Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Moon = green cheese. Fact.

I’m one of life’s gullible people.

When I was small, my Nanny (that’s my mum’s mum, not The Nanneh. We weren’t that posh) used to tell me that if you swallowed chewing gum it would get wrapped round your heart and you would die. I believed this without question. I also believed that if the wind changed I would stay like that, that my stepfather actually did want me to go and play on the railway line, and that if I looked at a new moon through glass (this was a weird one of my mother’s) some indefinable yet horrible fate would befall me. I used to worry when my parents played their Helen Reddy tape in the car because I thought that the man who talked in between songs on the radio was having to sit in the dark and not say anything. To this day I am not one hundred percent convinced that if I don’t get out of the bath before pulling the plug out I won’t go down the plughole. Also, who’s to say that there aren’t monsters under my bed? I still jump in from two feet away just to make sure. Safety first and all that.

It makes me wonder about the lies we tell our children, and how totally accepting they are (until a certain age of course, which in my case was about twenty three) of any information we give them. Small Person, who fervently believes in the Toast Mouse (an invisible yet emphatically real creature who lives somewhere in our kitchen – we thought he was in the butter tub for a bit, or maybe the jam pot, but the other day she had dry toast owing to an upset tummy and he still managed to take a bite out of the corner of it so the precise location of his lair is now under review), is also currently and variously a full-on Christian (owing to school just telling her that’s what everyone believes), a big fan of her dad’s pagan chanting CD, a hopeful beneficiary of the Tooth Fairy, and petrified that giants might be real (that one didn’t come from me but from her latest school reading book. Thanks, school). She has also recently assimilated the information that boys can love (and indeed, marry) boys and that girls can do the same with girls. She giggled incredulously and I think she thinks I’m making it up but there you go. As long as she continues to believe that I have “Mummy Magic” which renders me all-knowing and means I am able to read her thoughts, know exactly what she’s doing even when I can’t see her, and suss out even the smallest lie, then we’ll be okay. I am particularly keen that she still believes this into her teens, as if there’s even the slightest hint of her turning out anything like me I’m going to put her up for adoption and let someone else deal with the fallout. Coming soon – my life as a teenage nightmare….

Now, where did I put the bicarbonate of soda? Only if you feed it to a seagull it’ll explode, you know. Or is that pigeons? Or baking powder? Or are they the same thing (bicarbonate of soda and baking powder I mean. Even I can (usually) tell the difference between a pigeon and a seagull)? Whatever.


Anonymous Whinger chimed in with...

I went snipe-hunting on more than one occasion as a youth and never did capture one, despite my arduous hitting of the underbrush with sticks.

My father says they're very cuddly and soft and make wonderful pets.

15 February, 2006 20:59  
Blogger Smat chimed in with...

Ooh, I do like Mummy Magic - how have I failed to suss that one out? Pity the poor Baby Smats from now on!
But the Tooth Fairy is definately real - Littlest Baby Smat is going to be one when she's bigger.
And Baking Powder is Bicarb plus Cream of Tartar. (no, I don't know what difference it makes).
What about standing on the lines between paving slabs? Doesn't that mean the bears get you?

15 February, 2006 21:16  
Blogger belladona chimed in with...

When I was small I used to look at the back of the tv and try to see in because of the tiny people I was told lived in there.
I was really quite small.

15 February, 2006 21:55  
Blogger belladona chimed in with...

I also thought there was a monster who lived in the wardrobe. I'm not sure what it looked like as I was too scared to ever open it up.

15 February, 2006 21:57  
Blogger Smat chimed in with...

but there are people inside the TV? There's a woman on Smarteenies who fingerpaints on the inside of out television......
And don't get me started on the goblins who make the words appear on the computer monitor and drink all my wine.

15 February, 2006 22:04  
Blogger mig bardsley chimed in with...

When the children were little I was terrified they'd find out I used to be scared of the monster under the toilet seat.
I thought it was uncooked rice that made something explode? But I can't remember what.

15 February, 2006 23:00  
Blogger JonnyB chimed in with...

Nice post.

You have something on your shoe.

15 February, 2006 23:47  
Blogger First Nations chimed in with...

it's Alka-Seltzer that makes the seagulls poof up and go 'splut'.
Just trust me on this.

15 February, 2006 23:55  
Anonymous Other Half chimed in with...

They've taken gullible out of the dictionary you know !

16 February, 2006 09:27  
Blogger Jemima chimed in with...


Do bears only get you if you tread on the cracks between the paving slabs, or doea it work if the slab itself is cracked. I never worked that one out.

I believe popcorn makes goats explode.

16 February, 2006 09:49  
Blogger surly girl chimed in with...

jonnyb - the one thing i don't fall for is the old "hello sailor" trick.

*jumps up as there is a drawing pin on chair*

and everyone knows the bears will get you if you step on the lines. however, on weekend shopping trips when you're in a hurry it is perfectly acceptable to explain to your five-year-old that bears don't work weekends or bank holidays. or after 5pm.

16 February, 2006 09:55  
Blogger LC chimed in with...

My sister's house has a burglar alarm that has one of those movement sensors with the red blinking LED, it's stuck in the corner of the ceiling in the living room.

I managed to convince my 6 year old neice that this thing was actually a camera linked directly to the police station, and if she misbehaves they'll immediately send an angry copper around to shout at her.

16 February, 2006 10:53  
Blogger the Beep chimed in with...

Or, the bears go to Hungerford when we are in a hurry.
And my 11 yr old, soon to be 12, is still unsure if what his Dad said is true and the whole world really was black and white 20 yrs ago, not just telly.

16 February, 2006 11:44  
Blogger funny thing chimed in with...

If you swallow orange pips, a tree will grow out of your ears.

And of course, as everyone knows, you will get pregnant if you touch a boy's leg.
I think this applies to boys as well.

16 February, 2006 11:46  
Blogger Darren chimed in with...

But Bubble gum, or chewing gum for that matter does wrap around your heart. As the Mighty Boosh sing about Charlie, the creature made from bubble gum, he is a hubba bubba nightmare... wrapping around your heart.

So it must be true

16 February, 2006 13:16  
Blogger Wyndham chimed in with...

Look - behind you!

16 February, 2006 16:03  
Anonymous Dave F chimed in with...

The thing is, when they find out eventually that you were lying, they never believe anything you say ever again. Or regard you as slightly demented. This stuff is partly what makes teenagers so bloodyminded.

16 February, 2006 19:14  
Blogger car01 chimed in with...

You'll grow horns in your tummy if you bite your nails, you know.

At least that's what my parents had me believe until I was about 26.

16 February, 2006 19:14  
Blogger surly girl chimed in with...

lc - that may well be the best child-flummoxing scam i've heard. shall adopt it as soon as i am rich enough to live in a house that requires a burglar alarm.

as for the rest of you - god, how gullible are you?

*manages to hide panic about horns growing in tummy by being sarky about everyone else*

16 February, 2006 19:21  
Blogger Kyahgirl chimed in with...

actually, the story here is that you'll break your mother's back if you step on the cracks.

*envisions SG out jumping up and down on all the cracks in Whoville, UK*

16 February, 2006 20:11  
Blogger surly girl chimed in with...

i have to admit if it were true i'd have already pulled my combat boots on and taken to the streets...

16 February, 2006 20:19  
Blogger Jemima chimed in with...

Had to tell my little one that the tooth fairy is Jewish and doesn't work holidays, coz I forgot to slide any money under the pillow once. I get the feeling that is probably wrong on some level.

16 February, 2006 20:29  

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