People Share The Weirdest Childhood Ritual They Still Do Today
As a kid, you did some crazy things. Some of those embarrassing incidents might have been recorded on video to share for at family reunions. While you grow out of many quirks, there will always be one (or more) that stick with you as you age. No matter how hard you try to avoid it, that one little oddity just persists with a vengeance.
When it comes to what these rituals are, the possibilities are endless. Some of them involve food. While it’s normal for someone to count to three before each bite, their date might be very confused. Others might have the tendency to tap their feet before entering a house. These people share the childhood rituals that are still ingrained in their life today. In the end, these are the things that we will be proud of when we’re older.
#1 It Does A Body Good
When I was younger, I loved milk. If I drank it with my meal, there would usually be a little left. This would make me want more, but milk is expensive, so I couldn’t just get another glass like that. My solution was to try and leave at least half a cup for when I was done so I could have a really nice and satisfying mouthful. I don’t know why, but this made the milk 100 times better to me. Fast forward to now and I rarely even touch the milk until I’m done eating. I always make sure I got half a glass left for the mouthful of super satisfying, premium milk at the end of my meal.
#2 A Crumby Situation
When I was little, I wasn’t allowed to have sweets, so whenever the sugar gods blessed me with an unwitting adult accomplice who could buy me some candy, my choice was often a type of wafer treat. Kit Kat, Nutty Buddy, sugar wafers… I would eat the chocolate off the outside, then peel each wafer layer apart one at a time. I caught myself doing this in college and was embarrassed by all the crumbs. Part of me just thought everyone did it that way.
#3 Flushing In Fear
As a kid, I was terrified of the aliens from War of the Worlds. My dad programmed the toilet to make the noise they made whenever the toilet was flushed. He told me if I didn’t behave, the aliens would take me down the drain. Needless to say, their little tactics worked cause I was a star child. To this day, I frantically look back at the toilet to check if anything will come out and bite my cheeks before I flush.
#4 Rudolph The Red-Nosed Pilot
Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve maintained a ritual while on a plane. Just before we are about to take off, in my head, I think “On Dasher, on Dancer, on Prancer and Vixen. Down Comet, down Cupid, down Donner and Blitzen. To the top of the porch, to the top of the wall—now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!” I try to time the end for the exact moment that the plane leaves the runway.
#5 Gotta Protect The Drinks
When I was a kid, I heard from someone that bees liked sweet drinks. So, whenever I was at a barbecue or drinking a canned soft drink outdoors, I would twist the can tab 180 degrees until it acted as a sort of “guard” over the opening. That way, if I left the can alone, I would be less likely to get a bee in the mouth later. Turns out, I really liked doing that and started doing it all the time, whether outdoors or indoors. I still do it to this day.
#6 Without A Shadow Of A Doubt
When I’m in a car and not doing anything, I’ll focus on the shadows on the side of the road. When it’s shadowy on the road, I’ll dip my chin down, and when there’s no shadow I raise my chin up. When I was younger, I’d play a game where I’d imagine there was a man running beside the car. When my chin was down, he would be running, and when it was up he would be jumping to the next shadow.
#7 A Tender Moment
When I was around four or five-years-old, I was terrified of the dark, probably due to the very frequent nightmares I would have. My mother would kiss my forehead and run her finger from the spot she kissed down to the tip of my nose. I’m not sure how, but it worked. Now, I’m 21 years old with a beautiful eight-month-old daughter. Whenever she would wake up crying from a nightmare, I would pick her up, comfort her, then kiss her forehead while running my finger to her nose as my mother did for me. And, just like it had all those years ago, it works.
#8 Gotta Stay On Your Toes
I still walk on the toes of my feet while barefoot. I wanted to minimize the number of bugs or other gross stuff I stepped on, but I didn’t feel like putting shoes on every time I left my bedroom. It’s just second nature to stand on my tippy toes while barefoot, despite living in a clean place now! I don’t think I will ever shake off that habit.
