11 December 2009

Me, An Old Wives' Tale-Teller



I have a feeling that many a Chinese child grew up with a version of this old wives’ tale:
Finish every last morsel of food on your plate/bowl, lest you marry someone with bad acne.
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When I was younger, I had actually believed that and my fear of having a husband with serious pockmarks had me cleaning up my plate at every meal –not a single grain of rice, not a single strand of noodle, not a morsel left on my plate.

My grandparents had this friend who would occasionally drop by for a visit. His face had scars and pockmarks owing to serious acne from his younger days. During one of his visits, I asked my grandmother whether this man’s wife never finished off the food on her plate and that’s why she got to marry him. I’m pretty sure that my grandmother had wished that the armchair that she was sitting on would swallow her up and that she’d never ever told me that tale.

Well, guess what? I've officially joined the "old wives' tale-teller" club. I found myself giving Josh exactly that ‘advice’ the other day when he declared that he was done with his meal; his plate resembled the aftermath of a terrible hurricane –scraps of food here, a morsel or two there…

When I was giving that piece of advice to Josh, Chris was looking over at me with a smirk.

What lies tales or stories have you told your children to get them to do something you want them to do?

18 COMMENTS:

Dandy said...

Oh you didn't! You didn't say that! Ha!

Menopausal New Mom said...

Oh that's cute you would ask and put your grandmother on the spot like that in front of others Lol! So far I haven't told my daughter any fibs about finishing her food, I'm more relaxed about it and trust that her tummy will tell her when she is hungry or full. I happened to have a grandmother who held open my mouth and shoveled in the food, is it any wonder I don't get stressed out with my daughter?! I probably should be in therapy from that experience Lol!

jen@odbt said...

Growing up filipino, my mom had something for everything. Drop a utensil on the kitchen floor meant a visitor was coming, singing in the kitchen would make you an old maid. We got the eat all your dinner or else (fill in the blank).

2 Toddlers and Me said...

I've never heard that one! Funny. Hopefully it works for you as well as it did for your parents.

Theta Mom said...

That is so funny and as a kid, you believed it, right? My Nana used to tell me that I better eat my carrots because it was good for my eyes and if I didn't, my eye-sight wouldn't be so great. And I though that's why I wore glasses as a kid! lol

BTW, it was soooo great to see you on my blog. Are you getting my updates and/or can you see me in your dashboard? If not, others have said if you unfollow and refollow, it "fixes" itself. Anyway, great to see you! :)

blueviolet said...

I'm pretty sure I've played the Santa card a time or two...

Nezzy said...

Yep, mama always told the stories of children starvin' and I must have a clean plate so not to waste any food.

I always just gave them two choices and one was always undesirable for them so they were only left with the good choice, yet on their terms. I'm tricky that way!

Have a relaxing evening!!!

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

I told my daughters that I had eyes in back of my head so I always knew when they were doing something they shouldn't be.

After dinner, one evening, my youngest tiptoed behind me and pulled back my hair and I turned around and asked what she was doing.

She said, "I'm looking for your eyes."

I told her, "Those are mommy eyes that only other mommies see."

They totally believed me.

Now as for the pock mark tale...I don't know if my kids would've believed that one. LOL

Wanda said...

I once told Dahlia that Mommies know everything. Well.....I've eaten those words a few times now. haha

Your little tale I've never heard before. It's a beaut.

:)

Richele said...

LOL...that's funny! I'll have to use that one. I cannot tell tales. My 11 year old always catches me. My 4 year old will say "are you just making fun?" However, my 9 year old boy falls for it all the time. hmmm....

Lindy said...

I tell my daughter if she doesn't listen, she's going to bed. ;)

smiles4u said...

Oh yes, those getting children to eat old wives tales are too funny. I don't use any as far as getting mine to eat but I do tell them that I can always see everything they are doing and that's why I always know what they are up to. Most of the time they believe me but not always. :)

a Tonggu Momma said...

I know everything. I see everything. I hear everything. And she totally believes me.

But the acne thing? I don't think she would believe me. Because she wouldn't believe that she would ever marry someone that wasn't A Prince.

Aunt LoLo said...

Do you remember the Chickamamas?! Yeah. Between them eating BBJ, and Santa Clause taking away her toys...there's a lot of threatening going on around here.

Funny thing - I never threaten with those things, because I know I wouldn't follow through with them. I do, however, threaten to simply throw all her toys outside or lock them in the garage. And I've done that before. heh.

Elle Bee said...

Hee hee, whatever works!!

Helene said...

That's funny!!!! The other day I had a hard time opening a bottle of juice and Cole asked if he could try. What'da ya know...he was able to open it. So I said, "You know that's because you've been eating those tangerines I bought. They make you really strong".

He believed me and he's been eating 2 tangerines a day!

Anita said...

No wives tales, although I'm always tempted. I use consequences, like, "I'm not going to take you shopping."

I've seen your blog here and there and decided to visit.

Loralee and the gang... said...

Perhaps the most horrifying one is to tell our little boys that their wee-wee will fall off if they play with it... we were beside ourselves to know what to do when we had a persistant problem with one of our boys, and that just popped out of my mouth without going through my brain first! (OK, you just try to tell me that has never happened to YOU before!?)
:~D

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