If the wind changes, you’ll have an apple tree growing in your stomach

I’ve already mentioned in an earlier post that I believed there was a lucky boy in Swansea who collected footballs when I was younger, so it got me thinking about other things I believed as a child.

I’ve split it into two sections. Lies I was told as a child that I believed, and explanations I conjured up in my own mind and thought them to be true.

Lies I was told that I believed. Why wouldn’t I?

“If the wind changes, you’ll stay like that”.  Believed it.

“If you eat apple pips, an apple tree will start to grow in your stomach. Believed it.

“Thunder is just God playing the drums”. Believed it.

“If you stand on your head all the blood in your body will fill your brain”. Believed it.

“I’ve got your nose”. Believed it. In fact, some uncle of mine who wasn’t really an uncle, just someone I called uncle has still got my nose.

“I’ve just heard on the news that all the strawberry opal fruits have got poison in them for girls so you’d better give me yours”. My brother told me that one. Believed it.

There are a lot more I’m sure, but I want to move on to ideas and logical explanations I had for things in my childhood mind.

A mind when it was easier to think, yet harder to understand.

A mind before Scepticism set up camp there, met Cynicism, married her, then she moved in too, giving birth to Doubt, Suspicion and Knowledge not long after.

Everything I believed made sense at the time, and seemed the only reasonable, plausible explanation.

Where babies come from

When I overheard conversations like “So and so has had their baby, is was 6 pound 4″…. I used to think that Mammys and Daddys had gone up to Heaven at night to choose their baby and had paid £6.04 for it. I thought Heaven was littered with babies with price tags on them, and you just went up, chose which one you wanted, paid for it and came back down. A simple purchase from God. Once you’d paid for it, it was yours to keep. Forever. I also thought that Heaven looked like my attic because whenever I heard anyone talk about it, they always pointed upwards and gave the impression it was really high up. I knew the sky was high up, but I was more savvy than to think you get babies from the sky! The next highest thing I knew was my attic, so I just presumed that Heaven was everyone’s attic.

Waving or flashing your lights at drivers to say thank you.

Whenever we went on a car journey, I was always amazed at how my Dad always seemed to know where we were going. At the time, my world consisted of my house, in my street. I didn’t know how to get anywhere other than to the top of my road. I used to get quite scared that someday when I grew up, I’d be expected to know how to get to places. What if I got lost?… But then I used to think it’s OK because I’ll know plenty of people everywhere I go, just like my Dad does.

The etiquette of driving is if someone lets you out, or you give way to someone, you or they give a little wave, or a little flash of the lights to say thank you. Just a little grateful acknowledgement. Now, as an adult, this really annoys me when people don’t! As a child when this used to happen, I thought that my Dad had seen someone he knew, because you only wave to people you know. You’re not supposed to speak to strangers, so therefore you’re not supposed to wave to strangers either, or flash your lights at them. You only wave to people you know. I was amazed that my Dad knew so many people wherever we went.



I  believed that planes could land on clouds, and that’s where people went on holidays. That’s why they always came back with a tan, because they’d been closer to the sun.

The nit nurse

When the nit nurse used to come to school, pull your ribbons and hair slides out and run her horrible aged hands through your hair until she’d made you cry and you couldn’t get a comb through it, I used to think she was evil. Now as an adult, I understand. The nit nurse was indeed evil. But I also believed if a child had eggs in their hair it meant that in a few days they’d hatch. Once they’d hatched they’d have birds nesting and flying around their hair. I thought that would be brilliant.

I’m sure there are a lot more, and I’m hoping this post instigates some childhood memories for those who read it. What crazy things were you told as a child, and what did your wonderfully imaginative, innocent, naive childhood mind believe?


10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Moira Pritchard
    Jan 13, 2011 @ 22:02:09

    Bethan – My father – your grandfather – told me when I was born, he went to the hospital & picked the prettiest baby there. From the age of 9 to about 11, I was convinced I was adopted ( partly because my friend who lived next dooor really was adopted & I didn’t want to be left out!) but mainly because of what my father had told me. One day I told my mother I thought I was adopted & asked her why hadn’t she told me. She was absolutely outraged! Apart from the fact that she had a particularly hard time giving birth to me – I’m the living image of my sister! Also – about the nit nurse. I remember you crying your eyes out when you realised that you didn’t have nits & weren’t going to have eggs hatching & birds living on your head!!!


    • bethanage
      Jan 13, 2011 @ 22:07:51

      Ha! Thanks Mam. Yeah… The nit nurse incident only happened last week… I wish you’d told me sooner!