#9 Pulling Some Strings
When I was little, I used to imagine that when I walked between two people who were walking together in the opposite direction, I was walking through an invisible string that bonded the two people. Sometimes, I would “grab the string” that was resting near my belly (naturally, the string endlessly extended) and either let it loose behind me. Or, if I was feeling somewhat evil, I’d pretend to cut it.
#10 Time To Cut A Rug
When I was a child, my mother made a large round rug out of old pants. It’s beautiful with lots of bright colors. We loved racing around it as children pretending it was a race track. As an adult, my mother gave me her old rug (I saved it from being trashed as it had no special meaning to her). When I’m pacing my house while talking on the phone, I catch myself walking around in circles on the rug. It’s like my own personal sticky trap.
#11 Pig Out Time!
When I was a kid, my dad would surprise my sister and me with “Junk Night.” We’d go to the grocery store and he’d buy us anything we wanted for the night. Candy, popcorn, surge soda, ice cream, etc. Then, we’d get pizza or McDonald’s and a video rental. He only did it like, twice a year but it was always a surprise and so exciting! I still do that with my girlfriend and I’ll do it for my kids when I have them.
#12 We All Scream For…Milk?
I put milk in my ice cream. My dad grew up very very poor and always moving around, so even as a kid, he learned to stretch a buck. This was back in the ’70s. When I was a kid though, even though my dad had pretty decent money, he would still pour milk into my ice cream and turn it into basically a big bowl of milkshake. To this day, I still do the same. It’s the only way I enjoy ice cream. It makes it a little less sweet, and you feel like you are overindulging on a ton of ice cream.
#13 The Only Bite That Matters
My dad would offer me the ‘best bite’ of whatever he was eating. The bite of the cheeseburger where the cheese is curled perfectly over the edge of the hamburger, the center bite of a steak, the point of a piece of a pie slice. He would let me examine his food and point to the best bite, which he would then feed me. I do the same for my kids and my husband.
#14 Know When To Fold ‘Em
When I was younger, I’d help my mom fold bedsheets. We’d each grab an end, put the corners together twice to fold lengthways, and then walk towards each other to fold widthways. I used to always give my mom a hug at the end of it, with the bedsheets pressed between us. This would repeat for as many sheets as we needed to fold. Now, I am 33 years old and when my wife and I fold sheets together, we end it with a hug… Plus she gets a little kiss.
#15 Birthday In Bed
As kids, we always got to open our birthday presents in our parent’s bed first thing in the morning—before school, before breakfast —we still do that today with our own kids. My son is in his mid-teens and I think he wants us to think he’s too cool for this, but he likes it still. My wife didn’t get this at first, but I insisted.
My mother-in-law is a raging narcissist and liked to exercise control in any petty way she could muster. This among them. My wife pointed out that we did it this in our family and it annoyed the heck out of my mother-in-law. “Didn’t you like the anticipation?” she asked my wife. “Mom, I was freaking five years old. No. I didn’t. You couldn’t keep them in the closet until later, you liked to put them out there just to lord it over me.”
#16 See You Next Time
I’m 25 and I have this ritual with my mom and dad. If I’m home and they’re going out, I will run to the front window and wave to them as they leave. They do the same when I go out. We’ve been doing this since I was old enough to walk. Sometimes, I get self-conscious about it because I’m sure my neighbors can see, but screw it! It takes 10 seconds from our day and it’s just another reminder of how much we care about each other.
#17 Good Things Come In Threes
When my mom held our hands, she’d squeeze them three times and that meant “I love you.” We’d squeeze back two times and that meant, “How much?” Then, together, we’d squeeze really hard at the same time and that meant “Lots!” I taught it to my husband when we got married and I’ve taught it to my two-year-old son. I’ll teach it to my daughter.
But the time as an adult that stands out the most was at my grandfather’s funeral. We all had to walk out of the sanctuary after his coffin. I had been strong the whole time, but started to cry walking down the aisle—it was all so final. My sister caught up to me and grabbed my hand. She squeezed it three times and we went through the whole thing.
