Who knew? As parents we traumatize our kids all the time without ever realizing it; I consider it both a hazard and a perc of parenting. (Admit it, it was fun when your toddlers believed that the sun sank into the sea each night and had to be re-lit at dawn!)
Last night at dinner, the boychild had his hands near his mouth ... for some reason other than feeding himself ... and my husband told him not to do that because it would give him Buck Teeth. [You have to insert capitals when you threaten certain Bad Outcomes so they understand the gravity of the situation.] The girlchild, now twelve years old, practically leaped out of her seat: "BUCK teeth?!? BUCK teeth?!? All this time I thought you were saying DUCK teeth! I thought I was going to end up with a big beak on my face if I sucked my thumb!!! Stop laughing, it isn't funny!!"