We Miss Summer in The '90s: Super Soakers, 'The Babysitters Club,' and Other Lost Pleasures

One of the nastiest secrets about becoming an adult is that as soon as you do, the meaning of summertime changes. A season you recalled as perpetually mellow and blissfully blank is now filled with weird, seasonally-specific irritants like beach traffic, bizarre tan lines, annoying roommates, shockingly stressful vacation planning sessions, and that whole "working the entire summer" thing. Staring down your first truly tear-inducing summer electric bill of the year, it's easy to get lost in rose-tinted memories of your '90s childhood summers — a time when you had nothing to do for three whole months but hang around with your friends, enjoy the outdoors, and quietly wait for someone to invent Facebook.

But hold up a moment there, buddy. Don't be tempted to waste another work day remembering your '90s summers as a flawless, halcyon era composed entirely of friendship bracelets and CatDog reruns. Sure, summers were more relaxed when you were a kid, but they were not without their own problems.

For starters, there was the dull ache of pre-smartphone boredom — especially acute during the part of the summer when all your friends were at away at camp and you were stuck home, trying to see how many Bagel Bites one person could eat. There was the frustrating, Sisyphean nightmare of household chores (why do lawns require as much care and attention as a small child?). And in that time before central air was standard, there was the heat. Why, I bet if you concentrate real hard, you can remember a hot '90s summer day like it was yesterday...

it was HOT outside (duh)

And you are desperate to find a solution. Of course, the most obvious answer is to seek some shelter...

so you STAY HOME

But, alas, you are not home alone. Your parents are also inside your house — seemingly waiting behind every corner with some kind of educational activity that they think will help you get into college.

but Parents are so annoying

and everything on nick is for little kids during the day anyway

M2THE49's Gaming Zone on YouTube

you have no one to play hungry hungry hippos with

so you GO HANG AROUND YOUR BACKYARD

and Grab your super soaker

Ah, yes, your trusty Super Soaker! That will help you beat the heat!

...until your mom takes it away for spraying your little brother's face until he cries

so you PLAY WITH the slip 'n' slide

Ah, the ol' Slip 'N' Slide! Oh, wait, your mom took that away, too...can't remember why...oh, yeah, that was why.

remember how that kid up the block had to get emergency dental surgery after Crocodile Mile?

jhap9 on YouTube

Who could have possibly dreamed that sliding headfirst into a crocodile's mouth would lead to trouble?

time to PAY A VISIT TO THE ICE CREAM TRUCK

They all look so delicious, and involve all your brother's favorite TV shows!

Oh, wait, I only have a dime. What can I get for 10 cents?

Oldtimecandy.com

Nooooooooooo!

you could MAKE YOUR OWN ICE TREATS AT HOME

Amazon

at least you have your old, reliable Snoopy Sno-Cone machine

or your Barbie Ice Cream Shoppe

Memoryglands.com/Mattel

time to RELAX UNDER SOME SHADY TREES WITH SOME QUALITY LITERATURE

I don't know, Kristy; does spending all your free time with 2nd graders really qualify as a "great idea?"

but your fast metabolism means you're getting hungry again

time for another snack at the corner store.

Which delicious from-concentrate nectar should you buy first?

Oooooh!

Ahhhh!

PelicanRockPictures on YouTube

SUUUUUUUUURGE!

Perhaps a push pop is more your style?

thenewbeard on YouTube

or a ring pop?

goodoledayz96 on YouTube

No, you're saving yourself till marriage.

WHAT??? They're sold out of everything except warm bottles of Fruitopia?

Coca-Cola

Ugh, forget it. you might as well TAKE A DIP IN THE TOWN POOL.

Why, it’s practically the MTV Beach House up in there

Scott Gries/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

until some kids get too crazy with their Pool Noodles and get everyone kicked out

Okay, fine. You know when to admit defeat. There's nothing to do now but beg your parents...

...for a ride...

to THE MALL!

Tim Boyle/Getty Images News/Getty Images

between the AC and the double-fisting Dairy Queen and Orange Julius, you feel better already.

Win McNamee/Getty Images News/Getty Images

let's rent something from Blockbuster!

Beg your mom to rent this:

Or this:

No dice. looks like you're watching this again:

Ahhhh... Summer in the '90s