Kids have an interesting way of looking at the world. As adults, when we think back on our biggest misconceptions, it can either be really embarrassing or quite funny. Sometimes, it’s a mix of both. These people share a few things they were confused about growing up.
#1 New Mom
My mom always told me that if I got lost or separated from her while out in public and couldn't find a police officer, I should seek out the nearest woman with children. Her reasoning was obviously that another mother would be a good kind of stranger to talk to. They’d be much more likely to help and less likely to harm a lost child. My reasoning, however, was that if I somehow never found my own mom again, I could and would just go home with the woman and have new siblings to play with so I wouldn't get lonely.
#2 Trouble at Work
I thought being fired from work meant that the fired person lost their life. Every time my mom would tell me and my sisters not to bother her or she could get fired from work (she partially worked from home). I assumed that her boss would come into her office and literally shoot her. At that point, I was so terrified that my mom would get in any trouble at work.
#3 A Long Time
Back in the 1970s, (I was about eight years old at the time) I remember asking my mom if I would live to see the year 2000. She said I would, though I didn't believe her. To a child, 25 years is a long time. When you think about it, it’s kind of funny looking back on it. Now, 25 years seems like a blink of an eye.
#4 Which One is Santa?
My parents weren't raised in the US, but they tried to make sure my siblings and I got the whole American experience. So, they tried introducing us to Christmas and even sent us to Christian summer camps. For some reason, this caused a sort of confusion in my mind and I thought Santa was God and I was never corrected because my parents didn't understand Christianity or Christmas.
#5 At a Later Date
I thought you had to be married and sleep in the same bed. Then if you both wanted a kid, pregnancy would randomly happen at a later time, unless you were infertile. Then pregnancy just couldn't happen. My mom was infertile and that knowledge was passed down to me early as it's the reason my parents adopted me. My adoption story was sort of a bedtime story for me when I was little. Child-me just never thought to question how pregnancies happened.
#6 Limes or Lemons?
For whatever reason, when I was a little kid I always thought that limes were just unripe lemons. I remember this one time when I was in my early 20s, I went to buy a lemon tree at the store. Yeah, I was honestly so confused to see the lime and lemon trees. I kind of feel like an idiot every time I think of it.
#7 World Keeps Turning
As a little kid, I thought that trees were responsible for the wind. Trees would move and their movement makes the wind! I honestly love that I used to believe this, it's so innocent. Also, I thought if you saw the clouds move, it was actually the world spinning. As in the clouds would stay still, and the world was turning.
#8 A Duel of Sorts
I genuinely believed that kung-fu was a sort of duel of life and death situation. In my mind, you challenged someone and you fought until one of you was destroyed. The other person then didn’t have any injures or anything — he magically recovered all his HP and was ready for another fight. Curse you, Nintendo.
#9 Absolutely Dumbfounded
As you know, little kids don’t really understand the basic function of things, especially adult products. So, there was a time in my life when I was absolutely dumbfounded by how a tampon was supposed to work. Fortunately, by the time I needed them that was no longer the case. I’m grateful that I figured it out.
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#10 Chapstick Emporium
My aunt successfully convinced me for a full year that a place known as "Wally World's Chapstick Emporium" existed. A year later, I asked my mom if I could go to Wally worlds Chapstick Emporium. She simply asked me, "What’s that?" and I said my aunt told me about it. Come to find out, that was place was just Walmart.
#11 The Right Moment
I thought that if I tilted my head to one side for a picture, it made me look “sexy.” (God only knows what I thought “sexy” meant back then.) As a kid, it was only something that the naughty girls did. So I would wait until right before the picture was taken and then quickly tilt my head right as the shutter went off.
#12 Where’s Your Sister?
That not everyone has a sister. I was certain that everyone had a sister like me. One time, when I went to a friend’s house to sleep over, I was dumbfounded that his sister wasn’t there. His parents ended up showing me a picture of some random kid and told me that it was my friend’s sister just to shut me up.