      • Moira Pritchard
        Jan 13, 2011 @ 22:35:15

        Sorry love. I didn’t want to disillusion you! Also – Minnie & Cochen would have had a field day with all those birds!

  2. Moira Pritchard
    Jan 13, 2011 @ 22:42:38

    One more thing! I remember one Xmas – you must have been about 5 years old. Your father got all your & your brothers presents out of the attic on Xmas Eve having been up the pub all evening & a little worse for wear. Xmas morning I’m woken to your dulcit tones. ‘look Alan – that’s how Santa get’s in’ ( You were always sceptical about the fact we didn’t have a chimney) and yes – your father forgot to shut the attic door. Even Alan was a bit doubtful for a bit longer about Santa’s existence xxx


  3. Bec Walters
    Jan 14, 2011 @ 00:52:17

    My Auntie Em(not the one from Wizard of Oz!) told me that fairies lived at the bottom of her garden. I believed her….and still do now.


  4. Steve Walters
    Jan 14, 2011 @ 10:32:04

    On the baby front, I believed my Nanna Maria that they used to come out in the toilet; toilet being clean of course.

    Also, my Nanna Maria used to threaten “If you don’t eat your crusts you won’t have curly hair like Rob.” Rob, being my Older, Densely Curly Haired Cousin sat opposite me at my Nanna’s kitchen table, eating all his Bread/Toast Crusts. My gran used to over cook the crusts and that’s why I wasn’t keen. She’d also make traditional Italian pizza in a square tray(dough, tomatoes, olive oil, basil & parsely), it’s crusts too would be too hard for my liking!

    My parents too used to threaten “If the wind changes your face will stay that way” – that was usually said to my younger brothers pulling faces at me though.

    And, you’ll get square eyes if you watch too much TV; said by my Father’s Mum. Whilst I was convinced (95%) it was nonsense, I recall pondering how that could possible be and what it would mean / look like.

    Never thought (or can’t remember thinking) about the Nit Nurse, Santa(strange huh) etc. Though, we did have a ‘Ginger Nut & Fatty’ across the Canal which ran behind my Mum’s house. GNF were 2 nasty boys we’d been told of by another older kid & hear more so than see; shouting profanities at us as we climbed the tress in the field out the back of my Mum’s house. I imagined them to be like Rotweiler’s (the priest had one called Satan when I was a kid).

    By the way, loved this paragraph, wish I could write like this, your Mum could probably explain why my mind doesn’t work that way… “A mind before Scepticism set up camp there, met Cynicism, married her, then she moved in too, giving birth to Doubt, Suspicion and Knowledge not long after.”

    The way I’d unfortunately write it, based on Copy Writing for Business, is… R.A.T.S – Result first, then Approach, Tasks, Situation. So, at best it would have read…
    “As an Adult my mind is full Doubt, Suspicion and Knowledge(result), the children of Cynicism & Scepticism(Approach). Cynicism gave Birth having moved in with & marrying Scepticism(Tasks) which until then was the only doubter in the Camp of my mind(Situation).”


    • bethanage
      Jan 14, 2011 @ 22:01:04

      ha ha ha! I love Ginger nut & fatty!! That’s tremendous!
      I forgot about square eyes! I was told that one too
      There’s nothing unfortunate about the way you write anything Stevenage! I think its a very interesting contrast


  5. Jamie MacKenzie
    Jan 15, 2011 @ 01:39:14

    Love this entry! Nice work! The perspective of our youth is so innocent and true (true to ourselves)! We need more of it!

    Thanks again for this, I love the theme!


  6. Sarah Bennett
    Jan 15, 2011 @ 11:35:25

    One Christmas Eve when I was a small child our village Village Vicar came to call on us being a close friend of the family. As is tradition with all vicars, he had a deep, booming voice which obviously made an impression on me. I say this because it was the future explanation for the later event that happened that Christmas Eve.

    That night I went to bed full of excitement and apprehension: Would santa really come? What if I didn’t get to sleep early enough? Would he bring my presents? I guess I was always a stress head!

    Before I knew it though I was drifting off and that is when the special event happened, I saw santa and he spoke to me! As the years have passed I have struggled to remember what he said but I saw him in all his red glory and I definitely remember the deep, booming voice!

    The worst thing for me as I grew older and discovered the facts about Santa was remembering all the people my Mum had encouraged me to tell the story of who had visited me that Christmas Eve. Teenage embarrassment is always the worst kind!


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