Friday, October 15, 2010

"It'll Put Hair on Your Chest!" And Other Parenting Idiocies

Today at work, I overheard a mother tell her blubbering toddler, "Be quiet or I'll give you something to cry about!"

I smirked to myself at the absurdity of such a statement. I'd had that one used on me before. I always wanted to ask my mom "So, do you want me to stop crying? Or do you want me to cry more? I'm confused here, Mom. You're not being very clear." (In case you're wondering, she gave she something to cry about.)

But that mom telling her kid she'd give him something to cry about got me thinking.(I know, I know.)  I don't know about you, but my parents said a lot of dumb things when I was growing. (Who am I kidding, she still does.)  Sometimes she'd ask me, "Do you want a spanking?"

"Uhh, is this a trick question?"

Or (here's another good one) "This is going to hurt me than it does you." Uh no. Not true. Not even a little bit. It most definitely does not hurt the parent more. I've been on both sides of that fence. It does not hurt the spanker as much as the spankee. Just sayin'.

I'd make goofy faces all the time. And you know what my mom would say? Say it with me, everyone. "Your face is going to freeze like that!" And she'd say it all seriousness, as if she actually believed it herself. Have you ever seen a person with their face frozen with their eyelids pulled up, their fingers stuck in their nostrils, and their tongue hanging out?  Didn't think so. (Unless you count that crazy guy that hangs out on the bench outside of Wal-Mart, but I'd bet money that's not why he looks like that.)

I was a picky eater as a kid. I would never eat the crust of my bread. My Memaw would tell me, "Eat the crust! It'll put hair on your chest!" Yeah! You know, because that's what every five-year-old girl wants - a hairy chest. "Hair on my chest??? Really? Awesome! Can I eat yours too, Memaw!?"

And finally, there was the famous, "If all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you jump, too?"
"Maybe. Just how long do you plan to stay with this line of questioning? KIDDING! I'm kidding, Mom. I wouldn't jump off a bridge to get away from you. I mean, I wouldn't jump off a bridge just because my friends were doing it.  So..does that mean, no, I can't go to the Aerosmith concert that everyone else is going to?"

"Dream on." Ha! Clever!

Yeah, that's what it meant, all right.


Trinity said...

My mom couldn't use the bridge one on me because when I was 13 and on a church youth camping trip, I DID jump off of a bridge-into the river below.

But I don't get the "I'll give you something to cry about" thing. What exactly do they think that will accomplish other than scaring the kid into crying MORE?

Stacey said...

What's worse, is that I use that on my 2 year old! And I know how ridiculous it is!

Lori @ WittyLittleSecret said...

My personal favorite was my mom's claim that broccoli would make my hair curly. I was a very bitter seven year old with lots of beta-carotene before I figured it out.

Last week I asked my preschooler if he wanted a spanking. He replied, "weak sauce." So I don't think that one is gonna work.