Every parent knows that, sometimes, you just have to lie to your kids. Whether it be to avoid a public meltdown or simply to make the day go by a little bit more easily, white lies are the bread and butter of smart parenting. But what happens when the kids later find out about the lies that they were told?
(Content edited for clarity).
"When I was like 3 or 4, I got a toy telephone car thing that lit up and said things when you pressed the numbers for my birthday. I played with it all day and I didn't even question the fact that my mom didn't let me take it out of the box. Three days later, I couldn't find it anywhere and when I asked my mom she told me that they had to return it to the store because it was infested with ants. Being a kid I didn't think much of it and I just went back to watching sesame street or whatever.
A few years ago, I told my mom I still remembered that story and she told me what really happened. My family had just come over to the States from Nepal and we barely had any money. My dad was getting a degree at university, working a job, and paying for our bills and his tuition at the same time. Anyway, it turns out that my parents couldn't actually afford any presents for my birthday, but they wanted me to at least have something to play with, even for a little while. They bought me that toy so I would be happy and then had to return it a few days later. Apparently, my mom left the room and cried for a solid hour after I asked her what happened to it when I was a kid. I had to hold back my own tears when they told me about it."
"I don't like mushrooms...the texture of them creeps me out, and I'm not huge on the taste. When my mom used to make lasagna, I'd notice mushrooms in it and immediately refuse to continue eating it---even though I couldn't necessarily taste them. Anyways, she tells me that it's OK cause they're 'lasagna mushrooms.' For years anytime I would eat something and see mushrooms, she'd always assure me they were lasagna mushrooms.
Fast forward like 5 years, I'm at a restaurant and was ordering something with mushrooms in it. Sure enough I said, 'Can you make sure those are lasagna mushrooms?' My parents died of laughter and had to explain in front of the waiter the evil lie they fed me for years."
"I used to have a cat when I was about three named Sia and I loved her. She was a Siamese-looking cat and I had her for like two years. When I was five, she got really sick while I was at school and my parents took her to the vet. After about two weeks of asking my parents how Sia was, she finally came home.
'Now, Sia's going to be a bit pale because she's sick and she may act a bit funny. Being in the hospital is scary!' That's what my parents told me.
So Sia came home, and she was a lot paler than I remembered. Almost greyish white. She also climbed behind the sofa, refused to come out, and hissed at anyone who went near her. She eventually calmed down but didn't sleep in my room as per usual. She slept on the rafters in the basement instead.
Turns out my dad started up the lawn mower and Sia was somehow inside the lawn mower near the blade and...well...bad kitty times happened really quickly. They replaced Sia with one they found at the shelter and being a little kid, I didn't even notice."
"I had a medical condition that made me super constipated and I would have to drink about a gallon and a half of this weird salty 'lemon lime' fluid flush thing every day after soccer practice. Turns out, my mom would switch my lemon-lime Gatorade with this intestinal lubricant, and I would down a bottle before I knew what was what. She also spiked it with this powdery laxative called Miralax. Anyway, I discovered her deception when I was goofing around about an hour after practice and the dam burst. I pooped everywhere. I mean down my legs, filled my shoes---it even got up my back somehow. It was the single most embarrassing moment of my life, and my mom confessed later that night that she had been pumping me full of laxative in the hope that I would unclog. We told my friends I had food poisoning and I got to spend a week at home, but still. Turns out it was an issue with my spinal cord, and now after surgery, I'm no longer a poop time-bomb."
"When I was a kid we would take long family road trips to Ohio to visit my grandparents. I absolutely loved these trips - my grandparents had all sorts of cool stuff in the house, two big apple trees in the front yard, and they lived next to a train track.
My grandpa also loved Golden Grahams. Every time my brothers and I would visit, he would open his cupboard to reveals four or five boxes of Golden Grahams, explaining how much he loved them and that he got some extra boxes just because we were visiting. I always thought it was so cool that my grandpa - who was, you know, old - had the same favorite cereal as me. I would always feast on cereal every time we went to visit.
Of course, years after he died, I was relating this story to someone and the obvious dawned on me. Later I asked my mother if grandpa even liked Golden Grahams, and she got this big smile on her face, looked a little sad, and said 'No... but he knew you did.' Broke my heart. Still the story I tell when I remember him."
"On my 21st birthday, my parents took me and my housemates out for an early dinner (so as not to interfere with the festivities planned for later that night), and my dad flipped my world upside down.
When I was 10 and my brother was 7, we took a family trip to the Liberty Science Center, which, for those of you not in the NJ area, is essentially a neat multi-story playhouse full of science-related activities designed for kids. They have an IMAX theater attached that plays interesting documentaries, for a while they had a 'touch tunnel' where you would crawl through an extended area in complete darkness, and several demonstrations on different floors with everything from insects to aquatic life to the classic shattering-a-banana-frozen-with-liquid-nitrogen routine. To my parents' credit, they had me interested in science from a very young age, so this was a real treat for my brother and me; however, since we were still 10 and 7, we couldn't stand to be stuck in a car for more than an hour without bickering with each other. After fighting almost the entire way there, my dad lays down the law. 'If I hear one more word out of either of you, I'm turning the car around.' A deafening silence reigned over the rest of the car ride until we are literally pulling in to the parking lot when one of us (I cannot remember who) said something snarky, and my dad, true to his word, turned that car around, and we drove all the way home.
