Lies parents tell their children

Parents lie. Sure, most of them were probably white lies meant for “our own good” or to give our parents a welcome respite from persnickety questioning. This, however, does not excuse how ludicrous some of the stories they told us were. How could we have even toyed with idea that these lies could be true? How could a baby ever possibly appear in a woman through a man kissing her stomach? How does a jolly, fat man in a velveteen suit gracefully slide down a chimney when an average-sized woman cannot? Now that we know the truth — for the most part, at least — it’s rather comical and a little astounding to look back at what our parents got away with telling us. So we at the Clog asked some UC Berkeley students about some lies and stories their parents told them when they were just wee ones.

Eating cake

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“My parents told me that it’s unhealthy to eat cake when it comes right out of the oven. They only told me that because cake is better when it’s warm, so they could have it all for themselves.” —Thiago

Lizard transformation


“My parents told me if I ate food lying down, I would turn into a lizard.” —Aditi

I solemnly swear


“When I was a kid, the phrase ‘I swear’ and swear words were connected in my mind. When I heard swearing was wrong, I thought it was like promising really hard. So I asked my mom, ‘Is swearing wrong?’ She said, ‘Yes, absolutely.’ There was nothing beyond that. I carried that ethic with me that you should never promise to someone that hard. I legitimately thought you can’t be certain about something. Later in my life, I never would give black-or-white answers on any yes-or-no questions my mom asked — only ‘probably’s. She later called me out on that. That’s why being a parent is fucking terrifying — because you can say the right thing, but you can still fuck up your child a little bit.” —Anders

Santa in the garage


“My parents told me Santa puts presents in the garage a few days before Christmas because he can’t get to the whole world at once.” —Tejas

Peter the naughty child


My parents used to read me these books when I was a kid. They were German books about this kid Peter. Peter was a bad child, and every book would feature him doing some sort of bad thing like stealing, skipping school or causing trouble. Usually what ended up happening at the end of the book was somehow he died. So, the lesson was don’t do naughty things like Peter does, or you’ll be punished. ” —Carli

Long-lost Canadian brother

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“I was about 8 or so, and my brother told me that my dad’s marriage to my mom was his second marriage and that he had been married when he lived in Canada and that they had a son. I figured this out and was like, ‘Nah, you’re lying to me.’ He was like, ‘No, go ask your dad.’ My dad goes along with this and says, ‘Yeah, his name’s Nicholas. He’s about 12.’ I was excited and was like, ‘I have another brother!’ It got to the point that I wanted to meet him and everything. My dad and brother said that I couldn’t tell my mother because she didn’t know he had been previously married — let alone had a previous son. So, I was like, ‘I have to keep it from her.’ It got to the point that I started writing letters to my fake brother. This went on for about a year or so, believing I had a brother in Canada.” —Megan

Bleeding ketchup


“When you’re little, you know how your mom drags you into the bathroom stall? While we’re in there, she gets her period. I ask, ‘What’s that?’ She said, ‘It’s what you get when you eat too much ketchup.’ And I believed that until I got my period.” —anonymous

Santa is mediocre


“My mom saved the best presents at Christmas. The best presents were from our parents because they wanted to get credit for them, and the mediocre presents were from Santa.” —Alexa

Russian women


“My mom told me Russian women didn’t shave their legs.”  —Max

New York bitch and Latin lover

“My mom and dad, until I was 16, had a narrative for me — that they met, that they were first loves … and that they had never had any other boyfriends or girlfriends. Then at 16, they told me they obviously had other boyfriends, girlfriends, flings and lovers and that they both separately had whole marriages. They told me in great detail about their marriages and divorces. … Dad’s ex-wife was a raging bitch — this cold aristocrat from the Northeast. She had all this money and left him in Mexico on their honeymoon. Mom’s ex-husband was a hot-blooded Latin lover who cheated on her. She walked in on them and clawed his back and chest when she found out and screamed until she was hoarse and then sent him on his way.” —Justin

Image Sources: Anthony CatalanoKahunapule Michael Johnso…,RushenLunaG.ottopeterson9137,  Infinite AcheLesley WilsonAmber MacGiovanniBlake FaceyStephen Coles via Creative Commons

Contact Nora Harhen at [email protected].