#18 Going The Distance
Sometimes, I try to test how far I can walk, or balance I should say, in a straight line on the side closest to the road of the sidewalk. I’ve gotten better at balancing, so now I don’t look like a wobbling idiot about to fall onto the road. But when I don’t do that because there are too many cars, I try to see how many steps I can make before stepping into the next square.
#19 Communication Is Important
When I was little, I used to play a game where I pretended my body was like a Sim, with all of the mood meters. If I was thirsty, my thirst meter would be yellow and I’d give my body water to make it green again. If I was craving a certain food, I’d do my best to feed my body that food and in return, my hunger meter would be green again. I don’t know if this makes any sense, but I was a weird kid and a bit of a loner, so I just thought up random things to pass the time.
#20 On The Cutting Edge
I cut my pancakes into squares as I eat them. My dad used to make pancakes almost every Sunday morning and he makes them into squares all the time. It was satisfying to see him cut off the round edges, so I started doing it too. When I started making them myself, I got his pancake recipe, just so everything is still exactly as how my dad made them. Man, I want some pancakes now.
#21 Look But Don’t Touch
As a kid, whenever we walked into a store or a nice place, my mom would tell us not to touch anything. To be successful, she would suggest we put our hand in our pockets. At about age 25, I realized every time I was in a store, I had to remove my hands from my pockets to pick up an object. Further analysis found that as soon as I crossed the threshold of the store, my hands went into my pockets. I can’t stop it.
#22 Dream A Little Dream
As a child, I used to believe that, whilst sleeping, if any part of my body was touching any part of another person’s body, then you would have the same dream as them. So, when I’d had a nightmare, I’d get into my parents’ bed and so long as my leg was touching one of theirs, I’d be safe and fall asleep without issue. I genuinely still find it comforting when any part of my body touches against my wife when going to sleep.
#23 Cat Got Your Tongue?
Every time I sit on a raised sofa, I check underneath to make sure nothing evil is lurking underneath. This is because when I was four or five years old, we had a cat that was a total monster. It liked to hide under the sofa and attack your ankles when you sat down. One time, she got me so bad I needed multiple bandaids. We got rid of her fairly soon after, but I still have a lingering phobia of evil things underneath raised sofas.
#24 Grab Life By The Horn
My dad used to take us kids driving on the weekends to the forest. He would unfailingly bang on the car horn randomly while driving along, yelling ‘ TOOT TOOT for chocolate!’ We would squeal with joy and all join in as he headed to the nearest shop to buy, you guessed it, chocolate. The absolute best. I always looked forward to that; it made me think my dad was the absolute bee’s knees.
It’s the fun of the moment I remember, not the chocolate. Nowadays, I drive myself around and sometimes, especially when I’m on my own, I find myself honking the horn and with the same battle cry while I head to the nearest shop. People must think I’m mad, but it always cheers me up and I grin like a Cheshire Cat. Makes me feel close to my dad. I’m sure he is tooting right along with me up there in the big sweet shop in the sky.
#25 Think Outside The Bun
I hate the first bite of a hot dog because it is always just a bun. So, I squeeze the bun around the hot dog and kind of squish it to the right hotdog to bun ratio before ripping the ends of the bun off. That way, the first bite is proportionate and you get a bite of actual hotdog. I’ve done this for forever and still do even though I’m 23. It honestly makes eating hotdogs a much better experience.
#26 Have It Your Way
If I am putting the condiments on a hamburger or a chicken sandwich that is for myself, I have to flip the burger over to the non-cheese side, take the bun off, place a dollop of condiment, sprinkle it with pepper, use a french fry or potato chip to spread the condiment, and finally sprinkle more pepper before putting the bottom bun back on. If someone else prepares my burger, I can stand the condiment being on the cheese or bacon, but if I have control over the placement of the condiment, it has to be on the bottom of the burger. I am unable to put it on the top.
#27 Flush In The Morning
In my house growing up, the bathroom was next to my sister’s room. The toilet was against the wall that separated the bathroom from her bedroom. The pipes were really loud when water flowed through them, so from the time my sister was a newborn, we never flushed the toilet in the middle of the night to keep from waking her. I’m all grown up and out on my own, but I still never flush if I have to go in the middle of the night.