Fast forward to my 21st birthday, that story happened to get brought up, as I tend to use it as an example of how, while my dad was really cool, he was not one to mess with. My dad then revealed a life-changing secret that only he and my mother had known. They never intended to actually drive all the way home after the long ride. They just wanted us to get the message. However, my dad misinterpreted some of the traffic signs and ended up back on the Garden State Parkway, which has few and far between opportunities to turn around, so he just took us home. The entire thing was an accident, but they played it off as intentional for the sake of their parental authority. They did take us back the following weekend, and as you might expect, we were the most behaved children on the planet for the next few days."
"When I was in kindergarten, all of my friends would go to Disney World and talk about all of the rides they went on. I was really jealous because I had never been (my parents didn't want to pay for a plane ride from Massachusetts to Florida). Every day I would cry and cry, just begging to go. One day in the middle of the week they finally gave in and said we would go. I was psyched. We went on the horse that goes back and forth and got necklaces. We also saw a lot of couches and chairs and other furniture. The next day in class, I told all of my friends that I had gone to Disney World yesterday. They were amazed that I only went in one day. Turns out we actually went to Jordan's Furniture, and my parents told me it was Disney World."
"A few times when my brothers and I were young, my mom would 'turn' all the lights off in the house. She would tell us to go get our sleeping bags and bring them in the living room while she put a couple of tents together. She then would get candles and put them in a small pile and call it a fire. This little maneuver was called 'camping inside.' We weren't allowed to watch TV or play any video games because we were camping. She read us Goosebumps stories and we played flashlight tag. It was always fun.
Cut to when I was first starting out in the world. I was having financial trouble and was consoling in my mom for comfort. She tells me that she's been down that road and you will always pull through.
I ask her to explain. She says that when we were younger, sometimes she couldn't afford to pay the power bill and that when it was apparent that it would be shut off, then she knew it was time to go 'indoor camping.' She did that so that none of us would ever worry or think that we wouldn't be okay."
"When I was young my parents brought home this very fancy maple syrup from Toronto, and I fell in love with it. We used it a few times, and then they told me it had run out so we were using a normal version like Aunt Jemima's or something. Apparently, I threw a temper tantrum.
Today we made waffles while I'm visiting home for a week and my mom mentioned how she would just put Aunt Jemima's back into the fancy maple syrup bottle and how I'd always say something like, 'See mom? I can taste the difference.'"
"Wasn't really a bomb my mom dropped on me, but a bomb I unwittingly opened.
I was trying to get a job at several places when I was 16. I was pretty tech savvy at the time, and genuinely thought I could get a job working a help desk for a power company, a bank, and a few other places.
I started to check the mail every day to see if I had gotten a letter since I wasn't sure they'd send me a letter, email, or call. I got a few letters from the places I had applied to, and I excitedly opened them.
They were bills of significant debt, all defaulted on. She said she'd pay them back and close it. I believed her, so I dropped it. I didn't know how credit worked back then, and I didn't know what extremes my mother would go to.
A few years later (several years after graduating and entering the workforce), I try to get credit on my own and get flat denied by everyone. I got letters from collectors representing the companies that my mom had opened accounts with under my name. They said the bills were never paid on. I claimed identity theft and managed to get the responsibility shifted off of myself and onto my mom, after filing a police report and talking to several companies over the phones across the span of several months. All of them said that she opened the account in my name by claiming she was my wife."
"Prepare your minds, this is a story about a 12-year-old child that desperately wanted a pet mouse. I begged and begged and then finally my father took me shopping for the perfect mouse. I named him Basil, and he was a cute little thing. But poor little Basil needed lots and lots of play time which I couldn't give. So I bought him a female friend. He became a violator overnight. And would like to chew on her ears. So I thought to myself, 'Maybe another mouse will help.' So in goes another female the following weekend. Now I have two female mice get repeatedly violated by (this time he was obese and lazy, except when he got his little mouse hard on) Alpha Mouse. I was confused and angry at him and he didn't listen to me nor did he stop. So I managed to get my father to buy me a big fish tank. Maybe two meters in length, one meter high. And I separated the tank with two-inch thick cardboard. Too late, they were pregnant. Anyway, a couple weeks later I had too many baby mice and Mr. Basil chewed his way through the cardboard and was a bad father to the baby mice. I didn't want them to get pregnant as well...
