Because I Said So! {Book Giveaway}

Friday, February 1, 2013

Don’t stand in front of the microwave when it’s running.

If you sit on the cold sidewalk, you’ll get a stomach ache.

Wear a warm coat or you’ll get a cold. And make sure you wear that hat!

These are all things my mother told me (over and over) when I was growing up. Please note that this is a mere sample of the warnings, ideas, and “facts” I heard over the years. This is no diss to my mother. She’s lovely. Actually, I try to follow her big-hearted lead when it comes to raising  young’uns.

In fact, I’ve caught myself saying things about winter chill and zipped-up warm coats, and wondered (Fine! Bickered with myself) whether not wearing a scarf will increase the chances of my kid getting a cold. Even though in my logical brain I know that cold weather doesn’t cause colds. It’s about a virus — the rhinovirus, to be more specific (and a Smarty McPants).

Still, I put the kid’s hat on, religiously, because all those wives can’t be totally wrong in these tales, right?


Well, according to the new book from Ken Jennings (you know him from his ridiculously long run as Jeopardy winner), yeah … they kinda are wrong.

In his book, Because I Said So, Jennings delves into the “myths, tales and warnings” parents have passed down to generation after generation, and tries to separate fact from the ghost story fictions. Come on: “Stay away from the Christmas poinsettia! The leaves are poisonous.” That’s hella scary to a little kid. It’s also false.

“I’ve compiled 125 of the nagging Mom-and-Dad-isms that we all grew up with, and then I meticulously researched the scientific evidence behind them.” ~Ken Jennings

It all makes for a fun and interesting read. Plus, Jennings divides the book into sections like:

“You Don’t Know Where That’s Been!” [Things Not to Put in Your Mouth]

“Your Face Will Freeze Like That!” [Looks and Grooming]

“Finish Your Milk!” [And Other Drinking Problems]

The exclamation points in the section titles alone made me chuckle. Because these warnings are urgent and must be yelled! And his dedication of the book to his children — “I hope you someday you have children just like you.” — highlighted that he was coming at all of this from love.

So, keeping the love going … it’s GIVEAWAY TIME! The good people at Scribner generously offered up THREE books for this giveaway. All you need to do to enter is leave a comment below sharing one of the hilarious and/or outlandish tales/warnings your parents told you. And if it’s one that you are gleefully passing along to your kids, despite knowing it’s likely false, even better.

Winners will be announced next week.

All right … let’s hear it.

  • 1
    Catherine says:

    I have a few to share actually:

    “Don’t sing whilst you’re eating or you’ll go mad.” That was from my mother, which sounded just the tougher variation of my father’s “eating is like praying, don’t mess around.”

    “Don’t sit on that hot pavement/rock, you’ll get stomachache.” I find it interesting that it’s similar to your one and maybe parents just make things up base on the climate of each country?

    Another way of catching a cold: “You’ll catch cold when the curtain’s drawn and the moon shines on you whilst you sleep.”

    And my favourite, which is actually a classic one from my grandfather whom we had lived with till his death in 1995 (I still miss him so), “I wasn’t able to buy sweets (candies) today, the Chinese sellers had a fight.”

    • 1.1
      Ms. Mary Mack says:

      The singing while eating one cracked me up! Thanks for sharing these, Catherine!