#13 That’s Not How it Works
I thought you got a girl pregnant by doing number one until I was like 12. I was talking with an older friend and somehow we started talking about the deed. Because I wanted to sound like I knew what I was talking about, I said something about doing that to get her pregnant. He looked at me and said, “That's not how it works at all.”
#14 What it Really Meant
I thought drinking and driving meant having any beverage in a vehicle as I had no clue about alcohol. In kindergarten, I reported my mom for drinking and driving in the middle of a school assembly and they called her in for a meeting. Everyone thought it was hilarious but no one corrected me or taught me what it really meant. I think it was the sixth or seventh grade before it all clicked.
#15 Human Meat Egg
When I was a little kid, I thought that having periods meant expelling a human meat egg from your lady parts once a month. I discovered that my entire theory was very wrong when I was 12 and had my first period. Now I'm 20 years old and still, no human eggs have been expelled. Yes, I had a terrible education.
#16 As the Crow Flies
As a kid, my dad told me that if you followed a street “as the crow flies,” you would get to the name of the street. So, you’d follow the direction of Denmark Street around the globe and you’d then end up in Denmark. I didn’t question this as possibly being untrue until well into my 20s, because I am an idiot.
#17 Luggage Transportation
I didn’t realize that when you checked a bag at the airport it actually went with you on the plane. I just saw it go off on a conveyor belt and then appear at the destination on a conveyor belt. So, I don’t know. I thought there were just really long conveyor belts underground between cities for luggage transportation.
#18 Losing Your Voice
I took “losing your voice” in a very literal way when I was a kid. For example, I actually thought that you only had so many words you could say in your lifetime. Then once you used them up, you lost your voice entirely. To make matters worse, my sister who’s five years older than me, is deaf and never spoke.
#19 Ordering People
I thought you could order the people modeling the clothes in the Sears & JCPenney catalogs. I just assumed that's where babies came from and I used to spend hours looking at all the baby boy models, trying to pick out the perfect baby brother for my mom to order. My mom was humored by my efforts but I never did get that baby brother.
#20 How Things Work
I thought each time a rerun of a show aired, they had the cast do it all over again. What about shows where the actors visibly age (i.e. Saved By the Bell , Full House )? My mind rationalized that they just told the actors they needed the "younger Zach Morris" for the episode. Because my silly, child-mind thought “that's how things work.”
#21 Just some Guy
I didn’t understand the idea of an AI in a video game. Whenever I turned on my Game Boy, I thought it was somehow connecting to Nintendo's headquarters and there was some guy working at Nintendo whose job it was to play games with me. And he was silently judging my choices of which games I bought. I imagined a whole room of these employees, each responsible for a different Game Boy somewhere in the world.
#22 Hard-Boiled Eggs
So when I was about four years old, I thought that all eggs were hard-boiled. As in, you didn’t need to do anything to them, that was their default state. One night, I really wanted a hard-boiled egg as a snack and snuck one of the eggs out of the fridge. I was mortified when I smashed it against the countertop and realized I was terribly wrong.
#23 Hush Sauce
When I was around three, I had the misconception that the word “hush” was a type of dipping sauce at McDonald’s. Being more specific, I thought it was a different version of mustard, like a sweeter version that McDonald’s had. I talked a lot as a little kid and it annoyed my parents so my mom would tell me and my brother to hush. We had a McDonald’s right next to our house and my mom would always get mustard with her burger.
#24 Perfect Reaction
I always was very impressed by plays and TV shows. I had such great respect for the casting directors who had to sort through thousands of people to find the one guy who both looks like, say, Darth Vader, and also has the right reactions. It took me a while to sort out what acting was and that people were following lines written by someone else and not just... reacting.
#25 Feeling Pain
When I was a small kid, I believed that non-sentient-objects could feel pain. There’s this one very specific time when I remember walking by random railway tracks and feeling bad for them. Because you know, it must hurt like heck when the huge and heavy train passes over. I really don’t know what I was thinking.
