Friday, April 17, 2020

Random memories

I remember the first time I ever saw a Peep.

I was volunteering in the library at Ècole Joe Clark School so I must have been in grade seven or eight, which would have made me twelve or thirteen. It was around Easter time and so classrooms were hosting little parties and one of the mothers brought in some sort of dessert topped with Peeps—cute little marshmallow chicks, coated in yellow sugar, with teeny, little eyes. I was so impressed by that dessert and I remember expressing my awe, like, "Wow! These chicks are so amazing! Did you make them?!"

And the mom was like, "Uhhh..."

Because what else could she say. I mean, very clearly, they were Peeps. Been around since 1953...

I went home and explained this confectionary marvel to my mom who didn't seem half as excited about them as I had been (probably because she knew what Peeps were) and it wasn't until years later when—when? After we'd moved to the States—that I realized they were a commercially produced candy and that is all that had been adorning those school treats.

I, uh, didn't get out much (our town had about 7,000 people in 1997 and grocery stores when we moved there were an absolute joke (though we did later get a couple of actual grocery stores)) and obviously we never got Peeps in our Easter baskets growing up.

By 2016, the last year of the census up there, the population had nearly doubled—it's 13,500! As of today they had 164 confirmed cases of COVD-19. That's 12,148 cases per million (which is wild to think about)!


I also remember the first time I ever saw a disposable baby wipe, which is another invention straight out of the 1950s, followed soon after by disposable diapers, which quickly gained traction. Still, I'm not sure how common disposable diapers were before the 90s.

That's because my mom used cloth diapers on all of her kids up until Josie (who was born in the 90s). Even then we didn't often buy wipes. My mom would just holler at one of the kids to get her a warm wash cloth and she'd use that. But before then I remember the diaper service she had for Patrick, with the big bins of bleachy water used to store the soiled diapers (I could remember that all wrong, however, because I was only four).

Anyway, the first time I saw (or remember seeing) a disposable baby wipe was when we had gone up to Chelsea Park with the Walters. Patrick and Chandler must have been little boys and I imagine there were new baby Josie and Colton (?) along as well, so I would have been 9. One of the boys had gone down the big yellow slide and in so doing had discovered a recent bird dropping with their hand. They had wiped their hands together in an effort to get the stuff off but had only succeeded in making a bigger mess.

I have a feeling the messy child was Patrick because I remember my mom swooping in all flustered, looking around for a way to clean his hands. Should we wipe it in the grass? Should we head home (a five-minute walk)?

Then Midori swooped in with a baby wipe she'd plucked from the pouch in her diaper bag. She wiped off the child, she wiped off the slide, and the day was saved.

I remember my mom saying something like, "Well, that's handy!"

And baby wipes are so handy! They are so handy! But I'd also consider them a luxury, not a necessity. I mentioned this to a friend on Facebook who had made a post berating people for buying baby wipes when there were toilet paper shortages (which—are we over that now, guys? I still, uh, don't get out much). She had asked people to leave them for the babies who need them. Which, cool. But need them? I mean, I (mostly) cloth-diapered four-fifths of my children (up to and including using a warm, wet wash cloth to wipe their little bums) so I know that it's possible to live without wet wipes (even while out on the town). Surely the babies of today can also stand having a warm, wet wash cloth on their sweet baby bottoms!

(That said, we definitely have purchased baby wipes frequently over the past 12+ years; they are incredibly useful. We even brought several packs with us to Jordan, which we would use to sponge bathe with on the many (many) occasions we ran out of water in our apartment (and that was before we had any babies at all)).

Anyway, I was just thinking about these two first exposures today (probably when I saw the Peeps on my kitchen counter (ew) and the wipes that are still on my bathroom floor even though Alexander is potty trained now (yay) and began wondering why my first memories of these products are so late in my life! 


  1. Well. I certainly didn't know about Peeps, even if they have been around since before I was born. And they are disgusting. So, I don't care that I didn't know about them. And also. Colton is the oldest; Chandler's the one Josie's age. Midori was due before I was, but Josie was born on April 7, and Chandler on April 12, so she was accidentally older, even though we expected him to be. Baby wipes are wonderful, but they always felt like a luxury to me, back when I had littles.

  2. I have given my kids your first experience, basically. They didn't know what Peeps were until Crystal sent them to us in an Easter package a couple of years ago. It blew. their. minds. They are weird little candies and I don't blame you for being so amazed by them!

    I also grew up with little siblings being cloth diapered. When my youngest sibling was born my parents switched to using disposable diapers and it felt sooooo fancy.

    OK and I also remember baby wipe showers in Jordan. :( :(

  3. Ugh I hate to admit I also remember my youngest full sibling moving into disposable diapers. I always thought it was because my mom started working at the time but now I'm realizing it was probably just the time period of when disposables got ok enough to use. Why am so old. I remember my mom turning 35 and thinking geez it is all downhill for her from now on 😬. We got peeps but I've never loved them. I have a picture eating my last one at probably 11. I do buy them though. My kids love their little sugary bodies. And I also send them to Finland hoping their uniqueness will distract from the Cadbury eggs I send Bridget 😂

  4. I have also never loved Peeps (though they are a staple in Andrew's family so are often featured in our Easter baskets here). You are just the best friend, Crystal!

    And SOOO many baby wipe showers. I don't remember needing to wash my feet quite as often in Egypt so Cairo must not have been quite as dusty as Amman. But then again, we had an endless water supply in Cairo so we didn't really have to worry about not washing our feet, which might have made it less memorable. :)