Before I had kids; I had no idea what this parenting thing was all about. I sure thought I did, though. When I think back on my expectations and judgments of parents before I was a parent myself, I straight up cringe.
One thing I thought for sure I’d never do is lie to my kids. I’m actually laughing at my naive, pre-kid self right now. Of course, I lie to my kids! Don’t we all, sometimes? I mean, we have to if we want them to, you know, eat.
All mom lies, however, are not created equally. Some are big, some are small, some are creative, and some are downright hysterical.
Here are my most noteworthy mom lies:
What is Second Lunch, you ask? Second Lunch is actually dinner. Why do we call dinner “Second Lunch”? Well, my five-year-old refuses to eat “dinner”. But, Second Lunch? Of course, he’ll eat that!
As a pre-parent, I was so judgey about what people fed their kids. I openly scoffed at the idea of giving my kids food options. I remember saying, “Options? You must be kidding. My kids will eat what I make them or they won’t eat at all.”
Because God has the BEST sense of humor and a penchant for irony; I’ve been gifted with THE pickiest eater this side of the Mississippi. Some days, he decides he will only eat things that are orange. On days he decides he likes pasta, said pasta can ONLY be spaghetti. It can not be a shape and definitely can not be stuffed with cheese or meat. He will not eat pie or filled donuts because there is “food in it”. Meat? He won’t eat that unless it is basically pre-chewed (meatballs, chicken nuggets, uncased sausage). Vegetables? Nope, he won’t eat anything green. He will only eat off of yellow plates. And, he most certainly will NOT eat anything called “dinner” (even if it is the exact same food he had for lunch).
Thus, we’ve created Second Lunch; where I can serve my five-year-old spaghetti and meatballs on a yellow plate and he will actually eat it. Unless it’s a day he’s only eating orange things… then, of course, I’ve still got a fight on my hands.
When the refrigerator beeps, it’s going to explode.
Some lies start out as simple jokes but end up sticking. This is one of those lies.
As our boys have gotten bigger, they’ve also gotten more independent and “helpful”. These kids are always in the kitchen with me and that also means they are always in and out of the refrigerator (whether I want them to be or not). They have not entirely mastered the art of properly closing the fridge door in a timely fashion. Lucky for us, our refrigerator beeps if the doors have been left ajar for longer than 30 seconds.
The first time the fridge beeped at my son, he turned and looked at me with huge eyes, terrified. I seized the moment and did the only logical thing… pretended the refrigerator was about to explode if we didn’t shut the doors immediately.
Now, I’m not sure if they believe this one or if it’s just become a game. But, I’ll tell ya what; our refrigerator doors are always shut promptly after each use.
The Cookie Monster lives in our basement and steals toys.
This one is a two-parter. When our sons were 2.5 and 1.5, we moved into a new house. This house, unlike our previous house, had a full unfinished basement. We’re talking 17 steps then concrete. The door to the basement is smack-dab in the middle of the kitchen. Of course, our curious little monkeys wanted to open the door all the time. So, we tried all of the things to keep them out: locks, child proof knobs, etc. But, our Houdinis got past them all.
One day, in a last-ditch attempt to keep them from teetering at the top of the basement steps (and giving me a daily heart attack), I told them a monster lived in the basement. This FINALLY worked! And, since they were 2.5 and 1.5, they assumed the monster was the only monster they had ever heard of: Cookie Monster.
How did Cookie Monster turn into a toy snatching klepto? Well, one day, I had my younger son in the basement with me while I was pulling out Christmas decorations and he happened upon some old toys. We were in the practice of rotating toys to keep them fresh and exciting. He recognized his toys (which had been missing for a few months) and made the only rational assumption he could: Cookie Monster had stolen them. And, of course, I agreed and told him, “You must not have cleaned up when you were asked to.”
Cookie Monster has since made the 400 mile move with us from South Jersey to Vermont and now resides in our marble walled basement. Most importantly, he still snatches toys that aren’t put away by bedtime. What can I say, Cookie Monster likes a tidy house.
All of this sharing about lying to my kids has got me reminiscing about the lies I was told as a child. Here are some of my parents’ most notable lies:
- My parents told us that if we pressed our faces against the car window, they would freeze that way.
- One Halloween, my mom told me that I don’t like Reese’s Cups (her favorite candy) so that she could have all of them.
- My parents told us that it was illegal to drive with the lights on in the backseat.
- My mom told me that all of the “bad guys” went to bed at 8pm so I had nothing to worry about at night.