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9 Things I Can't Lie About Now That My Kid Can Read

Photograph by Amy Wruble

My kid’s kindergarten teacher is teaching her how to read. Which should be awesome... but it's also kind of the worst. Allow me to explain: I have always depended on my daughter’s inability to decipher the written word as a key parenting strategy—my best defense against all the things I don’t want her to do. Now I’m so screwed.

I mean sure, I'm also super proud when I watch my six-year-old adorably sounding out the words in her easy reader chapter books, but her new skill set is really messing with my mom game.

Here are just some of the things I won't be able to lie about anymore thanks to all the reading:

Kids’ Menus

“Gee honey, this restaurant doesn’t even have French fries. All the entrees come with a side of fruit and a glass of milk. Weird. Nope, they don’t have dessert. That says ‘desert,’ I swear. You don’t want to eat sand, do you?"

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Hours of Operation

“Take one last ride on the swings because the park is closing in five minutes. Yes, I know it’s still light out. It says here they have to clean it tonight, so everybody’s got to go home. Says it right here, on the sign, see?”

Bedtime Stories

“And… the end. Yes, it is strange that we never found out what happens to Pinkalicious. I guess it’s a cliffhanger. Maybe there's a sequel? Let’s get you to bed!”

It's called '50 Shades of Crayons,' honey, and it's about a young woman who wants to be an artist and draw pictures of neckties.

Secret Stuff

(To husband) “Babe I bought some C-A-K-E we can eat after the kids go to bed.” (To child) "I was spelling 'kale,' honey. I know you think it’s yucky. That’s why we’re waiting until you go to bed.”

Bad Language

“You’re wondering about that guy’s funny t-shirt? It says ‘ship happens.’ Like when you go on a cruise. Ship happens.”


“What a bummer, we must have forgotten to record 'PAW Patrol'. I guess you’ll just have to watch HGTV with Mommy.”

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The Scary News Crawl on TV

"It's talking about all the news happening in the world today. Like, there's a parade. And the weather is supposed to be sunny. Let's see if we have any PAW Patrol..."

Mommy's Nightstand Reading

"It's called '50 Shades of Crayons,' honey, and it's about a young woman who wants to be an artist and draw pictures of neckties."

Some might say I've been relying too much on lies. I call it creative problem resolution. But since I can't fudge the written word anymore, it looks like I'm going to have to switch tactics. I figure I've got about two more years until the kid learns Pig Latin, so until then, I bought some INE-WAY and I'm going to open it tonight.


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