How come dads always seem to get the role of cool parent? Maybe it's because they have some pretty good don't tell mom stories.
Come Out, Come Out Wherever You Are
Not dad but son, When I was about 5 years old I was playing hide and seek with my mom and dad, Dad would pick a spot for me to hide and mom would come looking. Dad decided mom would never find me if he opened the window and put me out onto the roof of the balcony a floor below us (3 story apartment house). Source
Saving The Day One Video Game At A Time
My parents divorced and my mom remarried. When I was about 10, she became a bit of a holy roller. When I say “a bit,” I mean “off the deep end.” For context, this was the mid-80’s.
Suddenly, cartoons were evil. I couldn’t watch He-Man, Voltron, Richie Rich, Tom & Jerry. Nothing! She could see evil in anything. Smurfs taught homosexuality. He-Man taught witchcraft. Richie Rich taught greed. And so on… Magazines were evil too. I was at the age where driving was in sight, so I had various car magazines coming to the house. Not anymore! Why? Because the sexy bikini-laden car models taught “hyper sexuality” and it would turn me into a rapist. Don’t even get me started on video games either. I was only allowed to play religious video games and watch religious cartoons. Also, no TV in my room anymore because if I was left alone with a TV, I’d end up being influenced into being a gay, murdering, Satan-worshipping warlock!
My dad and step-dad hated each other, but looking back, they both looked out for my best interests. They both thought my mother’s religious stuff was a bit nuts, too. So, they had some common ground. As a side note, my step father must have a special place reserved in Heaven for him because he stuck with her through a decade of absolute hard-core religious fanaticism. She’s much more reserved now.
Anyway, on weekends, I’d see my dad. When I’d get there, he’d have a couple VHS tapes ready for me. All my favorite cartoons! He and I would spend half a day binge watching all that animated evil! And my car magazines were now being delivered to his house, so I got those too.
My dad bought me a small tv for my room. It was a 13 inch camping TV. It was about the size of a milk crate. My room had a lot of angles in the walls and ceiling, so I had some good hiding spots. My mom went on a retreat and came back all gung-ho thinking I was on drugs because the evangelist said that any child who wasn’t as interested in church as their parents is a child who’s being influenced by the devil and most likely is on drugs. My step-dad said he’d search my room for the drugs. She and I stood and watched. He ended up finding the TV (which was in a box in a hidey-hole behind my bed), but he didn’t tell her. He found my stash of Mad Magazines too (to her, those were “100% filth!”). He didn’t tell her about those either. After saying my room was “clean,” she left. He walked out with a wink.
When I came back from school the next day, my step dad had moved my bed and built me a “fort” in the hidey-hole that had a little entertainment center built into the backside of my headboard. He also added two brand new gaming systems. It was cramped, but whenever my mom was off, he and I would gather around my tiny TV in the hidey-hole and play video games. Why hide? Because he wasn’t allowed to play video games either and he didn’t want to get caught either. Whenever she’d come in, we’d pull the cord on the entertainment center which dumped legos out and covered the tv and video game consoles. We’d tell her we were playing legos. She’d ask why we were in the tiny hidey-hole and he’d just be like, “Forts are awesome, babe!” She thought we were nuts, but we got away with it.
Cheers to all the dads who helped us get away with shit! Source
It’s Not All About Material Things
When I was a kid, my dad would mow the lawn and then sneak up to the local dive bar and have a beer before my mom noticed he was done. I grew up in a town of roughly 1,200 people and the bar was two blocks away so it was totally feasible. My dad used to bring me with him, bribe my silence with a $1 bag of redskin peanuts and a can of Mountain Dew. My mom always knew because I’d slip up about the peanuts a day or two later.
Fast forward to being 24. I’d just moved to a new state after grad school with my then-boyfriend’s job, I was underemployed at the time and my only company was my new kitten. I didn’t tell my parents but I think my dad always knew I was miserable. One day I got a package from home that was 1 lb of redskin peanuts. He tracked down the vendor from the bar and bought them in a bulk bag. Still warms my heart when I think about it three years later. Source
Dad Coming In Clutch
At 16 my parents helped me get a car; the keys to freedom were: Per Dad: no tickets, pay my own gas and maintenance and Per Mom: home by curfew After a few close calls/negotiating a few extra minutes with upset Mom, Dad recommends I call him if I’m cutting it close. Really…? From then on, I’d call Dad, he’d tell Mom that he would wait up, aka fall asleep in the lazyboy. This was a 2 birds one stone deal. He got parenting cred from Mom (go on to bed, honey) and a good night’s nap in the lazyboy until I drifted home.
