Tell Me Sweet Little Lies

27 Jul

Parents tell their children a lot of things to explain away awkward questions and give themselves a quiet life. Stork and the baby, anyone?

My parents were no different. In all fairness, it was more my father who was partial to making up a story or two, and my grandfather is the worst culprit of all. There are many porky pies that I have fallen for through my childhood, some innocent little fairy tales (like Mary the Fairy) and others slightly more devious, like the time that my grandfather convinced both my sister and I that a bowl of green olives in the centre of the dinner table were in fact green grapes. We soon realised the error of our ways, but not before consuming one of the horrible little things, and feeling suitably done.

In fact my granddad has never let the truth get in the way of a good story, but is a little flummoxed that we have now managed to work out when he is fibbing and call him out on it. The reason is this; he rubs his hands together when he is telling a tale, and looks very smug with himself. As children we failed to notice this, but as we got older we cottoned on to the lies and now he is rather less successful when trying to pull the wool over our eyes.

My dad has come out with some right treats too.

My sister, until she was about eighteen, was convinced that if you were to write on your hands, then you would get skin cancer. I think this is a little inappropriate to be telling young children, but I suppose it to be a means to an end, so we didn’t come home with biro all up our arms after a particularly interesting day at school. I was the worst; being a little bookworm who wanted to know everything about everything, I would jot down reminders on my lily white skin, ready to ask about it when I got in. But my sister believed this to be true for a long while longer than she should and often looked stupid when arguing the point with her peers.

Another winner that my dad provided us with was the use of hamsters to power a plane. Whenever we walked across the tarmac to go on holiday, he would do a little jog on the spot followed by a superman arm. It was drummed into us by that point, after years of trips that he was referring to the hamsters who powered the engines, getting ready for takeoff. This troubled me more than my sister, and my mum had to soothe me as I worried about the rodents in the massive engines. Yeahthanksdad!!

Did you ever get told anything ridiculous, or are you in fact the one who is currently conning your kids? Answers on a postcard please!


33 Responses to “Tell Me Sweet Little Lies”

  1. imonthebandwagon July 27, 2011 at 8:20 am #

    I wish my parents told me daft lies like that, instead they told me lies to avoid telling me what really happened. For example I only just found out the other year that all of my past 4 pet cats hadn’t ‘run off’ as previous told. They had in fact all fell victim to the main road outside our house. AND i only found this out because my mum slipped up when she was talking about them!

    • tinkerbelle86 July 27, 2011 at 7:06 pm #

      oh dear. poor you! on the plus side at least you were spared the sadness as a child? no?

  2. A Name To Wear July 27, 2011 at 8:30 am #

    the writing on skin bit was used on me…
    the others that I still remember are:

    “using an umbrella indoors attracts spiders and bugs to you” – this gave me nightmares..
    “chocolate before bed time gives you nightmares” – I don’t believe in this but it’s pretty much ingrained in my head enough that I don’t eat chocolate at night.

    awesome post! your writing style is both entertaining and easy to follow : )

  3. jamieonline July 27, 2011 at 10:32 am #

    Sometimes a few ‘white lies’ and ‘fibs’ are good for children. Obviously, not the ones that make them worry. Santa, Easter bunny, tooth fairy….. They all help to add a little magic to children’s lives.
    I’m thinking about the things that my mum said…… I can’t remember any lies from her. However, I remember staying at my Aunty and Uncle’s once and I shared a bedroom with my brother. There was a TV standing by the bed and we wanted to watch it late at night. My uncle told me that we couldn’t use it because he didn’t have a TV licence for that TV and if we turned it on then the police would come.
    I was 8 at the time. It was only when I grew up and was 20 buying my own TV at Uni that found out that you only need one TV licence per house. I remember the lies! But…. I never dared to turn that TV on. So his lie worked.

  4. dennisfinocchiaro July 27, 2011 at 10:49 am #

    Haha this is great! My grandfather pretended he could make the traffic lights change from red to green. We were in AWE! It took us YEARS to realize he was just watching the opposing lights change.

  5. April Lugod July 27, 2011 at 11:17 am #

    this is cute!! My mom used to tell that babies were made out of the food we eat we eat, and as we grow older, it comes out as a baby. 🙂

  6. scrambled7 July 27, 2011 at 11:27 am #

    My parents were always straight and forward and told me everything just the way it was. I didn’t always like it.

  7. taureanw July 27, 2011 at 11:42 am #

    LOL, I just wrote a blog (yet to be posted) Sunday about this same subject. My father wasn’t a big reader but he had his fair share of some tall tales! I think it’s a mix of the huge imagination kids have and that we’re extremely gullible (Or at least I was)

  8. Danielle July 27, 2011 at 12:26 pm #

    Telling your child that if you write on your skin you will get skin cancer is just really mean! I was maybe 17 and my friends held me down and drew on me with marker, i had to scour my skin to get it off. He still maintains that its the truth.

