Over on Strollerderby, there's a post called "14 Lies Parents Need to Stop Telling Their Kids." You're not supposed to say that the cat "ran away" when she was actually run over. Telling your kid she's "the prettiest girl in the world" can't be true, because, writes Cole Gamble, "The law of averages makes it mathematically impossible." Also? "Just tell me the truth and you won't get in trouble" is almost always a lie; and don't even start with Santa, the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy. So, of course, we were forced to think about the lies our parents told us.
Sure, there was the tooth fairy nonsense (which I tested by losing a tooth and not telling anyone, then informing my mom and miraculously earning a JFK half-dollar overnight). But also: When I was young and had a nightmare, my dad told me to flip the pillow over before going back to sleep so I'd have nice dreams the rest of the night. A total lie that had psychological benefits; after that, I always flipped my pillow over after a bad dream instead of running to my parents. I wish I could say I dropped this habit: I still flip my pillow in the night to "change" dreams.
Other lies: Santa was going to land on our Manhattan terrace since we didn't have a fireplace. The phrase "This hurts me more than it hurts you." Oh, and my mom said my godmother's shiny cigarette case had a mouse living in it.
I polled the other editors. Says one: "They lied about EVERYTHING. How long the car trip will take, eating my Halloween candy and then telling me it was donated to sick children at the hospital, sandwich crust makes your hair shiny, every child has to get a perm…" Another wrote: "I learned at 11 they'd been lying about never smoking weed. I was irate, but at the same time impressed they'd managed to keep it a secret. My mom reasoned that she had indeed smoked a lot, but never actually *liked* it all that much, so it didn't count."
Of course, it took forever for me to find out that my parents were not married when I was born, making the tooth fairy stuff seem like no big deal. There are lies, and there are lies. Got any good ones?
14 Lies Parents Need to Stop Telling Their Kids (Part 1) [Strollerderby]