The Well-Intended Lies

I lie constantly to the boys. It is my go to when I need to get out of a desperate situation with them, and it works every time. My lies have diverted meltdowns, answered the unanswerable, been used to get us from point A to point B, saved me from having to talk about the same thing over and over, or any situation where I have backed myself into a corner.

The Meltdown Lie

This just happened yesterday. We were at our playground celebrating a friend’s 3rd birthday and everyone had balloons. As they walked through the mass of trees and branches I thought, this isn’t going to end well. And it didn’t.   Sure enough a balloon got caught in a tree, came loose from the ribbon and floated away. Poor Kellan was looking in circles for his balloon still holding the string, not realizing a tree branch had freed it.  I had to break the news that his balloon went into the sky.  Just as the tears and screams were just about to spill I told him “your balloon went way up in the sky to Sector 7.”  

Sector 7 is a book we read where a boy goes up into the sky to Sector 7, the place where clouds are formed. It is one of the boy’s favorite books and I used it as a lifeline to prevent a tantrum in a public place  about something I couldn’t fix. Just hearing his balloon was in Sector 7 made him happy. I told him later we would look for a balloon shaped cloud and see his balloon again. He carried on with his adventure walk talking about his balloon being in Sector 7. Crisis diverted.

Photo: Damn Delicious
Photo: Damn Delicious

Same Thing Over and Over

Every day on our route to swim lessons we would pass by a mattress store that had a sheep on the roof. The boys saw it one day and then every day since we had to look at the sheep. Well, one day I missed it, actually I forgot about it, until a voice from the backseat asked where is the sheep? I tried explaining that I missed it, but they would not accept that as an answer. They would not stop asking me about the sheep the entire ride to swim. Then an hour later on our way home, the minute we got into the car they asked about the sheep. I said we would see it on the ride home, but for some reason I missed it again #assholeparent.

I knew that they would flip so I told them the sheep had to go get a haircut, which is why he wasn’t there today. Yes, that made perfect sense to them. They even discussed which chair the sheep sat in getting his hair cut, the police car or the fire truck? And to this day when we drive in that direction they talk about when the sheep got his hair cut.

Getting Point A to Point B/ The Unanswerable

A few examples would be: Rain is coming (perfectly sunny day), the playground will close if we don’t hurry, the store will close, the restaurant will close, the trees need to rest, the squirrels need to eat, Tank (our dog) needs to nap, the moon is sleeping… This list is endless.

I know I am not alone in this. I have heard other parents come up with insane answers to prevent the world crashing down on their toddlers. We were at the botanical gardens on a day that happened to be the Camellia festival. There were these flowers every, in contests, displays throughout the garden and even a craft table where kids could make their own paper flower.

There is also a train that runs through the gardens that is a massive hit but always has a long line. A mother was trying to leave the Gardens with her kids and one of the younger boys wanted to ride the train. She told him every reason they had to leave, and when he wouldn’t accept it she said,

“Only Camellia’s can ride the train.”  
Not missing a beat he said, “I am a Camellia.”
She said” No you are a Tyler, not a Camellia.

He couldn’t argue that fact and off they went, at a faster pace, with no tears to the parking lot.

Someday my little white lies are going to catch up with me and I will be screwed. I love that the boy’s imagination and belief in me is so grand. And I abuse that trust, for the good of all mankind really. I only hope that catching on to my lies will coincide with their ability to maintain some semblance of composure when I forget to point out something on the road or run out of Star Wars Band-Aids.



1 comment on “The Well-Intended Lie”

  1. You know, these aren’t truly lies, they help them see the world on their level, all the while giving you an out to move on with life. I find that nowadays, with a tween and teenager, I tell them them the absolute TRUTH. No sugar coating, no fantasy, just “this is the way the world works.” They are cool with it and we can move on with life.

Any thoughts?