Question of the week: Kid theories

When I was a kid, I believed only white people had allergies. Really.

In fact, if I didn’t read books like the Baby-sitter’s Club series and watch television, allergy would not even be in my vocabulary. No one in my family talked about breaking into hives or sneezed around cats and dogs.

It wasn’t until much later, possibly when I was in college, when I heard a Mexican person say “I’m allergic to _____” that it all clicked. I guess white people weren’t the only ones who had allergies.

La pregunta: What kind of weird ideas or theories did you have as a kid?

9 thoughts on “Question of the week: Kid theories

  1. urban memo

    how did you understand whiteness as as kid?

    i thought that english was only spoken on TV, and spanish was spoken outside of TV.

    i used to live a few miles away from dodger stadiuim as a kid and fernando valenzuela was a household name.

    i thought clouds in the sky were balls of cotton. and the only way humankind can get cotton that far away was if we got baseball players, who were good at throwing things, to throw cotton into the sky.

    this american life recently did an episode titled “kid’s logic” that talks about that.

    Reply
  2. urban memo

    here is an edited version of what i wrote above:

    how did you understand whiteness as as kid?

    **

    two “kid theories” come to mind:

    (1) i thought that english was only spoken on TV, and spanish was spoken outside of TV.

    (2)i used to live a few miles away from dodger stadiuim as a kid and fernando valenzuela was a household name.i thought clouds in the sky were balls of cotton. and the only way humankind can get cotton that far away was if we got baseball players, who were good at throwing things, to throw cotton into the sky.

    **

    also, this american life recently did an episode titled “kid’s logic” that talks about that.

    Reply
  3. Geo

    I thought there were no movie theaters in El Paso. I always wondered what the heck they were talking about when they said, “Coming soon to a theater near you!”

    I also thought it was normal for all kids to go into bars.

    Reply
  4. notoriouslig

    When I was about nine, I thought my mom was looking old, so I asked her her age. She answered, “37.” I thought, “Aha!! That must be when people get old.” Afterall, before that, she’d never looked old. I hated when I turned 37 for that reason.

    Reply
  5. chimatli

    So weird, I was thinking about this just the other day.
    I used to think everyone Mexican or part Mexican. Almost all of my cousins were half White/Mexican, my best friend was half White and Mexican, my neighbor was White but had Mexicans in her family. So somehow in my kid brain I just thought anyone who wasn’t Asian or Black was somehow Mexican.

    Oh, and my grandmother used to tell me all the ways to spot a bruja, something about the length of fingers and other weird stuff. I believed those stories for awhile.

    Reply
  6. Momo

    1. When I was little, my mom used to say my prayers with me at night until I fell asleep. Then, one time when I was five I asked my mom “why do we have to say our prayers to God here, if we see him every Sunday in church? Can’t we just tell him at church?” I thought that the priest was God.

    2. Having grown up watching novelas, when I would see my parents hug or kiss in front of me, I would run to separate them because I didn’t want them to have a baby.

    3. When my BF was little, he used to think that babies came out as bowel movements.

    Reply
  7. mad mexican

    I still laugh when I recall my first trip a public swimming pool outside of my barrio back in San Antonio, Texas – around 1962.

    This was the first time I saw any negritos, I just looked at them and asked my friends “how does their mother tell them apart”.

    The first gavachos I saw were my elementary school teachers, and I remember riding through the north part of town and seeing the nice homes and thinking all the gavachos are rich.

    Reply
  8. elenamary

    I totally believed up into my early twenties that only white people had allergies… i was like goddamnit how can you be allergic to the air? until i got a terrible sinus infection and the doctor told me that i had seasonal allergies…and i told her only white people got allergies because they needed something to complain about. I even blogged about it and el Tin told me tha the too had allergies…crazy.

    Reply

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