I wanna rocket roll all night and I want to have a good day! Alright!

I walked in on Thalia in our bedroom opening and closing one of those cheesy Hallmark cards that plays music when you open it (Happy birthday Nate) and that was refrain she was singing.

I explained the lyrics, even fired up an MP3 on the Mac so she could hear the whole song – but no use. I want to have a good day!

I am having the best time keeping track of Thalia’s toddler misunderstandings about the world. I’m pretty sure that she thinks her nickname was Little Bean when she was in my belly because human embryos start out as actual beans. And she thinks foods “full of vitamins” have little purple Dora-imprinted chewables buried in there somewhere.

Along the same lines as the misheard song lyrics, she mismatches nursery rhymes in the cutest way: Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater, eating his curds and whey. Why not? I mean, pumpkin is probably good with a little ricotta.

But my favorite so far: Last week Nate turned a game of Got Your Nose into Got Your Belly Button and Thalia insisted she needed her belly button back right away.

“Why? It doesn’t actually do anything.”

“But I need it!” she cried.

“What do you need it for?”

“I need it to fart.”

Neither of us taught her this. (Shockingly.) She just somehow came to it on her own.

Suddenly I’m reminded of all the misinformation that filled my head in my younger days.

-When I was a kid we had a cleaning woman from Jamaica. She used to describe this beautiful far away island with palm trees and miles of sandy beaches. And yet when I used to hear the local traffic report on 1010WINS describing backups along the BQE to Jamaica, I couldn’t imagine how this spectacular island was somewhere hidden right in Queens.

-That old chestnut: Little men inside the television.

-After third grade one day, I ran home indignant about a song we had learned music class. “It was a CHURCH SONG, mommy,” I said, the junior liberal in me busting with pride in my ability to bust the proselytizing music teacher.

“It was called Eleanor Rigby.”

-The local library gave out sticker maps and we’d get a new state sticker for every book a child took out. The map hung at eye level on our kitchen wall, and is the very reason I thought Alaska and Hawaii were right next to each other, just West of Texas.

-I never entirely understood that classic BeeGee’s lyric We can try to understand the New York Times’ old anchor man but I sang it that way.

The sad part is, I still sing it that way. It just comes out.

-I have an Aunt Fredda. I thought there was another Fredda out there, a really famous dancer. Her name was Fredda Stare.

-I was certain God was the spitting image of the Lucky Charms Guy.

So what do your kids get wrong now? What did you get wrong as a kid? I’m feeling a little alone in my abject cluelessness here.


50 thoughts on “Misunderstood”

  1. Thalia is hilarious! And so were you as a kid! The only one I can think of off-hand was a huge misconception about sex. I thought the man put his penis in the woman’s vagina to make the hole big enough for a baby.

  2. Upon finding out that my great great grandmother was a Cherokee Indian, I went to school and told everyone that I was 1/2 Cherokee.

  3. Family famous from my little brother and I (probably only funny to my family):“Winter Boot Bunnies” = snow shoe rabbits“Wrestling Mittens” = boxing gloves“Mr. Neighbor’s Gragerhood” = obviousApparently I saw a Great Blue Herring flying over the lake while at camp once. (Seriously, picture it.)Once we were talking about dream houses when I was a kid. I told my mom if I had a really big house I would want a stupid maid. This really confused my mom until I explained that I wanted the box for the food that went up and down. Ah yes: The dumb waiter. My brother was convinced that noodles were the same thing as cheese.He also thought that he “invented” that thing where you flip your pillow over to get to the cooler more comfortable side.And the best and saddest lyrics ever:“You are my sunshineMy only sunshineYou never noticeHow much I love you” (!!!) My mom still sings it that way because she thinks it’s sweet.

  4. Annabel, upon being told that we may be going to Seattle, became terribly upset with me for not being more clear on exactly WHO exactly Attle was.

