• How I Became a Big Fat Lying Liar

    Posted on June 23, 2013 by Darcy in Crib Notes.

    There are certain lies that we understand are a necessity to giving our children a happy and magical childhood. Off the bat (spoiler alert!) Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy come to mind. What I did not fully understand before my oldest grew into a too clever and too demanding preschooler, was just how often and how routine my lies would become.

    For example, when my son and I walked by an ice cream truck yesterday, I lied and told him the ice cream man ran out of ice cream.

    When my son was begging to watch cartoons this morning, I lied and told him that the television was broken.

    When my son was begging to stay in the swimming pool, I lied and told him that the lifeguard said it was time to get out and let the next set of children in the pool.

    I know what some of you are thinking. Wouldn’t it be easier to tell the truth? Sure, I could tell him that the reason he was not allowed to eat ice cream is because it’s a special treat and not meant for everyday, and then face the inevitable temper tantrum. I could tell him that he can’t watch cartoons because I am trying to be a good mother and limit his “screen time,” and he would be quick to point out my hypocrisy on the mornings I plug him into cartoons just so I can squeeze in a quick shower. And I could tell him that I just don’t feel like swimming anymore, and be faced with a sad and inconsolable two year old who keeps telling me I am mean.

    So I admit it. I lie because I am exhausted. Because I am avoiding a public meltdown, or unanswerable follow-up questions. Most of the time my lies are truly in his best interest. Other times it’s because I am being lazy. Because when I fight with my son about things, he generally wins, and when I see him cry, it hurts my heart. And when I try to reason with him, he defies me with dictatorial logic that only a two year old can muster. It is called the “Terrible Twos” for a reason, isn’t it?

    But when I tell him I love him ten thousand times a day, it’s always the truth!

    What lies do you tell your kids? What are you avoiding when you tell those lies?


    Looks like Emmett found out there was still ice cream in the truck.

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3 Responses so far.

  1. Michelle says:

    I do say things like, Ice Cream and cartoons are special treats, blah blah blah. After reading your article, I’m convinced your way is MUCH better. My problem is I can’t think of a good lie fast enough. But with three year olds, how good does the lie have to be? You’ve changed my life. Thank you big fat lying liar!

  2. Darcy says:

    In principle I completely agree with you. The point of my post is to highlight (in a hopefully humorous way) a tactic I resort to in dealing with my willful toddler. And while it could be said that the vast majority of the time my interests and my son’s interest are aligned (i.e., I want to avoid a temper tantrum for my benefit, while not having my child eat ice cream before dinner for his benefit), my children’s interests are always paramount. I do, however, appreciate your feedback, and would love if you could share some tips you have for avoiding a toddler meltdown without stooping to my level!

  3. Maria B says:

    Lying to your kids is not something that you should encourage. Sure it’s easier at times, but there’s always another way. You say that when you lie to your son it’s always in his best interest, but the article makes it pretty clear that it’s YOUR best interest that you’re most concerned about.

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