#26 Wack Ideas
My geography as a kid was wack, so I thought Korea was the capital of China. I also thought humans hatched out of eggs like birds and reptiles. I think my explanation was that pregnant women had round bellies because they were actually holding a very large egg inside their stomachs. So, I guess my biology was wack too.
#27 South Africa
I didn't realize for a long time that South Africa was the name of an actual country in the continent of Africa. Growing up, I was friends with a girl who's parents were South African. When she told me she was from there I was like, “Okay, but what country in the southern part of Africa?” Needless to say, she got very frustrated with me.
#28 Optional Schooling
That going to college wasn’t optional and required. My mom would always tell me that everyone went to college and that it was the same as kids going to elementary, middle and high school. It wasn't until my freshman year of high school that I realized not everyone went to college and that is perfectly okay and normal.
#29 Inside Temperature
There are a funeral home and crematorium in one part of the place I live in. The sign outside tells the time and shows the temperature. As a kid, I genuinely believed that they were displaying the temperature of the crematorium inside. I don’t know, what can I say? I guess that I was just a pretty weird little kid.
#30 An Umbrella of Sorts
In church, when the priest would say something like, "He was crucified under Pontius Pilate" I used to think Pontius Pilate must have been some kind of umbrella or maybe a gazebo of some sort for Jesus to have been crucified literally underneath. I also used to wonder why it was such an important detail for us.
#31 Out at Night
That all women took their teeth out at night. My mom, grandma, and closest aunt all had dentures and took their teeth out at night. I thought something happened when you became a grown woman that made you be able to take your teeth out. Men were exempt from this because my dad didn’t take his teeth out at night.
#32 Birds in Africa
My parents would say the whole "there are starving children in Africa" thing when I wouldn't eat my dinner. But in the back of my mind, I thought, "But if my food goes to the dump (landfill), then the seagulls would eat it. Then they would fly over to Africa." I wasn't quite sure after that part, maybe the birds would pass away and they could have a nice feast of birds? Wings, legs. Not quite sure about what happened after the birds got there.
#33 Oh, the Anarchy
I thought nurses and doctors were the same things, but denoting guy or girl, like waiter and waitress. On a dress up for “What You Want to Be Day” in grade four, one girl went to the front of the class and said she wanted to be a doctor. The anarchy that broke out when I said, "You can't be a doctor. Girls are nurses."
#34 Boys and Girls
Approaching my tween years, I knew I was bisexual before even knowing that that was a word or thing. I grew up in a very conservative Christian environment and was always told that “being gay is a choice.” So naturally, I thought that everyone liked both boys and girls and the reason why everyone in my church disliked gay people so much is because they chose to have a same-sex partner over a hetero one. Looking back on this, I wish that was true.
#35 Slowly Sinking
I thought quicksand was a much bigger issue than it is. Turns out, it's nowhere near as bad as it seems on cartoons. It's more like a surprise pool of water that you don't magically get stuck in and sink into but you splash in and quickly get out of. I wonder where the stereotype of quicksand as a slowly sinking trap came from.
#36 Highly Anticipated
My mom always told me that if a stranger tried to take me to make a scene, knock over things, scream that they weren’t my parent, and try to get their eyeballs out if I could. I spent my whole childhood waiting in anticipation to get the opportunity to make my scene at a grocery store and use my eye gouging technique. Luckily, I never got the chance.
#37 We Don’t Do That
I thought that it was acceptable to pinch other people's butts as long as you said "Goose!" afterward. I thought it was acceptable because my dad and mom did it to me and my sisters a lot. I didn't realize it was wrong to do until I got sat down by my mom where she explained why we didn’t do that to other people.
#38 It’s All Alright
That everything would end up alright. I learned that while everything may seem alright in life, there will be those events in life that will always go in and out of your mind. There will be those things that give you trust issues, emotional issues, etc. I realized that you may not be able to overcome no matter how hard you try.