  5. I told EVERYONE who would listen that pregnancy was a naturally-occuring phenonemon that could not be influenced by any action…

  6. Aren’t belly buttons for where you put the pill you take to get pregnant? Figure that one out…. 😉As for the Eleanor Rigby reference….my boss is so going to wonder why this reimbursement form I’m sending him is covered in coffee-colored spit.

  7. Ben came home from preschool once so excited about the dessert they’d had: blueberry toddler.There’s a famous restaurant in Manhattan called Serendipity. Being a typically narcissistic little kid, I was sure that it was called “Sarah and Dippity.”

  8. My daughter insists the lyrics are “We Miss You, Merry Christmas.” Also, she’s apparently not too impressed with their superhero skills, because she calls the movie “The Credibles.” There’s Mr. Credible, Mrs. Credible….a whole family of thoroughly believable beings.

  9. As for the Kiss song, my husband always thought it was “I want to rock and roll all night and part of every day!” Like they were somehow sort of responsible musicians who would only use up the morning hours to “rock and roll” while leaving the other part of the day free for more productive activities.As for myself I grew up with just a mom and so was rather inexperienced with male anatomy. I thought the reason men held their penises while peeing was because they were actually squeezing out the pee from it. The truly embarrassing part of this misunderstanding is that I didn’t realize my error until I was 18!

  10. I can’t remember any real ones from when I was a kid (aside from commenting that a boy who ate a bullets shouldn’t eat hot food right afterwards.)But for years my sisters and I were convinced that the song “Damn I wish I were your lover” was actually “STAN I wish I was your lover” and was about her plumber!

  11. I can’t remember my own good ones off the top of my head, but a friend of ours was quite sure the song was “Secret Asian Man.” He was psyched.

  12. When I was little, I was convinced that wind was caused by the trees moving. In my brain, because you moved a fan and got wind, obviously wind was caused by something moving. Therefore, trees moving caused wind. 🙂

  13. I thought oral sex was when you talked about it. Until I was like 15.And then someone told me what it actually was (you put his what? in your what?) and I nearly died.Now I recommend it as a way to get out of vacuum cleaning.Go figure.

  14. I still call the Buick brand Ka-Buick because my hometown dealership commercials were for “Ron Slivka Buick,” and I always heard it as Ron Sliv Ka-Buick. I was probably 18 before somebody corrected me.

  15. Eh, I had a friend in elementary school tell me she was born out of her mother’s armpit. And I believed her until I was in high school.

  16. This one is SOOO stupid, I can’t believe I’m going to confess it:When you scrunch your chin (it’s possible, try it) and there are all these dimples in it I thought it was from all the peaches I was eating because it looks like a peach pit.Every time I eat a peach I think of this.

  17. When I was little (5ish?), I thought all white people spoke English and all black people spoke French. I also thought that nuns were “strangers” and so I was scared to death of them…my mom told me never to talk to strangers.My brother thought the words to that song Thalia was singing were: “I want to rock and roll all night and PART OF every day.” Sadly, he believed this until he was thirty. His reasoning was that nobody could possibly party twenty-four hours a day. They must need a rest sometime.

  18. …and I posted before I read the rest of the comments and realized that amy said the same thing! That song must have confused more than a few people.

  19. i use to think that sex was the penis touch boob. and thought – it just seems strange.i also thought real estate was real easter

  20. I used to love Sesame Street. No, I ADORED Sesame Street. I still do. A place to romp and play and sing in the street with fun furry monsters? And everything was a-ok, you know? So after watching a grainy episode on our tiny black and white sony TV, I asked my mom where Sesame Street was. I reeeeeally wanted to go. She was busy and said something like “far away”. I said “how far away?” “far.” “like to China far?” “something like that.” So Sesame Street was always in China for me. And I wanted so badly to save my change and get there. Maybe that explains my facination with getting to Asia someday!

