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The Lies My Children Tell Me

Photograph by Twenty20

Of course I want to be a parent who takes my child seriously (I remember clearly how annoying it was as a child when adults ignored my comments or requests). But after a few years of parenting, I've learned that some comments are almost always complete falsehoods.

Here are things I've learned are usually lies when they come out my children's mouths:

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1. "I don't need to go to the bathroom!"

This one is always said with an exclamation point, emphasizing how much they do. not. need. to. go. And never will. Even if you're about to leave on a long road trip. Even if they just drank two glasses of milk. Even if they haven't gone in hours. It's guaranteed that within five minutes of leaving the proximity of a bathroom, they'll need to go right this minute (and that one, unfortunately, probably won't be a lie).

2. "I don't need a jacket."

Until, of course, they desperately need one and just want to whine incessantly about how much they're freezing and ruin the whole outing. (Ahem. Do I sound like I may have just experienced this one very very recently?) Not only do my children insist they won't need one, but they are incensed if I have the nerve to bring one in the car "just in case." If you see someone furtively stuffing jackets under the front seat of the car, that's me.

3. "Don't bring that stroller. I'll walk the whole time!"

No child in the history of my family has ever actually walked the whole time, at least not without serious whining. I keep thinking I should take the second seat off my stroller since my older two are 5 and 3, and then invariably, both of them are clamoring to sit during our outings. Maybe instead of removing that second seat, I should look into a third one.

4. "I won't like it! I don't want to try it."

Every dinner, every night. It's like there is a playbook for small children and the very first rule is that you must reject every food, every time. I don't know what the punishment for eating food without complaint is, but it must be terrible because my children aren't risking it for anything. (Note that this does not apply to anything with sugar).

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5. "I'm not tired!"

Usually this phrase is uttered within five minutes of them passing out in the carseat, stroller or the couch. In fact, a good rule of thumb I've learned is that the more times they say they aren't tired, the faster they'll be completely zonked. If I were a gambler, I'd be more than willing to place bets on it.

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