Sweet Little Parenting Lies
Our Sweet Little Parenting Lie
Tom and I lied to Kieran for the first 26 months of his life.
For those of you who know me, you might react to that statement with a bit of surprise. It was definitely one of my guilty secrets.* Heck, we don’t even want to lie to Kieran about Santa!
Here was our lie:
We told Kieran that the ice cream truck was a “music truck.” We did not mention the fact that the purpose of the music truck was to peddle crap masquerading as ice cream.
Our neighborhood ice cream truck driver is also a drug dealer. At least, that’s the only conclusion we’ve been able to draw from the truck’s frequent drive-throughs on our street. That stupid truck comes by all the time. It wouldn’t raise suspicion if it drove by a couple of times each day in the summer months (and maybe a month or two on either side). But this particular truck drives around all.year.long.
It was clang clang clanging its bell in 30 degree weather this past February.
It drives by at 10:30a.m. on school days. And I don’t think there are any homeschooling families sporting ice cream habits in our neighborhood.
Add to the mix the fact that Kieran is prone to incredible meltdowns when it comes to ice cream. When we decide to eat ice cream, we cannot mention it to him until we are about to put the spoon to his mouth. Otherwise, let the freak out commence.
So the ice cream truck has always been the music truck in our house.
Until a few weeks ago when I read something that reminded me of something we decided early on: we will not lie to Kieran. We don’t lie to Kieran about anything else, why the ice cream truck? I resolved to clear up our parenting goof.
My admission went better than I imagined. For the umpteenth time, the ice cream truck’s tinny rendition of “Do Your Ears Hang Low” had woken Kieran up from his nap. I went in to snuggle him and he said “what dat?” I said “that was the music truck. [deep breath] But did you know that the music truck has something else besides music?”
His eyes were instantly awake and curious. “What? What music track have?”
I laughed sheepishly. “Well, the music truck also has ice cream. But it’s not the good kind of ice cream that we like.”
[blink blink] “Ice cream?” [more nervous laughter from me]
He laughed too. “Yucky?”
[That's not a lie - the ice cream in the ice cream truck is pretty gross.]
“Yes, it’s yucky. Let’s make a deal. Sometimes we’ll go get yummy ice cream together, but let’s not eat the ice cream from the ice cream truck.”
[Both because it's yucky and because the driver might accidentally slip some crack into your bomb pop.]
I am very happy to report that the music ice cream truck has not been the cause of any meltdowns since I revealed its true identity. I’m keeping my fingers crossed though.
This post was originally published almost two years ago on grumbles & grunts. I can report that we are still standing firm with our decision not to lie to our kids. (That does not mean, however, that we feel the need to tell them everything.)
Do you believe that there is any value in “little white lies?”
Have you ever told any to your kids?
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"Sweet Little Parenting Lies"
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