    • tinkerbelle86 July 27, 2011 at 7:07 pm #

      oh little bean, and i know how much you hate the feel of scourers!!

  9. Vix @ LittleMissEverything July 27, 2011 at 1:14 pm #

    Haha okay they were a bit crazy! The worst one is Santa, you feel crushed when you know it’s all been a lie!

  10. prenin July 27, 2011 at 2:34 pm #

    Mum insisted if we wrote on our skin we’d get contact dematitis – never happened, but we learned to take everything our parents told us with a pinch of salt!!!

    Love and hugs!


  11. Bjorn Karlman July 27, 2011 at 3:30 pm #

    Excellent, entertaining post! My dad would talk about the little men inside machines that made everything work… he would do this to get my sister to cooperate when she needed to eat or brush her teeth… she was an interesting child:)

  12. Megan July 27, 2011 at 3:47 pm #

    My pap always told us that eating carrots would make us grow hair on our chests…. Hmmmm…. I’m not sure if he thought that one completely through seeing as his granddaughters didn’t want hair on our chests; didn’t exactly make us wanna eat the carrots! lol

  13. Classic July 27, 2011 at 4:41 pm #

    Mine told me that cars stop themselves because they care about their owners, I still don’t know why…

  14. thoughtsappear July 27, 2011 at 6:00 pm #

    My parents should write a book about the lies they told me. They told me I couldn’t have a trampoline because I’d have to pay for trampoline insurance.

    They also told me that it was a law that all children under 11 had to wear a seatbelt. The day I turned 11, the law changed. Go figure.

  15. awforsyth July 27, 2011 at 7:40 pm #

    My Dad told me many things with such sincerity I whole heartedly believed him.

    Including (but not limited to):

    1. Pine cones come from Mars
    2. Little girls grow up to be men, and little boys grow up to be women (!?)
    3. A Haggis is a small creature with 2 legs longer than the other.

    I repeated that last one in Geography class.

    • tinkerbelle86 July 28, 2011 at 10:57 pm #

      they are quite out there, my favourite is the last. you are so gullible!!! does adrian know of this?!

  16. Tien July 27, 2011 at 8:23 pm #

    Brilliant topic! My dad told me that I would get really stupid if I step on books. I still feel uncomfortable stepping on books or leaving them on the ground up to this day!

  17. jakesprinter July 27, 2011 at 11:30 pm #

    Sometimes it works:)

  18. Nicole July 28, 2011 at 1:35 am #

    When I was little, I was convinced that if I swallowed watermelon seeds, a watermelon would grow in my stomach. Ha, ha.

  19. Krundok July 28, 2011 at 2:13 am #

    My grandad once told me about a bird that was born at the bottom of a mountain and flew up around it in gradually smaller circles, until eventually, it felw up its own arse and disappeared.

    • tinkerbelle86 July 28, 2011 at 10:58 pm #

      ok…. thats a pretty thought out one for absolutely no learning reason, but i like it!

  20. pegoleg July 28, 2011 at 9:56 pm #

    Grandpas and their stories are a treasure to be cherished, because they aren’t with us very long.

    Having said that, there’s a fine line between funny and sadistic – skin cancer, really?

  21. Missey Twisted July 29, 2011 at 12:14 am #

    As an adult, I now find the Tooth Fairy kinda creepy…..a fairy with a weird fetish sneaks into my room, takes my tooth, and leaves a quarter? What does she do with all the teeth?

    I feel like telling some kids I have to deal with that if they don’t use their brains, the zombies will come and eat their brains.

    My son once had his cousin convinced that there is a monster in the pond we live on…..

  22. Katie July 29, 2011 at 2:29 pm #

    Oh, writing on your hands… My mom definitely tried to propagate the rumor that writing on your hands would give you cancer and all sorts or other horrible diseases. Mostly I think she tried to tell me that the ink was seeping into my blood. My parents didn’t, however, tell me about the tooth fairy, Easter bunny, or Santa Claus–they wanted all the credit for putting money under our pillows, hiding eggs, and wrapping presents till 3 am.

  23. Missey Twisted July 29, 2011 at 3:19 pm #

    Tink, I’d like to thank you for this blog. I had a revelation about my life long fear of bugs, literally anything with over four legs struck terror into my heart for a long time. My parents used to say:
    “Good night. Sleep tight. Don’t let the bed bugs bite.”
    I never realized this saying was ingraned in my head and had enduring psychological affects on me. My bed was crawling with bugs? They’ll bite me for no reason?! No wonder I’m a bug-o-phobe! Finally, when I was twenty-six, a ladybug landed on my arm and did not kill me, teaching me that some bugs are okay. And I eventually got over my fear of butterflies and dragonflies too.
    I’m still working on the rest of the bugs…
    Keep up the great blogging!

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