#28 On The Safe Side
If I drink milk from a carton, I always drink them sideways from the carton opening rather than from the front. When we were grotty kids, we’d occasionally sneak a mouthful of regular milk from the carton in the fridge, but when I knew that all my siblings were doing that, I started doing it from the side so I wouldn’t put my mouth in the same place as the rest of my siblings. Now, I can’t drink from a carton except sideways. If you’re wondering why an adult would still be drinking milk from the carton like a child, it’s because in Australia we have a range of flavored milk in 600 mL cartons called Big M. If I happen to drink a Big M, I have to drink it sideways.
#29 It Takes Two, Baby
When I was younger, one of my older brothers would exclusively eat finger foods or snacks in twos. In order for him to eat Cheez-Its, he wouldn’t be able to eat only one, or three, it had to be two in his mouth at a time, or four, etc. When I finally asked him about it while bonding over a bag of gummy bears, he explained that it’s because he doesn’t want the snacks to feel lonely in their inevitable death. That way, they can journey into his stomach together. It really affected me and I had suddenly felt very badly for gummy bears and Cheez-Its too. Needless to say, that was over 20 years ago and I’ve been eating small snacks in twos ever since.
#30 Started From The Bottom
I’ve never seen anybody else do this, so I’m pretty sure it’s sort of weird. Whenever I have a muffin or cupcake, I eat from the bottom up. Not sure why I did it with muffins. but my logic with the cupcakes was “saving the best for last.” I always saw the frosting as “the best.” Also, whenever I ate Oreos from those little packs, I would always eat the cracker part of the Oreos first. I would scrape off the frosting of the Oreos and roll them into a little ball, and after the bag was empty, I would pop the little ball in my mouth.
#31 I Just Came To Say “Hello”
I was afraid of the dark as a kid and I still am. I have a rampant imagination, to say the least. Anyway, whenever I’d walk into a dark room before turning on the lights, I’d turn to the darkest corner of the room and say, “Sup,” real casually. Like I’m greeting the monster lurking there. I’m 16 now, but I’ll do it every now and then, like when I’m exhausted.
#32 That Creative Spark
I grew up on a small farm in the middle of nothing, so my siblings and I did not have many toys. One thing we used to do is get a leaf, tear out specific parts of it, punch a hole in the center with a tiny stick and voila, a pinwheel! The secret is to tear out the right parts so that the wind makes it spin or you can just hold it in your hand and run. I live in São Paulo now (Brazil’s biggest city, the world’s third) and I still do it for my kids and for myself. Needless to say, my kids are more interested in video games and tech stuff, but for me, it’s a sweet memory.
#33 Letting It Go To Waste
I used to live in a city where the water would have precipitates that collected at the bottom of a drinking glass. I haven’t lived anywhere with this water quirk in decades, but whenever I drink anything now (water, soda, soup, coffee), I still always leave a little bit of the drink leftover at the bottom. It’s like my mouth is incapable of recognizing that there’s anything there because the last milliliter is always inedible.
#34 Sweet Dreams Are Made Of These
When I was nine, my mom and I moved 3,000 miles away from my dad. My dad would call me four nights per week (back before cell phones) and talk with me about whatever for however long we both felt like talking. We’d always sign off with: “Sweet dreams, I love you, goodnight.” Always. I’m now 28, still living 3,000 miles from my dad and we still sign off every phone call with that, even if it’s 9 a.m. where he is.
#35 A Constant Feud With Cars
I have this weird thing that I do that I take from NFL football. When I was a kid, I thought a car wouldn’t hit you if you were safely on the sidewalk. So I would basically run to the sidewalk, and try to get both feet on it before the car finishes passing.
#36 Going Around In Circles
I always eat burgers in a circular motion so that my last bites are the most flavorful ones. Same thing with full meals. I’ll eat the things I enjoy less quick, saving most of the parts I enjoy the most for last (e.g. I’ll eat the veggies quicker than the fries so I can save more for the end for maximum satisfaction).