Miss you Dad. Source
The Memory I’ll Never Forget
I’m a dad, but this story is about my dad.
It was the summer before my last year at college. A friend of mine got a job across country and he decided to take the opportunity to see as much of America as possible before he had to start work. He asked me to come along. It was going to be a month long road trip. We’d contacted a few friends and relatives along the way where we could crash, the company was paying for gas and 5 nights hotel, and we brought along a tent for the days we didn’t have a place to stay. I’d saved up a little money at my summer job.
The night before we left, my dad was sitting in his recliner reading the paper as always. I sat there on the couch watching TV.
Now, my dad was a very conservative man. Old school. The kind of “kids should be seen and not heard” parent. Not big on emotional displays. Frugal to a fault.
So after everyone else had turned in for the night, it was just me and him. He motioned me over, and pulled out an envelope he had hidden. Looked at me over his reading glasses and said “don’t tell your mother about this” as he handed me the envelope.
It was filled with money. Not a lot by today’s standards but a lot in 1986 and without a doubt more money than I’d ever seen my dad carry. I sat down and said “I don’t know what to say.”
He responded “have fun” and went back to his newspaper.
He died six months later. That moment was the last real one on one interaction I had with my father. A little while after he’d died, my mom was going through his dresser drawer when she found his stash. Apparently my dad had been squirreling away cash for years. Walking around money for when he went on one of his many fishing trips. He dipped into it so that I’d have some walking around money on my trip. Source
Fishing Is For The Boys
Went fishing in questionable conditions. Left the harbor in 6-8 foot waves in a 19′ boat. Probably shouldn’t have gone out at all in retrospect.
Had a great day off fishing in the lee of a point.
Start to head home and things have deteriorated big time. Going home in 10-12′ waves, with big ones hitting 14′. Struggling to even make it through them.
All this is happening in late November in the north Atlantic. Bad fucking news if anything goes wrong. No one else is out there to help us.
My dad tells me at one point “Take your life jacket off. It won’t help out here, it will just make the inevitable take longer. We make it home or we don’t. I love you.”
To this day, that’s the only time I have been scared on a boat, and I have been in some serious situations.
When we made it back he said “never tell your mom what I told you. That is between you and I.”
So yeah that’s my craziest don’t tell mom story.
Edit: first thanks for the gold I guess.
Second this happened off Montauk point in a ripping ebb (current going out quickly) so the if anything happened we would be a mile offshore within a few minutes. We were on the VHF with some friends on shore but the reality of the situation is that no one short of a helicopter will be fast enough to get there before you go hypothermic (water was in the mid 50’s and air in the mid 40’s). And even with a helicopter it would be highly unlikely that we get found in those waves.
Last I’m not gonna stand up for being out there in those conditions, it wasn’t smart, but to be fair we left in very acceptable conditions with a forecast saying the winds would be calming down. For us 6-8’s are not outlandish at all, and I will go fishing any day of the week in that. And when we went out the breeze was going with the tide, so the waves were much longer. We fished underneath the cliffs at the point all day listening to NOAA still tell us the wind was dying. We didn’t know it had picked up until we rounded the point to go home and realized not only had the breeze picked up but when the tide switched they were not going against each other so the waves were standing much more vertical.
Oh forgot to add that yes my dad is a total badass. He has been in conditions much worse than that, and understands the realities of being offshore. He’s always taught me that you have to respect the ocean and once you don’t, you’re dead. Source
The Sugar Bugs Make A Comeback
One night I was enjoying a small bit of ice cream after my four year old daughter went to bed. She came downstairs and ‘caught’ me. So I offered her a small bite, but since she was supposed to be in bed, I said “don’t tell mom.” She assured me she wouldn’t. My wife wouldn’t have cared anyway but it was a fun little game to play.
After she went up to bed and I was down on the couch, she snuck in to the master bedroom where mom was resting. She told mom that I had let her have some ice cream, and she was afraid of “sugar bugs” so could she please brush her teeth again.
My wife just laughed at me the next day. Little shit ratted me out to brush her teeth, something she doesn’t like doing anyway. Source
Playing Hooky With Dad
When I was ten years old my dad came to my school before noon and told the principal that I had a doctors appointment. I had no idea he was coming at all, and seeing him in my class was a bit of a shock. He then told my teacher I have to go to the doctors, and I was believing that I was actually going to the doctors. We ended up going to a baseball game for the whole afternoon. My mom was out of town for a couple of days and my dad told me to never tell her that he got me to play hookey from school. Source
Dads Just Know
I was once a resourceful young lad and would ride bikes with a friend to the recycle center behind some stores. We would jump in the magazines bin and pull out all the playboys, hustlers, sports illustrated swimsuit edition, and well, anything with pictures of girls.
