A Bedtime Story...
Once there was a family that lived in a small house in a small town. Every night the Father was diligent about locking the doors before he went to bed. One night, the Daughter came home from a friend's house and forgot to lock the door before she went to her room. That night the Door-Lock Monster came and terrorized the family. Then he ate them all, leaving nothing behind but their bones. Door-Lock Monster then went along his merry way, looking for more unsuspecting families that had forgotten to lock their door when they went to bed. The End.
I tell you this story as a prime example of how parents can royally screw up their children. You see, my own dear Daddy told me this story (or at least some version of it) over and over again when I was a young girl. And now, to this very day, I cannot go to sleep without checking, re-checking, and checking again that my doors are locked when we go to bed. Oh sure, I totally know that there is no such thing as a "real" Door-Lock Monster, but I will tell you what... The fear that there is even a possibility of him lurking around out there, waiting to torture and eat us, is enough to leave me lying in bed at night, cursing my father, and wondering if I made sure the door was really, really all the way closed and locked. Seriously, I am in my 30's now, with children of my own, and this story has buried itself deep in my core. I'm pretty sure that I will have to leave a note in my will so that when I die, my coffin is locked up tight so that the Door-Lock Monster won't be able to get in and torture me for eternity.
And, now that I do have kids of my own, I often wonder what I must be doing to mess with their sweet, innocent, little minds. I can only imagine that someday, all three of the Goombas will have some kind of therapy session where they are sitting around talking about how their mother used to call them Goombas, which is basically comparing them to small, scary, mushroom dudes. I also imagine that they will never be able to eat mushrooms.
Sometimes, I just don't think parents realize the absolute power we have over our little ones. One evening before dinner, the Goombas were being extraordinarily cranky and whiney. When I was asked for the 432nd time what we were having for dinner, followed by complaints about whatever it was, I broke down and said, "If you ask me again I am going to make Poop Sandwiches and Pee Juice!!!" Mario started crying and Luigi started gagging. Peach, being the food-lover that she is, wouldn't have cared either way. Now, a year later, Mario still says, "Mommy, please don't make Poop Sandwiches and Pee Juice," with a hint of fear in his sweet, seven-year-old voice.
I did it without even realizing it! I scared my eldest child into thinking that I would serve him human waste for dinner if he kept bugging me and complaining. Way to go, Daisy. Just call me Mom of the Year!
So, parents, be careful what you say to your children as they grow. Who knows what they are going to say to their therapists about you someday. Now, I have go double check that all doors are locked before I go to bed.