What are the rules we always tell our kids?
Always tell the truth. Always be kind. Never trust a stranger.
So what do we do as parents? We screw our kids up! If I’m honest, I’m surprised our kids (collectively throughout the world) aren’t traumatised because of the adults in their lives that they trust, yet we lie to them every day and break all three of those rules we have attempted to instill from a young age.
THE EASTER BUNNY
I kid you not, as an adult, if we believed this, we would think our drink had been spiked. A rabbit that lays multi-coloured chocolate eggs and leaves them scattered everywhere once a year. Does that not sound weird?
I always remember catching Josh eating ‘mini Maltesers’. He was around two years old when we got our first rabbit. And now, it all makes perfect sense. I was the one who told him it was ok to eat rabbit shit. I created this weird Easter tradition in our house, and I didn’t even realise the flood gates I had opened. They were not Maltesers, FYI. My kid was eating balls of rabbit poo because we had a rabbit, and I said it was Easter. It made perfect sense.
THE TOOTH FAIRY
I mean, have you ever wondered what the tooth fairy does with all those teeth? Why does the tiny little flying lady need them? Well, I looked this up. The myth is; the tooth fairy takes teeth that have been wiggled out. She then collects them from under the pillow in exchange for a coin. We all knew that bit.
But then she flies off, taking those teeth and recycles them by planting them into the gums of sleeping baby’s who have no teeth!
That is truly disgusting. How many people have those gnashers gone through!?
I was allowed my first stick of chewing gum when I was 8. I remember my Nan coming to pick me up from school and sneaking me a cheeky Juicy Fruit on the way home while whispering, “don’t tell your parents…” followed by a wink.
As we got home to my grandparent’s house, the delicious juicy yumminess was rock hard with zero flavour; in fact, it was like that after about 38 seconds, but now it was physically making my jaw ache.
I thought I was supposed to swallow said chewing gum like a sweet, to which my Grandad exclaimed, “Oh Jesus. She’s swallowed it! Ruby! Ruby! She’s swallowed it. Why on earth did you have to give her chewing gum? Why not a Tic-Tac?”
Nan ran in (hobbled in), shouting, “NOOO! Leanne! You can’t swallow chewing gum; that will stick in your stomach and stay there for seven years!!!”
I was terrified. I don’t think I had chewing gum again until I started smoking behind the bike shed at school, but that’s another story.
THE FAMILY PET
We all had that wonderful family pet that we snuggled with, stroked and adored. We’d play with it in the morning before school but then when we got home, for some bizarre reason, that cherished family pet was sent to live on a farm!
Why did we send a pet we all loved so much to live on a farm where we would never see it again but claim it’s because they can run free and will be happier?
However, as a kid, I was told by my Uncle that if you eat the seed of the fruit, it will grow in your tummy. A bloody tree will grow in my stomach!?! No wonder I still avoid fruit!
So this fella isn’t that common, but I have been guilty of pulling the curtains in the evening and saying, “oooh, Jack Frost tonight, guys” but little did I know my little critters would google that.
The personification of Jack Frost is everything cold and chilly; sleet, snow, ice, frost, even just feeling cold, or when winter is on the horizon. It’s in the form of the brown and golden leaves that fall, ready for you to crunch them – while narrowly avoiding the hidden dog poo nestled in a pile. Those real Autumnal/Wintery scenes.
However, apparently, Jack Frost is a child who was killed by falling into a frozen lake, and now he has the burden of making winter cold for the rest of his days.
But then Josh informed me that Jack Frost works for British Gas (according to him) and is a murderer because when it gets freezing, the elderly die as they can’t afford the heightened cost of central heating.
The wind is a severe dilemma for kids. I bet your little one loves pulling faces, yet when that wind changes, they will be stuck like that FOREVER AND EVER AND EVER AND EVER AND EVER!!! So don’t roll your eyes or look surprised! Goodness, don’t even smile. Just in case that pesky wind changes direction, and you’ll have to look like that forevermore.
If we haven’t scared them enough, then comes sneezing – “if you sneeze with your eyes open, they’ll fall out”. This will probably be more their friends telling them this at school, but they’ll get to an age where they will actually try this, willing it to happen. I remember I did.
We would all love to believe there is a magical little fairy village at the bottom of our garden, but now we have decided to introduce doors to the fairy world into our homes. You can physically buy them. I mean, where do these doors lead? Do we have a whole fairy tunnel system in the walls of our house now? Plus, if there are good fairies, there must also be evil fairies? And they burrow in our garden AND the walls of our home?! Freaky.
