5 things my mum told me that probably aren’t actually true

Travelling up the motorway in the rain this morning I found myself trying not to look at the windscreen wipers, a tricky thing to do when you are the driver. In the back of my mind though was the fear of hypnosis.

I blame my mother.

As a parent, you say a lot of things that aren’t really true, I appreciate this now I have my own children. Most of the time you don’t even mean to lie, it might only be a joke or an exaggeration, but it’s amazing the weird things that stick in a child’s mind.

Here are five things my mum told me that stuck with me but that I suspect may not really be true:

Myth: you can get hypnotised by windscreen wipers

Truth: you cannot. At least it has never happened to me, even though I have tried hard sometimes. I can’t even remember how this one came about, I just remember being in the back of the car on a rainy journey one day and being told it might happen.

Myth: going over the cord when you are hoovering will result in death

Truth: the chances are that even if you go backwards and forwards over the cord a few times, you’re not actually going to die. I lived in fear for many years before experimenting with just running over a little bit with the corner of the Hoover. I am still here to tell the tale.

Myth: any sort of physical activity, including cartwheels, handstands and forward rolls, will result in a broken neck

Truth: it’s actually very hard to break your neck. You’re certainly not likely to do it jumping into a bit of foam.

Myth: you can only leave scrambled eggs unstirred ONCE during the cooking process

Truth: after 20 years of scrambled egg experience I have come to the conclusion that it’s OK not to stir continuously – the eggs will not be ruined, no one’s neck will break. If you need to leave the eggs unstirred twice or even three times then you’re still going to have a decent breakfast at the end of it.

scrambled eggs

Myth: politics is straightforward

“The conservatives are the party that believe everyone should keep everything to themselves and never share anything,” my mum explained to me when I was small, “the Labour party think everybody should be made to share everything, and the Liberal Democrats want people to share some things but not everything.”

If only it were that simple.

What funny things did your parents tell you that have stuck in your mind?

Image: scrambled eggs from Vezzani Photography/Shutterstock




  1. Funnily enough I was only thinking about this the other day – when something really stupid came out of my mouth that was word for word what my mum used to say and I’d never given it proper grown up thought before that second. Can’t remember exactly what it was but I find myself saying weird stuff like ‘your face will stay like that if the wind changes’ and ‘carrots help you see in the dark!’

    • Jo Middleton
      14 May, 2015 / 12:01 pm

      Aha, but carrots are actually a source of vitamin A, which is good for your night vision! I don’t thing they will give you the x-ray type vision I always hoped for though.

  2. Elle Beere
    14 May, 2015 / 12:48 pm

    I was thinking about the exact same thing yesterday as my little asked if she could have a banana. She had already had one, and I heard my mums voice coming out of my mouth, telling her that if you eat more than one banana in a day then you’ll get banana fingers (whatever the hell they are).

    • Jo Middleton
      14 May, 2015 / 2:10 pm

      *mind boggles at what banana fingers might be*

  3. 14 May, 2015 / 1:18 pm

    Love this! Definitely agree to the one about breaking your neck … why do mothers say that!

  4. 14 May, 2015 / 2:03 pm

    Even at 23 my mum still tells me so many things that aren’t true! I don’t know why she still does it, I think she truly believes a lot of it! xx

  5. 14 May, 2015 / 2:07 pm

    While they may not hypnotise you, I do find if I stare to long at the windscreen wipers, especially in a smaller car where I am closer to the windscreen, I get a bad headache.

    • Jo Middleton
      14 May, 2015 / 2:10 pm

      Do you ever find yourself acting like a chicken though when someone says the word ‘onion’? (That’s how I feel I would know if I had been hypnotised.)

  6. 14 May, 2015 / 8:40 pm

    Your mum sounds hilarious!

  7. kelly
    14 May, 2015 / 8:56 pm

    My mum told me about the hoover wire too….I’ve never dared test the theory!!!

    • Jo Middleton
      15 May, 2015 / 9:57 am

      I was going to say ‘You should’, but then what if you actually died??? I don’t have blog insurance…

  8. 15 May, 2015 / 1:50 am

    Haha this made me laugh so much – I think I have heard pretty much all of these at some point in my childhood

    Laura x

  9. 15 May, 2015 / 9:51 am

    That’s probably the most honest version of the political parties out there! I only just recently thought that the dye in the swimming pool if you wee thing might be a lie, I’ve never ever seen it happen, but just assumed that no-one ever does for fear of embarrassment, but it must happen all the time…shudder…

    • Jo Middleton
      15 May, 2015 / 12:17 pm

      Pretty sure the swimming pool one IS a lie Abigail :-)

  10. 15 May, 2015 / 1:32 pm

    My mother, who is now 87 but ‘all there’ told me as a child, that if I sat with my back to the fire, the heat would melt the marrow in my back bones and I would never be able to stand straight. I guess I say she’s ‘all there’ with a certain sense of suspicion!

  11. AManCalledMax
    15 May, 2015 / 8:58 pm

    My mum always told us that if we ate sugar we’d get worms…..for years I would ponder how the worm eggs got into the sugar in the first place, and then somehow the worms died when the sugar was used to make a cake.
    Suffice to say, I never became a scientist :-)

  12. 16 May, 2015 / 10:23 pm

    Haha! What a great list…the first thing that sprang to my mind was- “Don’t eat anything past or on the expiry date”…my mum is terrible for wasting food a minute past it’s expiry! x

  13. 17 May, 2015 / 12:05 pm

    Ha I love your mum’s summary of party politics. Mine also warned me I would break my neck and still does it to my kids whenever they try to do anything physical!! Mums, bless em, trouble is it does rub off on you a bit xx

  14. 24 May, 2015 / 3:05 am

    I have never liked it when people purposely lie to their kids. I even feel guilty about the whole Santa thing! But you are right, sometimes, kids hear things of one sort or another and they stick in their minds forever. My grandmother told me not to make funny faces, in case my face got stuck that way. (I bet no one ever told Jim Carey that!) I still think of it when my kids make silly faces!

  15. 26 May, 2015 / 8:42 pm

    Ha ha. I’m trying to think of what possible reason your mother had for telling you that you’d die if you went over the cord with the hoover.

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