  21. I’m new to this blog and la-la-lovin’ it. Great post and even better comments. Allow me to add that I once heard my two friend’s two daughters (both under 6) jumping on a trampoline and singing: “Everybody’s jumping, everybody’s jumping, everybody’s jumping– fire awaaaay!” to the tune of “Hit Me With Your Best Shot.”As for my personal half-understandsing from youth, I sang Silent Night: “Round, young virgin.” And for my entire sixth grade year (when I first heard the phrase), I thought a blow job was something you did to your car. You know, rotate the tires, fix the alignment, get a blow job…

  22. My step-brother thought the lyrics to I shot the Sheriff were, “I jot the Jerritt.” He was twelve before we could convince him otherwise. My niece told me just the other day that her mommy got pregnant my kissing her step-daddy too much. At six years old, I’m willing to go along with that one.I still picture God (and may always) as Alanis Morresite in Dogma.

  23. I’m sure I have many… but the one that sticks out right now is that when Sage was 2 or so… he used to call his elbows his “Elmos”.

  24. Doesn’t everyone remember the old Kenny Rogers favorite:“It’s a fine time to leave me Lucille…four hungry children and a CRAP in the field.” After a couple of years, my parents were able to control their laughter and fill me in on the real words!

  25. My toddler is still working on the whole “saying words” thing, but every new phrase or word he says cracks me up! I’m always singing the nursery rhymes the wrong way, so I’ll have no one to blame but myself!

  26. My sister and I thought that the “Great American Road” belonged to “Pubic” (Buick).We also heard a local commercial as “Pussy-Cow” when it actually said “Go see Cal.”And finally, I thought the words were “Ain’t nothin’ but a hound dog, CRAPPIN’ on a tire!”

  27. That is CLASSIC. I thought songs on the radio were all live. The DJ just plugged in a wire to the singers’/bands studio and they’d play……

  28. When I was little, I thought people on tv could look out and see us, just like we could see them (I blame Mr. Rogers). I also thought we knew celebrities the same way we knew our neighbors. Also, I saw “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” as a little kid, and was convinced that all the lies Lucy told Linus were true (the one I remember the most was that snow came up from the ground and the wind blew it around and made it look like it came out of the sky). I was so glad my parents took me to see that so I’d know the truth about all those things.

  29. I can clearly remember sitting in the kitchen with my mother – I was about three years old – and I told her that when I grew up, I wanted to be an eagle. I wasn’t being poetic, or using a metaphor, nor did I have any inkling of Philadelphia football.I really thought that I could shape-shift into a giant bird.I was crushed when I found out that most likely, probably, this wasn’t going to happen.

  30. My 4 year old decided one day that bees make poop… and so if a morning went (or still comes) by that my 11 month old son doesnt poop (which he generally does every morning like clockwork) then my 4 year old tells me it is becuase the bees didnt make it yet…I had to teach her the birds and the bees last year becuase she saw her daddy while he was peeing… our downstairs bathroom at the time was practically a stall and all she knew was that he said he was going to pee and then when she walked past the door (that he didnt close because the light burned out) she saw him facing the toilet standing… she asked why her daddy pee’d out of his belly button.AndBefore i concieved her baby brother I tried to talk to her about where babies come from… on her own she told me (and everyone else that would listen) that babies came from Tim Hortons adn so we couldnt have a baby becuase our car broke down so we couldnt go through the drive through.

  31. After reading all of these, mine is so boring, but here it is anyway: Growing up, my dad went to Washington quite often – sometimes even just for the day – and I think I was in high school before I realized it was Washington DC, not Washington state. My geography was pretty lousy, apparently.Song lyrics, on the other hand, I always got right.

  32. OMG, my daughter also got that Alaska and Hawaii are next to texas thing too. She COULD NOT be convinced otherwise, because that’s exactly what the map showed. I think she still believes it!

  33. I live in snowy Canada, and when I was growing up on the farm, there was a house that we passed by on the 8 mile trip to town. This house had a pretty gable with a balcony, and every Christmas they put up a huge, waving Santa Claus in the balcony. I was SURE that was the real Santa Claus, and that was where he lived.Also, my cousin who lived nearby thought that the name of our town was actually TOWN until she went to school and found out otherwise. You see, like I think most farm people do, if we were going anywhere else we would say the name of the place, but if we were going to the town we lived near, we would just say we were going to town.

