My kids are staunch defenders of justice and when it isn't incredibly inspiring and a source of great pride, it's the absolute worst. While I want my kids to be honest and to do the "right thing," my kids' annoying honesty often blows my lies and, well, I can't have that. As a parent, I have to protect myself from their probing curiosity (“What’s that string hanging between your legs?”) and inconsiderate interrogation (“Why is your stomach so squishy but Dad’s isn’t?”) so, yes, that means I lie to my children.
I’m not damaging them with these false truths, I’m simply shutting down a line of questioning I don’t want to engage in or I gloss over some facts I just don’t think are relevant. For example, when a fellow parent remarks on my kid’s outfit, I don’t necessarily want to share the fact that I’ve let my daughter dig out dirty clothes from the laundry before they were washed because she needed a certain shirt for her school’s “Superhero Day.” I like to keep that tidbit to myself, thank you very much.
It can be super cute to catch kids lying, but mine are still too young to get why complete transparency isn’t necessarily desirable. It’s a hard lesson to teach, especially we’ve spent years coaxing them to tell the truth. “Honesty is the best policy,” if often regurgitated ad nauseam. I guess I should be proud that they’ve stuck to that credo, but there are times when this practice has completely backfired (for me). Here are some occasions when my little truth police have totally blown the cover of my lies. Thanks a lot, kids.
When They Gleefully Announce They’ve Had Pizza For Dinner Three Times This Week
Serving leftover leftovers is to be commended for being budget-conscious, right?
When They Discover You Do Have Games On Your Phone
At which point, I delete said game and start over when they’re not looking. RIP, high score. RIP.
When They Exclaim How Fun Their Birthday Party Was To Your Friend
You know; the party you didn’t invite your friend’s kid to.
When They Share Your Recipe For The Secret Sauce
They usually reveal your culinary secrets by showing the dinner party attendees the bottle or container you bought earlier in the day.
When They Scream “We Have Money!”
This proud declaration usually happens right after you’ve politely decline the hastily tacked-on donation solicitation at the drugstore counter when making your harried purchase of anti-itch vaginal cream.
When They Blurt Out “We Have Lice!”
During the midst of awkwardly explaining to the drugstore cashier you’re just taking precautionary measures, by plunking down $100 on a lice removal kit.
When You Act Reluctant When Someone Asks If You're Done Having Children
Instead of giving me space to politely decline answering at all (because it's really no one's business) my kid usually responds with a profound, “Oh she definitely doesn’t want more kids. She’s always yelling that.”
When The Pediatrician Asks About Their Milk Intake
Prompting the children to blurt out, “We never drink milk. Gross!” Cover officially blown.
When You Walk By A Salvation Army Santa
This is usually my opportunity to say something alone the lines of, "Santa’s watching to see if you’re being good," and, you know, try to encourage my kids to behave better. Yeah, my children usually shoot me a look that reminds me I'm not fooling anyone. As if.
When They Catch You Chewing The Gum You Hid From Them...
“Is that sugarless?” they ask.
“Yes, but it’s for grown-ups,” I answer.
“Because it’s got… “
...And When They Realize There Is No Wine In Gum
Beware: all myths are debunked on the school bus.