Real Simplereaders admit to some parental fibbing.
Illustration mom and son
Credit: Jen Corace

I say that the ice cream truck that drives through our neighborhood is the “music truck.” It plays music for people to enjoy during the summertime.
Breeze Watson
Lansing, Michigan

When I don’t feel like playing with the toy that my toddler chooses, I tell her that it is out of batteries, even if the toy doesn’t take batteries. It works with TV shows, too. “Sorry, honey, Dora must need new batteries. We’ll check back later.”
Christine Stevens
Issaquah, Washington

I pretend fortune-cookie fortunes say things like “Your bedtime tonight will be 15 minutes earlier.” Unfortunately, this works only until they can read.
Rebecca Einstein Schorr
Fountain Valley, California

“Yes, we’re having chicken for dinner.” (I actually served fish.)
Doreen Saiz Flores
Barstow, California

That the car won’t start unless everyone is buckled in. I just jiggle the keys in the ignition until the last belt clicks.
Jennifer Nilson
Roscoe, Illinois

When my daughter begged to stop at a playground, I said, “Sorry, all the playgrounds are closed now.” She wisely asked why other children were playing at one we passed. I answered that they were not following the rules.
Carol Catena
New York, New York

My two-year-old believes that certain toys “live” at the store and are there to be visited.
Cyn Rielley
Sutton, Massachusetts

“The tooth fairy didn’t come last night because she was sick. Her substitute must have been very confused by the new route. I am sure she will come tonight.”
Julie Nichols Forrer
Plano, Texas

“Things in the checkout aisle are for decoration and we aren’t supposed to mess them up.”
Erin Seebaldt Olson
Detroit, Michigan

To get our picky three-year-old to eat, we say that vegetables will make him super strong. At the table, we let him attempt to lift our arms. By the end of the meal, he can hoist our hands over our heads with one finger!
Michele Buzek Bakker
McKeesport, Pennsylvania

“It’s not red cabbage—it’s purple spaghetti.”
Anne-Marie O’Neill
Brooklyn, New York

My son had a crush on a girl on Barney. I made spinach balls—something he wouldn’t ordinarily touch—and told him they were her recipe. He politely ate them!
Christine Mills Searle
Cleveland, Ohio

When I’m getting ready in the bathroom and the kids start banging on the door, I pretend that it’s stuck when I really have it locked.
Sherry Whelchel Corbett
Bostic, North Carolina

“McDonald’s is closed for a private party.”
Michelle Suchand Mcpherson
Virginia Beach, Virginia

I told my friend’s son that the compass on the dashboard of my car was a tracking device so that his mom could immediately find us if he misbehaved.
Rogenia Argoe Lembo
Manassas, Virginia

That I’m still 29.
Deb Ward
Richfield, Wisconsin

“That lady on the cover of the fashion magazine is a drawing. No one looks like that in real life.”
Katie Penland
Dyersburg, Tennessee

“The sugar cookies that Grandma made are kind of spicy.” (So I could have them all for myself.)
Rebecca Scott
Sauk Rapids, Minnesota

My son thinks he has a heated seat in the back of our car, and I haven’t had the heart to tell him the truth. I love to ask him if he feels his tush getting warm.
Tracy Smith Goldberg
Hastings-on-Hudson, New York

Before moving into our house, I told my kids that we paid extra to have it sprayed for ghosts.
Amy Talcott Kennard
Peoria, Illinois

“No, darling, I’m not upset that you ate SpaghettiOs in the living room and spilled them all over the tan couch and the beige carpet.”
Jennifer Thornton
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

“The vacuum cleaner will suck up all your toys.” You should see my kids rush to clean up whenever they hear the vacuum going.
Shasta Brucker
Buckley, Washington

Kids, What Little Lie Have You Told Recently?

"Mom said I could have an ice cream sandwich for breakfast.”
Roland, age 3

“Yes, I brushed my teeth.”
Jack, age 9

“I got hit by a limo and the stars inside the car stole my homework.”
Jason, age 11

When asked how her lunch suddenly disappeared: “A big monster with green teeth and purple hair came into the kitchen and stole it.”
Claire, age 3

“I told my dad I couldn’t clean my room because I was depressed that my cat died. He started laughing because my cat died two years ago.”
Anu, age 11

While covered in bright orange dust: “No, I have not been eating Cheetos.”
Reece, age 3

“My mommy is having another baby.”
Maclyn, age 6

“No, Mommy, I didn’t pick the flowers. They just fell off.”
Kimberly, age 7

"I told people that I never told a lie before.”
Ayanna, age 9