It’s funny, isn’t it? Our parents always admonished us to tell the truth.
Yet when we cross that great threshold into adulthood, we find out that we were led down the wayward path all along.
Apparently there was some club or special meeting because EVERYONE’S mother and father told the same lies. What’s even more shocking is that we entirely plan on doing the same thing to our own children. I hope that you, dear reader, have in fact crossed said threshold. I don’t want to ruin any surprises for you.
- “Of course Santa’s real.” I hate to break it to you, but there’s no such thing as Santa Claus. It’s sad but true. The worst part is that children are finding out the truth even younger than we did. Some parents feel like they shouldn’t tell a lie like this to their children because it sets up disappointment and they tell them themselves. (Insert shuddering noises here.) Other parents are horrified that their little ones first school bus ride came free with the explosion of all childhood myths. I’m not sure who is right. I do remember a Christmas Eve of my own where we had two tiny tots in hysterics; one because she thought Santa was going to come into her house and see her sleeping and the other because she thought Santa was NOT coming into her house because her sister was crying about it…that was the year we put milk and cookies on the front porch. The milk froze before they were even asleep. Had they known the truth we could have avoided the whole thing…yet it’s one of my favorite memories.
- “We’re almost there.” Think back to those days in the back seat when 45 minutes seemed like an eternity. Ugh. I’ve been in both spots, the front and the back as child and parent. My husband and I learned early on that it didn’t matter how long it would take, we would always answer, “72 minutes.” To tell children approximate times only makes for more whining and crying…and that’s just me.
- “The cat ran away to a farm to get married.” Oh, the horror of kitten distempers! I fell for this one every time. Pets are the vortex of Lies Parents Tell.
- “Hold my hand or you’ll get stolen.” The fear of stranger danger starts early and goes long, I’m afraid. It’s part of the world we live in. However, sometimes it’s used as a scare tactic to just get those kids to stay still.
- “If you do that with your eyes, they’ll get stuck like that.” I don’t know why kids feel the need to even do it, but then I don’t know why parents tell them that they’ll get stuck. My whole life I never met a soul whose eyes were stuck from crossing them.
- “I can see you.” That’s a big fat lie. As a kid I always wondered how did my mother know we were fooling around in the cellar, touching the Christmas tree, teasing the dog or eating cookies from the pantry. She didn’t know. She couldn’t see us. She just knew what I would do. She knew I was rotten and she loved me anyway. What’s worse, a mother who lies or one with ESP? Yeesh.
- “If you pee in the pool, it will turn the water purple.” I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that most kids, have in fact, peed in a pool. I think they know it’s a lie, but as a subtle reminder, it’s effective. However, it could backfire. My sister told me of her sons, “Don’t tell them that! They’ll think it’s awesome!”
- “I sprayed for monsters.” I’m embarrassed to admit this, but it worked for me. Just that little reassurance that my dad had in fact looked in the closet made me sleep all the better.
- “You’ll throw up if you eat one more cookie.” Again here, you can refer to #7 in that kids may think that’s awesome. However, most kids live in fear of throwing up, so usually, it’s a win for Mom.
- “If you go out without a hat, you’ll catch a cold.”Nuh-uh. I never wore my dumb hat. Hated it. This was back in the day when said hat was usually some sports team with a great bigpom-pom on top, all the better for pulling off for Keep Away. I believe your best defense is a good offense, so if I didn’t have a hat they couldn’t rip it off my head.