Sometimes we sold them to our middle school peers and as fate would have it, some kid ratted me out when he got caught with it. My mom launched an all out search for the pornos. She found somewhere near 200 (about 50% of the loot). They were all on the dining room table when I got home from school. Mom wouldn’t even talk to me and just said “wait until your father gets home”.
A couple hours later, I get yelled at by both parents, grounded for a month, no tv, no phone, no friends, etc. When I wouldn’t give up the names of kids I sold to, I got an extra month of restrictions.
The next night I found a playboy under my pillow with a post it note that said “200 is excessive, but so is 2 months restriction to your room. Here is 1. Hide it better and don’t tell your mother.” Source
Kids Do The Darndest Things
So I’m working on an extension to our house, building in the garage. My wife has to pop out to the shops and leaves my youngest (at the time six) and her cousin (five) in my care. We’re putting up plasterboard and the brick layers are working, but I still try and check on them regularly.
Suddenly I realize there is silence from upstairs where they were playing. Parents, you know the silence I’m talking about. The lack of sound that means your kids are doing something they shouldn’t. I call out to them. No response. Fuck. Run upstairs and they’re not in the room they were playing in. Call out again. There’s a muffled response from our bedroom, as the door is closed.
I burst through that door like an NFL linebacker and there they are. Sitting in the middle of our bed, with my wife’s makeup arrayed around them. They are covered in the stuff. Lipstick smeared all over their faces. There is foundation ground into our brilliant white duvet that my wife loves.
I grab a bag of wet wipes and get to work. Five minutes and I’m able to remove 99% of the crap off their faces. Then I banish them to the play room and take the duvet and all the sheets and put them in the wash. Toss in the bottom of the bin one of my wife’s compacts that has had all the powder lost from it (she has others).
Once that is done I head to the playroom. They’re looking at me, they know they’re in trouble. I crouch down in front of them. “Listen girls….do you want to do a sleepover tonight?” (sleepovers are their most favorite thing ever). “YES!” they squeal. “Ok…we can do that, but ONLY if you don’t tell your mothers about playing with the makeup. If you do that, you’ll get in trouble and you won’t be allowed a sleepover.” They both agree solemnly and then go back to celebrating their unexpected bounty.
I go back downstairs and return to work. Wife arrives home about 10 mins later. Shortly thereafter she comes downstairs. “Why did you put the duvet and sheets in the wash? I only changed them yesterday?” I look puzzled. “Sorry, I thought they always got washed on Saturday, I was just trying to help you out. Oh, by the way I promised the girls they could have a sleepover here tonight, hope that is ok?” Wife thinks I am sweet for helping out with the laundry, sleepover is 100% ok.
They never told. There were no marks on the duvet. Wife thought she lost her compact somewhere. Source
For literally a year, my mom was under the impression that elementary classes ended at 5 instead of 3. Each day, my dad would pick me up from school at 3, which is at the water’s edge, and take me two miles down to cross the river and play at a MASSIVE park for 2 hours. Then we’d go home and do normal family stuff like listen to mom and dad fight while I play some Spiderman 2 in the freedom of my room. Source
The Swearing Sailor
This is going to get lost, but whatever. Okay, my 9 year old daughter and I were watching God’s of Egypt.
My wife and son (5) had the sense to abandon that stink-hole of a movie early on. They went and watched something else.
So my daughter and I are watching and she says to me “Daddy, can I say bad words-just until the movies over. I won’t tell mommy.”
Intrigued I said sure, expecting her to say ‘shit’.
That was not to be. Almost every other word was ‘fucking’.
A sample sentence:
“Why doesn’t this fucking guy use his fucking wings to just fucking fly there?”
The first time she said the word she looked at me and paused. I feigned shock and horror and she said ‘but you said it was okay…’
After the movie her extreme potty mouth went away. Source
The Ultimate Bully
My wife or I will write notes and put them in our 9 year old son’s lunch box most days. One day my wife’s note was found by a boy named Max in my son’s class and read aloud to his table. Needless to say my son came home quite embarrassed. Since I’m currently unemployed I went to have lunch with my son at school the next day. Towards the end of lunch, he points the boy out to me. We have always preached turning the other cheek, telling the teacher, etc, but something about this kid’s face made all those teachings fly out of window. I told my son “now listen, I’m going to tell you something you can say to him but you cannot tell your mother”. My son replies that he’ll keep our secret so I give him a pretty mild burn and tell him to use it discretely. Fast forward to that evening and my wife is signing the daily conduct sheet upon which is written “Your son came into the classroom after lunch and yelled to the entire class that Max’s mother doesn’t send him notes because she doesn’t love him”. He didn’t rat me out to the teacher but I fell on the sword for him at home. Source
Every Man For Himself?