#39 All in the Family
As a child, I thought that brothers and sisters had to get married. I only had a brother, so the fact that some families have an uneven ratio of male to female children never factored into my brain. When I finally realized I didn’t have to marry my brother, I was so relieved. And, no, I did not grow up in Alabama.
#40 In Aslan We Trust
So, I was raised in a Catholic household and was given a boxed set of The Chronicles of Narnia for my seventh birthday. I was an immediate fan of the books, but too young to know what an allegory was. So, for a little while there I was convinced I would go to the underworld because I believed in Aslan more than Jesus.
#41 Bat Eggs
One day, my grandfather brought grapes from the attic. He told me he had found a bat's nest and those were the eggs. I obviously didn't eat them back then, but otherwise I didn't think much of the incident. The misconception part was that only years later, it dawned on me. "Hold on… bats are mammals. Come on, gramps!" I had accepted that they laid eggs for the entirety of my childhood. I did know they’re mammals, but I somehow never made the connection.
#42 An Upsetting Day
I had no concept of homophobia, I knew you could be gay or straight but I didn't know people had an issue with it. I didn't figure out some people weren’t okay with that until the sixth grade. One time in class, I was watching a documentary with my dad and they mentioned a lesbian rally and how it was wrong and went against God. That was a very upsetting day.
#43 End Pieces
I always thought it was so dumb they would sell end pieces on a loaf of sliced bread. I never wanted those pieces, so why make end pieces at all? I basically thought each slice of bread was its own baked creation, each shaped to fit into the shape of a loaf. It was later I finally realized bread was baked into loaves, which would then be cut, producing each individual slice, and the much-despised end pieces.
#44 White Beaters
I wore wife beaters a lot when I was really young and scrawny. Up until I was about 18 years old, I thought they were called “white beaters.” Apparently, my older sister realized my mistake but never corrected me. Her reason being that she thought I would later ask a lot of unnecessary and uncomfortable questions.
#45 Shopping for Groceries
I never really understood the concept of love and relationships. Like yeah, people marry other people and they love them a lot, but I never got the whole beginning of it. As a child, I thought that you would just walk down the street, pick out someone, and then you could be in a relationship if you so wanted. It was as easy as shopping for groceries.
#46 Baby in a Basket
When my mom told me I was getting a sister, I thought that a lady was just going to come with a baby in a basket and deliver it like a UPS package. When her stomach started getting bigger, I assumed the baby would just pop out of her stomach like a jack in the box. I was kind of right though, seeing as she had a C-section.
#47 Gas Prices
For years, I thought my dad was being really cheap when complaining about gas prices. I thought "a gallon" was all that a car could fit in its tank, basically. This thinking persisted long after I learned how much volume a gallon was. I think it's because when people complained, they always said the price per gallon and I never once heard anyone say, "it cost me $30 to fill up today!" I think I could have connected the dots then.
#48 Car Window
When I was still too small to see out the car window, I didn’t know how cars really worked. Basically, I thought you got in the car, closed the door and then after a bit you just appeared at your destination. I remember the first time I could see that we were traveling along a road and thinking, “Oh, that’s how it works.”
#49 Sleeping on the Job
I thought bus drivers lived and slept in their bus, teachers lived and slept in their classroom, etc. My uncle had a personal driver and I remember being really surprised when we ran into him out and about with his family. In my mind, he only drove my uncle around and then spent the rest of his time sitting in his car, parked in a garage.
#50 Make Me Rich
In kindergarten, we set up leprechaun traps on St. Paddies day. The teachers came in at lunch and wrecked the traps. They also spotted green footprints with paint on the floor and out to the courtyard, eventually vanishing. I made a leprechaun trap every night for a week after that, sleeping on the floor with the string to the box in my hand. I always knocked it off in my sleep and thought it was them. My mom went along with this whole thing. I told her I'd get him to make us rich.