Oral Transmission of Folklore

This is how wives tales and urban legends get started.

A while ago, Laylee and I were having a conversation and she COULD NOT concentrate on what I was saying because I kept closing my eyes.

Me: No I’m not.
Laylee: Yes you are. Please STOP!
Me: I’m just blinking.
Laylee: Please don’t do it. Look at me.

I then proceeded to give an increasingly dire account of what would happen if people didn’t blink to protect the moisture in their eyes. She still wanted me to stop. I finally ended the conversation by telling her that if people didn’t blink, then their eyes would shrivel up and fall out. Since she likes me to have eyes for things like reading stories and finding princess crowns, she decided I could keep them.

That was a couple of months ago.

Yesterday we were at the chiropractor, when the musculoskeletal diagram caught her attention.

Laylee: Hey mom! See that pirate? He’s got no EYES!
Me: Hmmm…
Laylee [matter-of-factly]: It’s because he never blinked and then they fell out. That’s sad. I try to blink sometimes in front of Magoo to teach him that he needs to moisturize.

Well halle-doodly-lujah! Any day now I expect to find her rubbing Oil of Olay into his sockets.

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20 Responses to Oral Transmission of Folklore

  1. Mir says:

    I heart Laylee.

  2. Allanna says:

    Me too. She’s very awesome.

  3. I am astonished (and frightened) at what my 3-year-old remembers – small little things from last year. So. What all do you think holds up in court? 🙂

  4. jeana says:

    Remember the old “if you don’t put your tongue in the space where your tooth fell out then your new tooth will grow in gold”? guess what I thought the first time I saw a girl with a cap on her tooth? It was silver, but still. I figured the rumor got it wrong, or maybe she only stuck her tongue in the space once so the silver was sort of a runner-up consolation prize.

  5. Heather says:

    I don’t know what’s funnier – Laylee or Jeana!!

  6. Mary says:

    Too funny. That Laylee is so funny. Love the stories!

  7. Susan says:

    Charlie had a BlowPop recently, the kind with the gum in the middle. Our kids never have gum, so this was a novelty for him. I told him (at LEAST three million times) NOT to swallow the gum, but he did anyway (to SPITE me, I’m sure).

    Next thing I know, I’m telling him that the gum will stay in his stomach for SEVEN YEARS! Unfortunately, he thought that was cool and will pull his shirt up now and point at his belly and announce, “I think my gum is RIGHT THERE.”


  8. Pieces says:

    If only they treated EVERYTHING we say with so much respect.

  9. My grandma told my mom that “gold tooth” story too. We chalk it up to Grandma being a big liar.

    It’s interesting (and scary) to see how much they learn from us, word-for-word, and how literal they are. Love this mom gig.

  10. sarah hart kingston says:

    My mom would call this “synchronicity:” Just as I was reading about Magoo moisturizing, Noah came in with nail clippers and proceeded to give himself a pedicure. He then announced, “I should shave my leg.” I asked him why, and he said, “because there’s some really long, long hairs.” I refrained from genderizing the shaving of the leg, meanwhile wondering about those lonely hairs on the other leg.

    Also, when Noah saw the floating DYM head, he immediately requested to “play that funny Halloween game with the giant that comes out and he says, ‘what the…?’ and he tries to stomp on the little paper bag that’s on fire and shouts like an owl.” Ahhhh, yes. The flaming bag of poo. Except he thinks the bag is full of CANDY!

  11. What a funny, funny post. I love yours and Laylee’s interaction.

  12. Nicole says:

    HILARIOUS! Love the things that come out of that girl’s mouth! She must keep you entertained to no end!

  13. Becca says:

    I’m always so amused by their warped take on the world. It’s scary, really, to realize how dependent they are on us for information, and how literal they actually are.

    I told my then 2 year old to come “on the double,” and she was so upset because, “I not on the double, I on the CARPET!!”


  14. Mary says:

    I’m glad she’s taking her role as older sister and educator so seriously. Good thing Magoo has someone around to show him to “moisturize” properly!!! How funny!

  15. Michelle says:

    My husband’s father told him that boogers were bugs that had crawled up your nose. Took him years to figure out the truth. 🙂

  16. Lou says:

    That is so cute! Mine just asked for a new baby today. A boy baby with hair and eyes and a back and “all that”

  17. One day my sister told my nephew that if he didn’t start behaving, a big cockroach would come out of his hole and drag him down with him. Well, that settled that! My sister told me she said that to her son and I looked at her like she was crazy! All I could think was that my nephew must have been a very, very misbehaving boy! He eventually left behid his good ways and that cockroach never did come up to get him, so that put an end to that little story!
    Kids are amazing…

  18. Anne/kq says:

    One time, my toddler lost her balloon in the parking lot. She was very upset about it. So I told her that the balloon went to the beach to go find the sun, which had gone night-night behind the ocean. That calmed her down– but a few weeks later she ran off when I went in to the bathroom, and after being brought back by the neighbors, told me that she had gone to the beach to see if there were balloons there! 😮 And she still tells me about her red balloon that went night-night behind the ocean with the sun once in a while (like at 5 this morning.) Ay. Will the story never die?

  19. grammyelin says:

    Who knew we actually had influence on our kids? How many things do you suppose I said to warp your view of the world? At least she’s listening.

  20. Caryn says:

    Sometimes it’s scary–and sometimes just funny–how children spit our words back at us long after we ourselves have forgotten what we said.

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