Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Sunday, May 13, 2012

Parentisms


I'm going to call them parent-isms.
The things parents tell their kids.
Some of which are true.
My Husby's dad was known for his parentisms.
He had his kids convinced that he could measure their potential – with a yard stick.
He'd hold the yard stick near them and announce that their ability was 'nigh onto nothing'.
Fortunately, they didn't believe him.
He was also famous for asking them if they'd rather 'be dumber than they look or look dumber than they were'.
His victim would choose one or the other and he would grin and say, “How could you be?”
Which would result in a heated glare.
And just widened his grin.
He also convinced his children to eat carrots.
Lots of carrots.
By telling them that if they did, they could see better.
Okay, I know that all of us were informed that we would be able to see better if we ate our carrots.
Even in the dark.
But he took it just that much further.
His exact words?
Not only would they see better in the dark, but they would be able to see through hills in the dark.
And at least one of his children believed that one.
For years, my one-day-husby-to-be would peer into the night, trying desperately to see through hills.
He never did.
But he sure ate his carrots.
Sometimes, when his kids were with him in the yard, Husby's Dad would stoop and pick up a small pebble. Then hand it to the nearest child with the words, “Suck on this. The flavour will come.”
They caught onto that one fairly fast.
After trying it only a time or two.
Or three.
But the dreaded phrase for which he is most famous? “Go get the switch.”
This only occurred during moments of extreme stress.
When a misdemeanour was grave.
I should point out that 'the switch' was a long willow branch.
Kept in the garage.
And that the culprit had to go and fetch it.
Hand it to his father.
Then wait for punishment to be meted out.
Sigh.
The culprit would take the 'long route'.
Through the barn.
Around the corrals.
Through the chicken coup.
And the pig pen.
Past Grandma's.
And finally into the garage.
Emerging with the dreaded willow switch.
By this time, having already suffered agonies.
Husby's Dad didn't have to do anything more.
He would make a light, token swipe at legs or bottom, then hand the switch back with the words “don't do it again”.
And they didn't.
What parentisms did your parents use on you?

16 comments:

  1. Oh they had a few....
    Mom..."sit up, shut up and eat up"
    Dad..."there's that elf again looking in the window"
    Mom..."Don't make me get the fly swatter"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, these are great! My Mom's were "You have two choices for dinner . . . take it or leave it." and "There are kids starving in the world and you are turning your nose up at perfectly good food!"

      Delete
  2. Mom's classic: don't taste it, just eat it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've never heard that one before! Perfect!

      Delete
  3. I had so many of these, we were raised in that era weren't we :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brings back such memories! "Oh my stars and garters!" was another of Mom's favourites . . .

      Delete
  4. I heard the carrot trick. To this day I detest cooked carrots but love the raw ones.

    Dad ever stated, 'Don't make me pull this car over'.

    Mom was equally famous for, 'Wait until your father gets home'.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, man, I got both of those! My Dad also said, "Don't make me come back there!" and "You want to walk for a while?"

      Delete
  5. Parents?!? What are those?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They're those large people sitting up front who occasionally try to restore order!!!

      Delete
  6. Diane,
    Love the term "parentisms!"
    One I loved to hate was:
    "Stop crying unless you want something to cry about!"

    So glad I found you on NOBH!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I remember my Mom saying that one! Ahh . . . the memories!

      Delete
  7. This post and the comments that follow bring back memories! My Nana used to say, "You look like you were pulled through a hedge backwards," and somehow, I knew just what that meant! Thanks for sharing on NOBH :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I love that one! I'm going to use it! My Dad used to say 'You look like you were pulled through a knot hole'!

      Delete
  8. These made me lol! :-) The funny thing is that I find myself saying some of these to my own children! :-)

    Thanks for visiting my blog and for your kind comments. Many blessings, Lisa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Lisa! I find myself doing the same thing. And then I remember my Mom! It's a good thing . . .

      Delete

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