#37 A Nice Reminder
When I was a kid, my mom would always cut three lines horizontally and vertically on my toast if I was having something like beans or eggs on it, so it was easier for me to cut it up myself whilst I was eating it. It was only until a few years ago when one of my friends asked me what the heck I was doing, that I even gave it a second thought. I still do it most of the time, even now. It makes nice, easy mouthfuls of the meal and it reminds me of my mom.
#38 Crash And Burn
When we were kids, we drove past a crash that had just occurred. The car had driven off the road into some palm trees. The ambulance had just arrived (it must have been close by) but we were one of the first to drive past. As a kid, we thought it was so exciting because there were flashing lights and a crashed car.
It wasn’t a severe crash but it did make the news (it was a small town and a slow news day). To this day, whenever we drive past the spot, my siblings and I race to say, “That’s where the crash was” before the others. Been doing it for over 20 years. I do it so much that my wife now tries to be the first to say it.
#39 Developing A Pattern
I hated vegetables as a kid but wasn’t allowed to leave the dinner table until I ate them all. I learned if I ate them first before they got cold that they weren’t quite as terrible, so I’d do that before touching any other food. That turned into a habit of eating one thing at a time. I don’t hate veggies anymore, but now as an adult, I eat one thing at a time, completing it before I move on to the next, in order from least favorite to most favorite. So if I have a steak, baked potato and broccoli, I’ll eat all the broccoli, then all of the potato, and only then will I even cut into the steak.
#40 Getting Those Teeth Extra Clean
My shower routine hasn’t changed since I was a kid. I get in the shower BEFORE I turn on the water. I stand under the water for about 10 minutes while it changes temperature and before I wash anything. Then, I fold my arms behind my back as the hot water beats down on my body. I continue with shampoo, followed by body wash, followed by a face wash, and finally, I brush my teeth (yes, I brush my teeth in the shower). My dad had me and my sister doing that ever since we were little and I didn’t know that it was considered weird until my teen years. I was explaining my routine to a friend one day, and he just stared at me with a confused look on his face.
#41 In Remembrance Of A Friend
I got my dog, Snoopy, when I was 10 years old. Ever since he was a puppy, he had this love for lettuce. He would go absolutely nuts for it, so whenever I had a sandwich or a burger, I would give him some of my lettuce. Over the years, it became a ritual that whenever I prepared any food that involved lettuce for myself, I would grab extra lettuce for him so I could toss it to him as I ate. He passed away four years ago after almost 17 years together, but I still find myself grabbing that bit of extra lettuce for him.
#42 The Art Of The Ninja
I still ninja-walk around the house, even if no one is home. I accidentally startle my roommate all the time and have to consciously make noise when coming upstairs so that I don’t startle her. It stems from sneaking around my house as a kid to avoid my brother at all costs. There was never a time that the two of us seeing each other wouldn’t result in a screaming match and possibly in violence (from him). I go downstairs weirdly and walk with a careful rolling step that makes as little noise as possible.
#43 Got Your Six
I count the number of sips I take from water fountains and only end in increments of six. I think it was because my middle school wrestling coach said we could only have six sips of water when taking a break. I’d push it to twelve when no one was looking like a mad man. I still do it today, but only when it’s a water fountain.
#44 Must Stop Those Witches
In my family home, when we finish eating hard or soft boiled eggs, we turn them over so the open bit is hidden in the cup. Then we’d pretend to have not eaten the egg. After announcing to everyone that you haven’t eaten your egg, you can then repeatedly hit the top with a teaspoon and shout that the witches are escaping.
#45 First In Line
When I was little and we were on road trips, my parents would always try to be “first” in a new state by sliding their hands up to the front of the windshield. The best way to do it was to distract the other person when you knew you were getting close to the state line. Once, my stepdad even stopped the car 25 feet or so from the state line, got out, and ran across. I have played this game on every road trip I have taken as an adult.