's more likely you have, like, 100 Beanie Babies you could sell for a couple bucks at a yard sale.
12. Snooped Your LiveJournal Page or AIM Profile
That's right, parental units — we knew you were creepin'. Tragically, we weren't nearly as embarrassed about our online musings back then as we are looking back now.
13. Dropped You Off at the Mall
Hello, Saturday afternoon of my youth, and goodbye, allowance! No weekend would have been complete without my standard mall experience of Orange Julius, Spencer's, Bath & Body Works, Gadzooks, and Sam Goody.
14. Made a Weekly Trip to the Local Video Store
In the dark ages before Netflix, our parents had to load us up and take us to a brick-and-mortar purveyor of VHS, where we more likely than not kept trying to sneak behind the beaded curtains and get a peek at the "adult" section.
15. Let You Play Hooky and Watch Bob Barker Wheel and Deal on The Price is Right
Did your parents know you weren't really that sick? Probably. But they still let you Ferris Bueller your way into a day off of school, complete with The Price is Right, daytime talk shows you definitely shouldn't have been watching, and smuggled Gushers from your parent's pantry stash.
Images: Warner Bros.; Giphy (11)