One of the weirdest things about being a kid is that you have no idea what reality is like outside of your own immediate family. Until you begin to go to school and to spend time with other people’s families, there’s no way for you to tell what’s “normal” and what’s not.
These 14 people thought there was nothing weird about life at home…until they did.
14. I, too, loathe yelling.
My parents didn’t want to shout our names for dinner or to come downstairs so my Dad installed a literal doorbell in our bedrooms.
So if we were needed in the kitchen we were summoned by the ‘child bell’. – we lived in a 2 bed semi.
13. It’s not a bad thing.
My mom used to have me practice screaming for help at the top of my lungs before going to friends houses ಠ_ಠ
12. It is hilarious.
My mom taught me and my sister to howl at the moon. It would get our dog all worked up, and he’d howl too.
It would make my grandma so mad, but my mom found it hilarious.
11. I can’t decide if this is ok or not.
My Christian family used to celebrate Passover. As in, glass of wine out for Elijah, youngest kid asking ritual questions, ceremonial plates, the whole seder package. Sometimes we did this as guests at a Jewish friend’s house, but at least once, my very Methodist mother cooked a full authentic seder menu in our house. I knew not everyone did this, but all my Jewish friends at school did, so I didn’t think much of it. Then I transferred to a Catholic school and was SHOCKED that most kids knew nothing at all about Judaism.
The cute twist is that my parents had met at a seder. When they lived in NYC in the 1980s, one of Dad’s law school friends was roommates with a coworker of Mom’s. The roommates cohosted a seder and decided to invite their Gentile friends to make it a bigger party. The more the merrier!
And so a Methodist and a Catholic sat together, got to talking, swapped numbers, went on a date, went on more dates, got married, and produced two kids. They had us celebrate Passover because it was a part of their story, and our origin stories.
10. I’m pretty sure kids can figure this out on their own.
I grew up in Michigan and when I was 9 or so my mom introduced my older sister and me to the tradition of “Devil’s Night”. That’s the night before Halloween when you go out and “pull pranks”. Stuff like soaping windows, or TP’s trees, nothing really destructive.
So my mom came home the night before Halloween with a couple of grocery bags full of TP and soap. She had to explain to us how to commit vandalism.
9. A lifetime to undo.
Everyone in my family is very petty and emotionally immature. No one apologizes or talks about how they feel, things you said a month ago can come back up any time.
Unsurprisingly, I get super freaked out when people raise their voice at me, even if it’s to agree, and I apologize constantly
8. Talk to your boys, too, parents.
I’ve posted this before, but I had a babysitter when I was younger (I’m a boy and was about eight or nine at the time) who used to make me pretend to be pregnant and would often act out fetishes she had with me involving my feet or just touching my genitals.
At the time, it didn’t necessarily feel wrong, and more like a secret we had together. I think I was also more naive because she was only a fifteen year old girl, and I had always learned that older men were the ones to be careful around.
7. It’s actually good she didn’t realize for so long.
A couple. When I was a kid my dad would take me to the 7/11 for slurpees. I adored it, because I looooved slurpees. The only rule was I couldn’t tell my mom I got it or went anywhere. I didn’t realize until I was about 12 or so that all the times he took me out for slurpees was really just him getting liquor and feeding his alcoholism, and that’s why I wasn’t allowed to say anything.
My mom also slept with me well into my teen years. It wasn’t until I got into late middle school that I mentioned it and my friends thought it was extremely weird. My dad told me it was because my mom was a control freak, and that I was putting a wedge in their marriage by letting her sleep with me, so I finally demanded she stop.
I later found out she slept with me for that long because my dad was a raging junkie/alcoholic and could do some really terrible things while high. I knew my dad was an addict, but I never knew my dad could do anything like that.
I take care of my mom now. He died about six years ago and I’ve never seen her happier.
6. Terribly sad.
I thought that it was normal to expect to be physically harmed when someone was mad at you. Until I was a teen, my mom would beat me when she got mad, which was pretty often.
Also I thought that mistakes were unacceptable, because I’d be beaten for even the smallest of mistakes
5. I have questions.
Various rooms in the (average sized) house being locked and mom wearing the keys around her neck like a necklace.
If guests came round the living room would be opened up!
4. What good parents.
Random kids living at our house.
I had 9 siblings and my parents always had one or two other kids that had been kicked out of their homes living with us. Usually friends of my older brothers and sisters, it wasn’t until my twenties that I discovered that most had been disowned by their parents for being gay.
Also had no clue that this wasn’t normal for the 60’s.
3. I hate that second one.
No vacations. We never went anywhere for summer or holiday breaks, except for one year when I was eight, when we took a road trip up to Washington state. The experiment was never repeated. My parents never said why. I think that basically my father did not want to take us on vacation, so we didn’t go.
No reading for pleasure. It was OK to pore over the books for homework, but not ok to lounge on a chair or bed and read for pleasure. My father would go nuts if he caught us. To him, it meant we weren’t doing housework or yardwork, which is what he really wanted us to do when the school assignments and chores were done.
2. This will warm your heart.
It’s a little thing, but it was very surprising to me – that it was my dad and not my mom who stayed home with me when I was sick.
Also, my friends all had stories of their parents trying to get them to go to school even when they were sick. My parents never did that, and even let me stay home a few times even when they knew I was faking it.
I know it’s hard for a lot of working parents to stay home with a sick kid, but all my friends at the time were pretty much from the same middle-class background as I was, and my father was a hospital physician and the head of his division at the hospital and also saw a lot of patients, so it was not easy for him to miss work. I guess he handled a lot of stuff by phone (this was before the internet).
It’s a little thing, but it really made me feel so cared for and I still associate staying home sick with getting taken care of by my dad who had an excellent bedside manner.
1. This is hilarious.
I think I only thought about this once, then completely forgot about it. When I was a kid (6-7?) I used to think “brown people pooped brown poop, and white people pooped white poop”.
It never occurred to me that I had never seen a white shit any time I went to the toilet, and so when I saw that someone had unfortunately forgot to flush the toilet (at school) and I saw the “remnants”.
I was immediately intrigued, since I was the only brown kid at that school, and I thought there was another brown person at my school, and I just hadn’t seen them.
These are the craziest moments when you see them happen in real time.
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