Friday, February 5, 2010

Out of the Mouths of Babes...

So I was over at my friend's house for dinner the other night when she shows me a picture that my "nephew" made in school. It had caused a bit of confusion for his teacher, who had the caption dictated to her. Here's the picture:

So in case you can't read it, it says, "My favorite, favorite, favorite place to go is Disney World and we stay in a hotel. We take an airplane and it makes potatoes grow in my ears."

Go ahead, read that last sentence again. It either left you confused or laughing. Maybe both. I laughed, of course, but I also knew exactly what he was talking about.

As an adult, have you ever thought about the things we say to children?? Santa, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy aside we tell them all sorts of crap. Most of them outright, though pretty funny, lies. For example: the stork. I mean, seriously! A stork brings babies to us?! Think about that for a second. Isn't it just a little bit horrifying? Would you trust any animal to transport an infant by itself, never mind a bird?!

My own absolutely wonderful mother, whom I adore, told me some whoppers. For instance, she broke me of lying when I was little by telling me my tongue turns black when I lie. Also, the gypsies lived behind Toys R Us and if I acted up while we were in the store it would be oh so easy for her to drop me off with them so I could join them in their nomadic lives. I was an angel as a child, so these crazy stories are apparently effective.

It isn't just parents that tell tales though. This leads me back to my nephew. He was only 2 the first time he went to Disney and he was sitting next to my mom on the flight. During take off he covered his ears and started whining. Mom asked him if he was ok and he told her "I can't like these potatoes in my ears." I thought it was funny, obviously, but I instantly understood what he meant. When I was little and I had to go to the doctor's office for a check up I very distinctly remember being weirded out by the otoscope. Noticing my trepidation he told me that was what he used to look in my ears. "For what?" I asked. "To see what you have growing in there. Potatoes, carrots, tomatoes...."

So when the air pressure in the cabin caused my nephews ears to hurt, he assumed it was because he had grown potatoes in there. Just like the doctor had been looking for. Remember this story the next time you talk to a young child. You never can tell what will stick with them. I still won't venture behind that Toys R Us...