My daughter was having a rare, pouting moment the other day so I said:
“You’d better watch out or your face will stay that way.”
The warning I gave her was purely instinctual. I heard that same thing from my Mom dozens of times. I said that because I wanted her to stop frowning. I could have just as easily said:
“You should stop frowning honey, because if you don’t, the evil warthogs that live in the bowels of the earth, will slither up the plumbing and rip off your toenails.”
No more false than the “frozen face” threat, but with an added touch of fear thrown in for additional manipulation.
My daughter is 8, and isn’t easily fooled. She would have totally laughed at the “warthog” thing, though.
During my first 5-6 years, I believed all my Mom and Grandma’s lies intended to fool me into socially acceptable behavior. I remember lying awake wondering what else I wasn’t supposed to do that they’d forgotten to tell me or that I hadn’t been caught doing yet. For example, I distinctly remember pushing really hard on my eyeballs at night to create kind of an alternate dimension full of “fire-worky” sparkly colors, then guiltily thinking I shouldn’t be doing it. I’m still waiting for my eyes to invert or be stricken blind as a result. Is it any wonder I’m strange? My childhood was built on paranoid, irrational threats. So, in retaliation, I’m exposing….
….SOME LIES MY MOTHER AND GRANDMA TOLD ME:
Lie #1: I became a carbo-aholic, bread-eating FOOL thinking if I ate all kinds of bread crusts my hair would become curly. I have a lifetime of perm receipts to prove that isn’t true.
Lie #2: Is my thick, middle-section the result of years of swallowing gum wads which ultimately created a gigantic stalagmite in my stomach? I think not! It’s probably not a good idea to swallow gum, just because it isn’t food—plus if it’s a big enough piece you could choke. Still….. swallow your gum if you want to. The end result will ultimately be ….an end result (wink).
Lie #3: The ice cream man plays music when he’s out of ice cream. That’s just cruel.
Lie #4: My personal favorite: If you pick your nose, your finger will stick there. No, it won’t. In fact, your nostril is EXACTLY the right size for your index finger to fit in and out perfectly. It doesn’t matter what size nostril you have either, because the size of your nostril directly corresponds with the size of your index finger. What’s more, there are some boogers that HAVE to be removed via the pick-method. Nose-picking has a long evolutionary history too and has been researched thoroughly. Dr. Thomas Harrison from Harvard University, in 1987, suggests, in his paper entitled: “Nose-Picking in the Pongidae and Its Implication for Human Evolution” that evidence of such behavior goes back some 20 million years! Grandma was SO Lying.
Lie #5: “Better watch out, better not pout, better not cry, I’m telling you why, etc, etc.” That one worked. I wanted presents.
Here’s one I’m still afraid of though:
Lie #6: (or is it?) If you cross your eyes they’ll stick that way. Just in case there’s any truth in that warning, I’m not taking any chances. I’m too busy anyway, getting ice cream off the ice cream truck and swallowing big, giant pieces of gum. I might even pick my nose too!