Playdates can lead to some of the fondest childhood memories. For many kids, carefree days spent frolicking with friends serve as a healthy outlet for their developing minds. These playdates are also a window into the lives of other kids' families. Usually this added perspective is all to the good, but sometimes that window looks in on something deeply bizarre.
The people of Reddit shared their strangest childhood stories about visiting other kids' homes. If nothing else, these stories may make your own family seem normal by comparison.
The Mom Claimed She Was Egyptian Royalty
From Redditor /u/TangerineHippo:
A girl at my school used to say her mum was the Queen of Egypt. Whatever. Weird thing was, whenever I went over to play at [her house], her mum would try and convince me that due to distant relations, she was the actual, literal Queen of Egypt and that the government would come and take her if they knew. Their whole house was decked out in weird Egyptology-type stuff, too.
The Family Had A Dirty Sock Ritual
From Redditor /u/Zena-Xina:
When we moved to a new neighborhood when I was six, I went over to a kid's house. Automatically, the first smell I got was like something sour...We played with Nerf guns and stuff for a while. Then it got gross.
Out of nowhere, the kid takes off his socks and starts trying to get me to smell [them]. I could tell they were wet and nasty, and, of course, I ran from him. Sounds like typical little kid stuff, right? Until... it turned into a weird sock-smelling party with the mom, dad, and kid gladly sniffing each other's socks like [they were] Febreze. The dad cornered me and forced me to inhale his putrid [material].
Only went back one other time and left before the socks came out, because I could tell this was a daily occurrence, as dirty socks lined the floor everywhere. Weirdos, I swear.
The Family Let The Ants Do The Dishes
From a former Redditor:
When I was about seven or eight, I knew a family in Lightning Ridge [Australia]. Out the back of their home was a huge nest (bull ant maybe). To my shock, when it was dishwashing time... [the] dad put the dishes out back on the nest. When I looked horrified, he told me it was clean and hygienic and the ants did a perfect job.
To this day, I'm not sure if he was bullsh*tting me, but he SEEMED serious, and this was in the '60s, [so] they certainly didn't have a dishwasher... Does anyone really clean plates using an ant nest?
A Kid's Face Was Blacked Out In All The Family Photos
From Redditor /u/bigsie:
I visited a neighbor kid's house to play one afternoon and noticed that all of the family portraits had a kid blacked out with Sharpie. I asked him who colored the pictures, and he said his mother did it, but [he] wouldn't elaborate.
A few years ago, I remembered the [experience] and asked my mother if he had a brother or sister, and she said he had been an only child since we'd moved there. I thought maybe he had a sibling that [passed] or something, but when I think about it, the picture was recent enough that my mother wouldn't have known him as an only child.
Who was the kid? Why didn't their neighbors know them? Why did their family cross them out? It is my unsolved mystery.
The Mom Wouldn't Let Them Sneeze In The House
From Redditor /u/zenavel:
I had a neighbor friend whose mom made me leave the house if I ever sneezed or coughed, even if it was just once from dust or something, so I wouldn't "infect her kids."
She also made me go home if I needed to use the bathroom.
The Mom Made Them Thank A Jesus Clock Every Hour
From a former Redditor:
Friends had a Jesus clock. It was a creepy [cuckoo]-style clock with Jesus and the apostles. It rang on the hour, and his mom would gather all [of] us up and make us write thank you notes to Jesus thanking him for what we did the last hour.
Example: "Thank you, Jesus, for letting us play with Legos and eat cookies for snack." His mom would [then] edit and critique them, saying things like, "You had milk, too, do you want to make Jesus sad because you are not thankful for the milk?"
They also had a full room decked out like a chapel with burning candles, statues, and pews. Every room had massive four-foot-tall crucifixes in them, too. I hated going over there.