Ok, so please tell me I’m not the only mid-thirtyish not to know that cheese at night DOES NOT give you nightmares? It’s a myth! I always thought it did and always thought this myth was true. Poor Beard used to scoff cheese in the evening, and I’d tell him, “well, good luck tonight when the boogeyman comes to visit you… don’t come crying to me.”
This leads me to…
He is alternatively known as the Bogieman or Bogeyman. Either way, he’s a nasty shit, and some of us parents use him as a tool to scare our kids into submission when the going gets tough. We really are horrible. The Boogeyman doesn’t actually have a stereotypical look because what we nasty adults do is allow kids imaginations to go wild, conjuring up some horrific dream of what he looks like AND the awful things he is capable of – all because they refused to pick up their toys? Really?! A lifetime of fear just for that?
When I was 7, I needed to have glasses. The classic statement from the optician who claimed “she’ll only need them for a year or two” (yeah, right) was, of course, wrong, so at 20, I had laser eye surgery.
But as a kid (about to start secondary school), after being told it’ll only be a year or two, I then went mental on carrots. Every opportunity I got, I ate them in the hope that not only would I be able to see at night, but I’d also be able to see, well, in general. Then I was told in a restaurant, “careful; if you eat too many, you’ll turn orange.” So my choice was either being so short-sighted I couldn’t see someone waving at me across the road or being orange.
“Mr Sandman, bring me a dream, make it the sweetest that I’ve ever seen…”
In the UK, I don’t think we associate dreams with the Sandman. However, as legend has it, he is the chap that trundles along at night, enters your child’s room and sprinkles sand into their eyes. He sits on their bed and waits for their eyes to flutter, which tells him that they can begin to dream.
Does that sound right to you?
What makes it worse is that in your child’s mind, there is proof. The sleepy dust in their tear ducts in the morning is the remnants of their dream that didn’t get absorbed. Firstly, sand in your eyes is horrible, but a random man you don’t know sitting on the end of your bed is even more freaky.
Rainbows are pretty cool. I love rainbows. I think everyone believes a rainbow is magical. When I was younger, I used to sit on Granny’s windowsill in her 2nd floor flat in Sydenham and watch all the twinkling street lights of South London while singing “somewhere over the rainbow… way up high…”
But why do we tell kids there’s a pot of gold at the end of it and wonder why they grow up with a gambling problem? Just chasing the dream. Oh, and don’t forget the Leprechaun. I still can’t work out if that’s deemed as racism.
You mustn’t swim for 15 – 30 minutes after eating. I can’t believe this, but my parents lied to me – this is NOT FACTUAL!!!! I always thought if you swam soon after eating, your stomach can turn upside down and make you sick. Lies. Scientifically not true.
Courtesy of John Lewis and their Christmas advert, the kids are now perplexed and believe there is a lonely old man sat on the moon watching them through their bedroom window.
The debate we now have about the “man on the moon” as the face you can sometimes see, the kid that fishes when you watch a Dreamworks film and the paedophile on the John Lewis advert with a giant telescope is excellent.
THE DEAD COMING TO LIFE
So as if kids don’t have enough to deal with, we turn around and say, “Hey, small, vulnerable people, why don’t we welcome a load of ghosts, zombies, vampires coming to suck your blood, the dead coming to life, murderers and psycho’s along to our party? Let’s do it every year on 31st October and then knock on people doors we don’t know asking for treats! Doesn’t that sound grrrrrrreat!”
And it is.
But the next day, we say, “don’t talk to strangers or accept anything from them, ok?”
“Don’t sit too close to the TV, or you’ll get square eyes.” I mean, who thinks this shit up? I remember saying this to Josh once, to which he replied, “so what is a safe distance then? Does that mean all people who have a small lounge have square eyes?”
Everyone tells a little fib or two from time to time, even us adults – as you can see from this article – but apparently, because we are parents, we have the right to say to our children, “if you keep telling lies, your nose will grow…”
EATING THE CRUST OF BREAD
Josh used to be terrified of eating crusts after Nana said to him, “if you eat your crusts, it will make your hair curl” – for years, he refused to eat it because he was so concerned he would get curly hair. And for some reason, Josh doesn’t like curly hair.
And the piste de resistance, Santa. Obviously, children should not trust strangers and should never go off with anyone they don’t know. However, it is perfectly ok for this immensely old white-bearded bloke to come into your room at night, give you presents while you’re sleeping and Mum, and Dad are totally fine with that. Furthermore, we will even take you to visit him, sit you on his lap and take a picture. Because that’s not weird. Or scary. Did you see our post about the first time we met Santa with Austyn?
While we are on the subject, let’s not forget the many other things we decide to throw into the mix; unicorns, mermaids, fire breathing dragons guarding castles, the list is endless.
Poor little buggers.