I got home from school one Friday afternoon and I noticed my Catholic family of mice were all gone! Except for Basil, he even had the whole fish tank to himself. My mother gave me around $30 and said that she sold them all to the pet shop for $1 each. I was stoked. First of all, I had $30 and second, they were all going to go to lovely homes.
Fast forward twelve years: It was Christmas and we were laughing at the time I had delivered 28 odd baby mice, and my lovely mother dropped the bomb that she had put them all in the freezer to die."
"My mom used to turn the clocks forward when I had sleepovers at her house. She'd run in to change the clock from 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. while we were distracted and we'd be amazed at how fast time had gone. We would stay up 'really late' and then fall asleep, confident in our 'coolness.' She actually got to go to sleep at a decent hour without having to tell us all to shut up six times in the middle of the night.
Now that I am older and value my sleep, I think she was a genius."
"When my brother was four or five he was still using a pacifier or 'binky' as he called it. My parents, seeing how it was a little weird for their child to still be using a pacifier, cut up all the pacifiers in the house. My brother was wrecked and in the midst of his binky withdrawal, he asked my mom what happened. She told him the squirrels in our yard got into the house and chewed up his pacifier. For the next year, my brother could often be seen out on our front lawn yelling at the squirrels for taking his binkies. He has hated squirrels and all small animals since then and never understood why."
"When I was a kid we had a pet bird, Bart the Bird, and he could talk. For years I recalled with great fondness talking to Bart and Bart answering back. Well, not too long ago, I asked my dad what type of bird Bart was. Surely he was some form of parrot and I just never put it together because I was so young. My dad then broke the news that Bart never talked. Instead, he would stand not far off in the other room or a few steps behind me and talk for the bird. I don't think I've ever felt the carpet be pulled so quickly from under my feet. You don't know how many people I've told about Bart the talking bird."
"My big bro had an old Honda, I forgot the model of car, but it had a button right in the center console on my side, which my brother said was the 'turbo button'. We'd be cruising and he would eventually say 'We're at a crawl, maybe you should push the turbo button.' (I once asked why he couldn't press it, to which he simply said, 'Well heck, I can't take my hands off the wheel and turbo at the same time, we'd wreck!' Sound reasoning.) I pressed that button like a champ, and when I did he would just speed up; I never realized that design on the button resembled a car's antenna and was always too excited to notice it going up or down. Went that way until he got another car. I asked where the turbo button was in here and he said 'Ohh, well ummm, it's automatic.' I lost my first job that day."
"Every time we went to the hairdresser, they would mess my hair up. At the time, I really preferred long hair, and they'd always cut it way too short and in styles I didn't like. Eventually, I decided that all professional hairdressers were hugely incompetent and didn't listen, and I was going to take matters into my own hands. I've been cutting my own hair since I was 15. I'm 23 now and actually pretty darn good at it.
So, just a few months ago, I was over at their place for dinner, and my mom casually mentions that she'd always told the hairdressers to ignore what I said and cut it a certain way.
I was floored! I'd lost faith in an entire industry of people! I had had awful hair for years and years, between their terrible cuts and mine before I knew what I was doing! What's weird was that she never did anything else like that. She never told me what to wear, how to shave, anything at all. That's half of why the hair thing took me absolutely by surprise.
It probably changed the course of my life in some way!"
"When I was 7, I used to live on a big farm in the middle of nowhere. On this farm lived myself and my family as well as my uncle and aunt in a separate house. My uncle always used to have unusual animals, my favorite was his rat, named Gundwane (translates to 'rat' in Zulu...very creative).
I loved this rat. Every day after school, I would run over to his place and play with the rat. I would take it outside on the lawn, on the boat on our lake, up trees...everything. I REALLY loved this rat. Whenever I had to put it back in its cage, I would hesitate, I've never liked animals being in cages, and putting my best little buddy in one was heartbreaking for me.
So one day I came home from school and went straight to my uncle's place to liberate my best bud for a couple hours or so. I get there and he's gone...huh? What gives? My uncle told me he took him out of the cage so he could give it (the cage) a clean, and while he was hosing it down outside, Gundwane escaped into the forest nearby. I was shattered, but at that moment I thought 'YES! He's escaped; he's free!' My parents said the same thing. This really helped with the loss, and until a year ago (it's been 23 years now), I still believed he had escaped and lived a normal rat life in the forest.
Well, that was all a lie apparently. A year ago it came up in conversation, and I said, 'I wonder how long Gundwane lived in the forest for?' There was a silence...then Mum and Dad started chuckling. They told me my uncle did in fact take Gundwane out the cage to clean it and put him in a bucket so he wouldn't run away. Next minute, one of our Jack Russell's (who hunted wild rats all the time) came up to the bucket after sniffing Gundwane out and tipped it over. Gundwane apparently bolted out towards the forest to escape the murderous grasp of the dog, but alas, he got mauled to death before he got 2 meters from his safety bucket.
I was 22 when I found this out, BOMBSHELL. Messed up my whole week... I miss you Gundwane!"