  34. My dad listened to the Beatles so much when I was growing up, that I thought we were related to them until I was at least 5. I mean, we had pictures of them in frames, just like all our family members, so why not?In a eeriely similar fashion, my husband listens to so much Elvis, my 4 year old twins think we know him personally, after all we have been to his house. And as far as they are concerned, he’s definitely not dead.

  35. I thought that when you turned off the radio, the song would stop and then resume when you turned it back on. Keep in mind, this was before cassette decks were standard in cars, so I had no way of getting that confused. Very funny post.

  36. You’re all hilarous! And bringing up so many other memories. Haley-O, YES I thought that too. And Virtual Sprite – that one too. Although it’s hard to reconcile the two together. And Jen Boggs – those are not the words to Silent Night? Because then I’ve been singing it wrong for 39 years.

  37. When Bossy’s son was little, The Lion King had just come out, and Bossy’s son wanted to listen to the soundtrack over and over. We must have done a lot of talking about the artist who wrote the music for The Lion King, because one day Bossy’s son said, “Those guys sure wrote good Lion King songs!”And Bossy said, “Which guys?”And Bossy’s son said, “Elt and John.”

  38. My father’s uncle wore a partial bridge and it apparently didn’t fit very well, because he used to look sideways at me from time to time and pop his teeth out and back in real quick. I can’t count the number of hours I spent trying to get my teeth to pop out and back in again. I think I thought my teeth were broken because they didn’t pop out until well into high school

  39. My brother gawked at all the people waiting at bus stops and pretended he was walking around whenever we waited for a bus because of the “no stopping/no waiting” sign. Don’t worry, he went to Haaaavaad on a full scholarship less than a decade later.

  40. Our latest – and it’s cracking me up and I don’t even want to correct it and am planning to work it into a blog post sometimes soon – is “Shimmy my timbits” isntead of “Shiver my timbers” in pirate speak. Ha!

  41. Mine was AC/DC “Dirty deeds and the Thunder Chief” My husband and I knew we were soul mates when we both sang the wrong lyrics.erin- we always sang “four HUNDRED children and a crop in the field”It seemed like a very good explaination for why Lucille left!

  42. My daughter sings “eenie meenie minee moe, catch ICK tiger by it’s toe”.They also call granola bars “gorilla bars”.

  43. As a child? I still think the first verse of “Brown Eyed Girl” is “Hey there Enrico.” And don’t get me started on Bruce Springsteen. Are they “wrapped up like a duce another runner in the night?” before they’re blinded by the light. PS: My son just discovered heavy metal (thank you Satelite radio!) and “Rock and Roll All Night” is a current favorite.

  44. haha, as to goddess in progress’ comment, i’m sure it’s the same song. i had a work friend at the lab who would mutter along to the words, but sort of enthusiastically cuz he really liked the song. and when we finally asked him what he was saying he looked all sheepish and said “silent circumsion’?lulu

  45. Like Kittenpie, my son also likes to speak pirate so instead of “Walk the plank” he says, “Wash the plank”. He is 3 1/2 and still calls my ponytail a “fluffytail” I still don’t know where he got that and my favorite is that he calls the computer the “pooter”….hahaha

  46. When I was little, I was sure that a half dollar was a dollar bill torn in half (even though I’d seen the coins and knew what they were.) Weird, huh? 🙂Oh, one of my all time faves from my DD was, when quite little, she’d always say “ca-buzz” for “because”. I never corrected her because I knew she’d change it soon enough, and it was too sweet the way she said it.

  47. My two year old twins will sing BaaBaa Black sheep like the following….and I do NOT try to persuade them otherwise…baa baa black sheep have you any woof (we have dogs)yes sir yes sir 3 bags fullone for da master and one for da dame and one for the ladybug (we love bugs) who lives down the lane….🙂cindy

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