The lies we tell children and the hilarity that ensues.


When I was a little kid I thought if you ran over the vacuum cleaner cord with the vacuum, the vacuum would blow up. I got that in my head,I think, because one day I was trying to figure out how to use the vacuum and my father told me if I vacuumed over the cord the vacuum would break. I didn’t put it together in my head how he meant it, which was probably “The cord will break and the vacuum won’t work if the cord is broken.” How I took it was “THE VACUUM WILL EXPLODE!” So to this day at thirty years old when I vacuum I’m constantly checking to make sure I’m not sucking up the cord lest I die when the vacuum bursts like a dying star.

I’m sure my dad wasn’t lying to me, but he was ok with me believing something that want true because it meant I was careful when I used the vacuum. I find myself doing the same kind of thing, letting my toddler think this are true that aren’t, but for a much more nefarious reason: I think it’s funny.

She thinks turtles hiss. I understand sometimes some turtles might hiss. I mean she thinks cows go “moo” and pigs go “oink”and turtles go “hisss.” She thinks when you see a turtles it will start hissing at you like a snake (which is kind of a freaky image if you think about.) I’m ok with her thinking that, because it’s silly. There’s no harm in her thinking turtles hiss. Just like when she holds up the giraffe magnet and I ask “What does a giraffe say?” And she responds “tthhhhh?” I say “Great!” I personally have no idea what noise giraffes make. Maybe kind of a honking zebra horse kind of noise? No clue. The African savannah may very well ring with the “Tthhhhh!” of the majestic giraffe.  However, I’m sure when they’re interviewing her for astronaut school in 2030 no questions will involve the sounds animals make.

I feel like a little bit of a supervillain letting her think something that isn’t true. The big payoff I’m waiting for is when she finally realizes I’ve lead her astray. One day she’ll come home from school in a fury and shout “Turtles don’t hiss! Why did you let me think turtles hiss? Everyone at school thinks I’m a spaz because I said turtles hiss!” And I’ll laugh maniacally in my volcano lair while petting my fluffy cat, I suppose. It’s hard to explain why I’ve created a 10 year setup to a really stupid punchline. The reason I’ll give her will have to be “Because mommy is kind of evil and thinks weird things are funny.”

I think that could be the tag line to my life. Lisa: kind of evil and thinks weird things are funny.

3 thoughts on “The lies we tell children and the hilarity that ensues.

  1. Kathy Ledin

    Funny girl!!! There are worse things in life than your mom telling you turtles hiss!!! It’s a good road to toughen up that little cookie :-))

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