Don’t Swim for an Hour After You Eat

don't swim for an hour

The other day I was in the car with my son Jake. He crossed his eyes and said, “Mom, look at me.” Without even thinking, my mother’s words came out, “Don’t do that. Your eyes will stick.” After I explained that his eyes could get stuck in the cross-eyed position, he says, “Do you know anyone that got their eyes stuck?”

Well, no I didn’t. “So how do you know it’ll happen to me?” asked my young lawyer in training who continued to cross his eyes and look at himself in the car mirror. I thought about it and gave my best Mom answer: Because I said so.

Then I started thinking about the other stuff my Mom told me when I was his age. How much of this was true and how much was just mom’s doing what mom’s do best – worry?

1. Don’t swim for an hour after you eat

This was said constantly when I was growing up. I spent my first 13 years living in Miami and we were literally, surrounded by water. If we weren’t at the beach, we were at someone’s pool.

Everyone’s mom had the same rule so we would all sit outside, getting hot and counting down the time until we could get back in the water.

The conversation went like this:

Me: Now Mom?

Mom: No, it’s only been 30 minutes.

Me: Come on Mom, I swear I won’t complain if I get sick from going in the water too soon.

Mom: No, something will happen and you’ll end up at the doctor’s. Do you want to spend the rest of the day in hospital?

2. Don’t run with scissors in your hands

I totally thought this one was from some paranoid Mom until 5 years ago. I ran into a friend with her little boy at the park one day. As we sent our kids off to play, she told me the story about how her son was running with a long stick, fell down and and got hurt. I’ll spare you the gory details but let’s just say I buy my son the little kid rounded edge scissors and I keep my eye on him if he walks around the house with them.

3. Stop messing around. When you fall down and break your legs, don’t come running to me.

I say stuff like this all the time. When my Mom said this to me, I stopped what I was doing and listened. But not my kid. He questions me with “but if I break my legs, how am I going to run to you? My legs are broken.”

My response, “You know what I mean. You’re going to get hurt and you’ll end up at the doctor’s. Do you want to spend the rest of the day in hospital?”

4. One day you’ll have kids just like you.

This one reminded me of a conversation Jake and I had last year.

Jake: Am I normal or not?

Me: Compared to who?

Jake: Compared to you. Am I more normal than you?

Me: Funny question, why would you ask me that?

Jake: Because I wanted to know if I was more or less than what your mom hoped for you. Remember when Grandma said, ‘I hope you have a kid who is worse than you’? Did you get that? Am I worse than you? (I think he takes pleasure in being weirder than me)

Me: Well, Jake I believe I got everything Grandma told me I would get. I got you ….


Photo credit: Swimming Pool

45 thoughts on “Don’t Swim for an Hour After You Eat

  1. Funny! I am still big on don’t run with scissors. I probably always will be. I never really bought into the cross eyes thing, but it would be horrible if it could happen.

  2. LOL!! that’s greatness! I have found myself spouting off those same things (as I grew up hearing them) and occasionally Mr. T has me stumped when he asks “why?” Yeah, I don’t know kid – it’s what I was taught and I guess I never questioned it! So, needless to say, we don’t wait an hour after eating to go swimming (but what a great way that was for the parents to get some down time!) but the whole running with scissors is followed – my child would have the scissors, run and end up cutting his finger off…

    • I don’t make jake wait an hour but if he goes into the pool right after he eats, there’s a part of me that thinks he’s going to get an upset stomach. I’ve been brainwashed 🙂

    • Its so hard to NOT to say it. I mean, he looked at me with those cross-eyes and I didn’t even hesitate and just said your eyes will stick like that. It was like a reflex.

  3. You die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become your mother. My favorite was always when in the car – mom would say “Do you want to walk home?” and I’d answer, “Yeah, I’d love to, I’ll just go ahead and jump out.”

      • Not too much. They said it once or twice, but they usually went for the blind threat of leaving me stranded in the middle of nowhere.

      • I couldn’t imagine saying that to my son now. He takes everything so literal that he’d really think I’d leave him on the side of the road.

  4. Oh my gosh I loved him comparing your normalness. Also, there is a great video you should watch with your son. Famous last words by Rhett and Link. I think it’s in part 2 that there is a running with scissors bit. Or part one. Both are good. Watch them. Then hide the scissors. 🙂

    • He does that ALL the time. He loves the idea that he’s weirder than me (and I’m pretty darn weird) and he asks my mom/his grandma if he’s better or worse than I was when I was his age.
      I’ll have to take a look at that video – sounds pretty funny!

    • Yep, getting better since my meeting with my friend on Friday. I’ll email you back and give you more details.
      As for the swimming stuff, I always thought it was true but it really doesn’t matter when you get back in the water. It’s just this thing our mothers have drilled into our heads so we believe it.

  5. Hahahaha! I think our mother’s were given a book of saying when they left the hospital. Our generation just believed whatever our parents told us…the next generation, not so much. Living with a lawyer isn’t easy…hahahaha!

    • You should know by now how much he questions me. And you’re right … why is it we didn’t question our moms and just did what they said? I missed out on a lot of swimming time by waiting all those hours 🙂

  6. Ha! Your son IS a lawyer in training. Poor kid. 😉

    And yes, the running with scissors bit is a good tip.

    And my mom always said in fits of frustration, “I hope you have a girl Just. Like. You.” Guess what, mom? Two boys. Suck it! :p

  7. Haha, well, on the 1 in a million chance that my eyes would stick that way, or that I’d sink to the bottom, or that the scissors would gore my kidney out– I just listened to mom. 🙂

    PS – your kid sounds awesome!

  8. My mother used to tell me that if I got hurt she was NOT taking me to the hospital. And I realized I say that to my son too. Which is horrible, when you think about it, that I would be denied and that I would deny my child necessary medical attention. But I get the point. I guess. Anyway, it didn’t work for me and it doesn’t work for my kid either. Your son sounds great – I love the way he thinks!

    • I think I heard that one too. Its like a reflex to say this stuff, not that we wouldn’t really NOT take them to the dr but its more like, I told you not to do that and you just wouldn’t listen. My son is quite the character – his teachers call him challenging 🙂

  9. I believe the not swimming after eating warning, because when I was in my 20’s I went for a short jog after eating pasta. After 10 minutes, I doubled over in pain. If I was in a pool, I would have drowned.

    • You see, that’s what I always thought would happen! But I actually looked it up and there isn’t any scientific proof about the amount of time you should digest your food before swimming. Maybe you’re proof that our moms had some reason for concern.

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