Im not the dad in this situation, but his son.
When I was 17, the summer before my senior year in high school I was helping my father and his friend “Hot Rod” clear out 13 acres of land in a bootleg excavation contract. We had a pile of white oak that we needed to burn that was the size of a small house. Dad and Hot Rod had gone to a small engine repair shop and traded who knows what for a 55 gallon drum of “used oil” that they poured into a loader bucket and dumped on top. They weren’t aware that the oil also had gasoline mixed in it, so my father sent me to the top of the pile with a torch to light the oil and jump off. Nope. August in Virginia is not only hot as hell but also humid. So the gasoline vapors had collected inside of the foliage and exploded, engulfing me in a flash of flame. I got blown off the pile of brush, onto the ground and immediately felt like I had bad sunburn, until I saw my hand smouldering and ran to the “water cooler” and shoved my arm into it. That then sent lightning through my arm, and helped me realize my face was also burnt.
My father, quick to react mustered all of his medical training into one sentance and 3 handouts. “Chug this beer, take this motrin (800) and smoke this bowl” I had known forever my dad smoked pot but it was sort of an unspoken pact. We didn’t talk about it.
Needless to say, I get this speech. “Son, now we can call the ambulance, but they’re gonna call the cops, and the man is going to come out here and probably lock me and Hot Rod up, it’ll probably take them 45 minutes to get home, and your mom is going to beat my fucking ass to a pulp, so if you don’t think you need to call the man, I’m just going to take you home”
It’s about an hour home, and on the way I started crying (obviously in shock) about how I didn’t want my mom to get mad at me. That’s all I kept saying. Dad really didn’t say much, because that’s just how he is. We pull into the driveway, he says “you stay out here, Im going to go talk to your mother” and after a few minutes, he sticks his head out the front door and waves me inside. Mom didn’t say a word, she acted like everything was as right as the rain. She had to cut my shirt off of me, and I hopped in the shower, then was trying to eat a bowl of cereal, but the right side of my face was swolen shut, so I was just making a mess… mom come’s in the kitchen
“Hey baby, so…you think we should head to the ER?” I said sure, and we went, mom was parking her car, and I was trying to fill out the ER paperwork with my left hand, people all around me were looking at me like I was the spawn of satan (had no idea what I looked like) got seen, 2nd and 3rd degree burns, administered demoral, went home, don’t remember a week of my life. Mom said she would come into my room, restart the Dave Matthews Band dvd in my player when she heard the menu music, put a percocet in my mouth, and 3 times a day feed me soggy honey bunches of oats.
I wake up, see myself in the mirror for the first time, had half a beard on the left side of my face, and the right side looked like extra crispy from KFC. I started crying, not thinking I would ever be the beautiful young man I once was…
Mom comes in the bathroom, hugs me, and says “well son, next time you are filling a chainsaw make sure it’s not running”
That sonofabitch pulled a dont tell mom to save his own ass and made me look like the idiot in the process!! Im not mad at him, never was. We joke around about it still, he always shuts up when I tell him to make sure x y or z is turned off before he goes to fill it up, i have a little scarring on my hand where the burn was the worst, but nothing you don’t notice when it’s not cold outside or I don’t have a tan.
TLDR: My dad accidently set me on fire and lied to my mom to save his ass.Source
Ashes To Ashes
Wife was out running some errands and I was watching our 17 month son. Usually when we take a shower we bring him into the bathroom with us, empty out the draws that aren’t baby proofed and let him run around in and out of the bathroom to our bedroom (master bath, bedroom door closed).
We aren’t smokers, but we do smoke pot. I totally forgot that I put the ashtray in my nightstand (we were selling the couch in my media room, and didn’t want a ashtray sitting there when people came to look at it). Halfway through the shower I realized I haven’t heard any sounds from my son in a few minutes (any parent knows, silence is the sound of trouble), so I grab a towel and walk into my bedroom and what do I see? My son covered in ashes. On his clothes, his hands, his face, even in his mouth.
I bring him into the bathroom, clean him up, change his clothes and jokingly tell him not to tell mommy (he’s 17 months, he knew like 4 words at the time).
Fast forward to about an hour later when my wife comes home. We are sitting in the living room BSing, when my son walks right up to her, sticks his hand into his diaper and pulls out a hand full of ashes and throws it on the ground. The look on her face was a mixture of horror and confusion. Source