A fun fact about me: I love lying to children. I just can’t help myself.
Now, before you start to fear for the lasting effects of the tall tales I like to tell my kids and those in my care, I promise you that none of them will do any permanent damage. The lies I like to tell are those of the fantastical sort; they are the kinds of lies that make life a little more interesting, a little more whimsical, and, the majority of the time, a little more functional (for me). One of the best and also most terrifying things about children is the fact that their brains are so ready to accept anything as truth, that you can make the world whatever you want it to be for them. For me, it’s hard to resist telling kids that it’s possible to plant jellybeans in your garden in order to grow a crop of lollipops, or that the man driving the ice cream truck past the house at 7:30 pm is just playing lullabies for all the kids in the neighbourhood to help them get to sleep.
A friend of mine recently posted an Instagram story featuring some of the lies she has told her kids to make her life as a parent a little bit easier and a lot more entertaining. When I saw her post, it inspired me to do a little digging to see what kinds of stories other parents are telling their kids to help them get through the day with a chuckle or two. When I originally posted the question, I thought I was going to get a huge variety of crazy answers, but what I found instead was kind of fascinating. Imagine my surprise when, over the course of a couple of days, I started to realize that we are all lying to our kids about the same things.
It was kind of encouraging, actually, to know that we seem to be born with this prepackaged set of lies waiting and ready go for when we one day decide to spawn the next generation. It made me feel like I was part of this awesome club of people who appreciate a good opportunity to fib a little in order to get things done. It made parenting feel a little less lonely.
If you’re reading this and you are yet to have children of your own, consider this your first lesson in parenting. If, on the other hand, you’re a parent already, feel free to check off each of the lies you’ve told your own kiddos and consider each one to be a pat on the back for the kickass job you’re doing.
So, without further adieu, here are some of the #LiesITellMyToddler, submitted from wonderful souls I found in the vast corners of the Internet. I’ve separated the lies into the 4 main categories which are: Toys, Bed/Naptime, _______ is Sleeping, It’s Closed or Broken, Food (Huge Subcategory: The Ice Cream Truck),and Survival (Ours, Not Theirs).
*Names with hyperlinks are linked to individual blogs – check them out! 🙂
- If a toy is really loud and annoying, I tell them that it’s broken.
- ‘They don’t make batteries for that toy anymore”.
- “The tablet is broken.” (Really, it just needs to be charged).
- “Sorry, only dad knows how to change the batteries on that toy.”
- “That toy’s only for big kids/little babies/moms and dads.”
- When we go into stores and they see something they want, I tell them that it’s all just display stuff.
- “Let me take a picture of you with that toy so I can text it to Santa so he remembers to bring it for Christmas!”
- I put a little water in one of those little medicine cups and tell them it’s sleepy medicine and will help them go to sleep.
- “Mommy and daddy get to stay up late because we have to plan all the fun activities you get to do tomorrow.”
- She thinks everyone goes to bed when she does. When she’s having trouble napping, I say we’re all napping and she’s disturbing us if she talks – she gets bored and falls asleep.
- “We don’t have any monsters because they’re scared of your stepdad’s stinky feet.” (My then-toddler took one of my husband’s socks to bed for weeks).
________ is Sleeping
- “Paw Patrol went to bed and therefore we can’t put them on the TV.”
- “[Something he wants and we don’t want him to have right now] is sleeping.” This used to work; not so much anymore. Now he says it back to us when he doesn’t want to do anything. Our funniest moment was back when our Huggies Pull-Ups box still had the Cars and Lion King designs, and he only wanted Cars so he told us Lion is sleeping. We nearly fell over.
- Any time we drive by a truck or train that’s stopped, we tell our son it’s sleeping because it’s had a hard day at work.
- When I put her to bed at 8:00pm I have to tell her that everyone is going to sleep. I list like everyone she knows. Grandma and grandpa, all of her aunts, uncles and cousins, her friends, the cat, Daniel Tiger… everyone is going to bed at 8:00pm.– Niki
It’s Closed or Broken
- If they see somewhere like Play Abby [Activity Centre], I tell them it’s closed.
- “McDonald’s is closed.”
- We always have to tell him the store/playground/pool is closing and that’s why we have to leave.
- “The TV doesn’t work when it’s sunny, or rainy, or when there are too many birds in the yard.”
Food (Huge Subcategory: The Ice Cream Truck)
- “If the ice cream truck is playing music, it means it ran out of ice cream,”
– Rachael, Meghan
- “The ice cream truck is in fact a music truck! It’s around to bring happiness to the neighbourhood.”
– Krista, Stephanie
- “Yes, this is Princess soup” (when she wanted princess soup for lunch – the Campbell’s can with any of the princesses on it).
- “Yes, this is ice cream!” I say to a cup of yoghurt with some honey and watch as he laps it all up!
- Whatever animal or imaginary creature she is into at the moment always loves whatever food I am trying to get her to eat. For example, “Unicorns love tomatoes.”
- “When my daughter requested pasta for dinner and my pregnant arse wanted Vietnamese noodle salad, I told her that vermicelli noodles was Vietnamese pasta and we were still having ‘pasta’.”
- I told my daughter that sparkling water was Sprite.You should have seen her face the first time we gave her the real thing!
- My daughter can’t have cow’s milk because there is to much lactose in it. She is ALWAYS stealing her brother’s milk. My husband told her that her butt will explode if she drinks it (it’s not entirely a lie). she hasn’t tried to drink any cow’s milk since! If she asks for something that we have or that she isn’t used to eating she’ll ask if it will make her butt explode before she takes it.
- “Pop is too spicy for you to drink.”
- Anything I don’t want to share is coffee, alcohol, or too spicy for them.
- “My food is super spicy.” (Why do I always have to share?!)
- “If you swallow gum, you will fart a bubble and it will pop and hurt!”
Survival (Ours, Not Theirs)
- Anytime my daughter wants to have something that she shouldn’t, I pretend to try to open it and tell her that it’s stuck.
- “It’s illegal to drive with the light on inside the car.”
- “If you don’t go pee first, you’re not allowed to go to bed.” (Still can’t believe this one works).
- “Starbucks doesn’t sell cake pops before lunch.”
- Once or twice, I’ve done a fake Thomas or Mickey Mouse voice asking my son to come play, so I can get him to go play in his room and let me do something. Then I tell him Thomas/Mickey is calling him and he goes running. I’m waiting for the day that he figures out they stop talking as soon as he gets in the room.
- “I have no idea where the Dora book we’ve read 6,000 times is! It must be missing.”
- I needed a little break from nursing so I put vinegar on my nipples and told her my milk went bad. Now she tells everyone I have “yucky boobies”.
- “Put your shoes on this minute or I’m leaving you home alone.”
Did we cover them all?! If you’ve got some gems to add, please comment below!
– xox k