When I complained the TV remote wasn't working properly, my dad instructed me to stand next to the TV and change the channel every time he said "click," so I could enjoy a little glimpse of a time gone by.

Somewhere in the official parenting book, after feeding, loving and protecting your child, there is a chapter about telling them stories about how hard -- or slightly less convenient -- life used to be. I believe it's titled "Back in My Day."

I recall my mom, while instructing me to put all of Mr. Potato Head's arms and hats back in his plastic rear end, say that when she was a kid, Mr. Potato Head was an actual potato. And she used to get in trouble when he went missing and was found days later rotting under her bed. I believe the lesson was to take care of my toys. Or maybe is was about not leaving my potatoes under the bed. I can't remember.

When I complained the TV remote wasn't working properly, my dad told me how if I had grown up a few years earlier, I wouldn't have to worry about the remote. I'd be the remote. He then instructed me to stand next to the TV and change the channel every time he said "click," so I could enjoy a little glimpse of a time gone by.

And I never understood why everyone had to walk uphill in the snow both ways to school. Wasn't there a better route?

These stories are how children learn to roll their eyes.

Without a conscious effort, I find myself doing this to my kids all the time. When it was taking me a little too long to start a DVD, I responded to their grumbles with a story about how movie watching has changed.

If you ever want to feel your age, try describing a videotape rewinder to a 5 year old.

"You had to rewind the tape back to the beginning or you'd be charged an extra fee," I said. "So, everyone had a tape rewinder. And some of them looked like cars for some reason."

She gave me a look that I thought only her mother could produce. From me, she got the ability to fall going up stairs. The look both asked where this was going and confirmed that she ready to get off the ride.

"Dad, I've been to the video store," she reminded me.

I ignored this. "Every Friday, we would go and search for the latest movie to be released. And then upon learning it was out of stock, we just picked something else," I romantically recalled. "The fun was in browsing."

"You mean like getting a movie from the library?" my 3-year-old asked.

"Or, like going to any other store, like say, the video store?" my oldest jokingly added.

"Yes, going to the video store is a lot like going to the video store," I said, dryly.

There should be a footnote in the official parenting book: Parents, please note, use of "back in my day" advances sarcasm development in tiny people.

David Manley is an editor at The Canton Repository. Share your stories with him at david.manley@cantonrep.com. On Twitter: @DaveManley