Our Privacy/Cookie Policy contains detailed information about the types of cookies & related technology on our site, and some ways to opt out. By using the site, you agree to the uses of cookies and other technology as outlined in our Policy, and to our Terms of Use.


Oh Crap! My Toddler's Catching On To My Tricks!

Photograph by Twenty20

Ah, remember the sweet days of newborns when you could swear or cry at the drop of a hat and they’d have no idea what was going on? Their sweet little virgin ears and eyes can be an advantage to moms who are having trouble coping. I can recall the first time I spelled out a curse word. “Oh no, I’ve become that mom,” I thought.

Little did I know the depths to which I would stoop to pull the wool over my daughter’s eyes. Unfortunately, time is running short, and she’s catching on to my tricks. It’s now turned into a game of 20 questions where her interrogation will begin at the slightest provocation.

Here are just seven things I can no longer get away with doing:

1. Spelling out words

“Do you want to go get i-c-e-c-r-e-a-m?” my husband asks, spelling out the blasted word. “I want ice cream!” my daughter shouts excitedly, pumping her arms with enthusiasm. Well, now we have no choice. The spelling out of curse words is a little easier, she can’t piece those together yet, thank goodness. But she’ll still guilt me by asking, “Mommy, what are you spelling?” I randomly pick something that sounds similar, “Witch! Do you want to be a witch for Halloween?”

RELATED: Once Your Kid Learns to Read, Everything Changes

2. Lying about what I’m eating

I sneakily pop a bite-sized Snickers in my mouth and quickly hide the wrapper. “What are you eating, Mommy?” she asks. “A carrot,” I say, knowing she hates them. “Want one?” She shakes her head in disgust. Whew. Crisis averted.

3. Making up excuses

“You can’t have a bottle because we’re out of milk,” I tell her, since I’ve weaned her off. “Yes, we do,” she says in confusion. “It’s in the fridge. Here, I’ll show you.” She walks over and uses all her strength to pull open the door. “See!” she grins triumphantly. Two points for the toddler.

4. Getting away with haphazard meals

“What are we eating tonight?” she’ll ask me. Damn, dinner, again? Forgot about that. “How about mac and cheese?” I prompt, crossing my fingers. “We had that last night,” she whines. Honestly, what child doesn’t want to eat mac and cheese every night?

“Oh,” she narrows her eyes a little bit like she doesn’t believe me.

5. Talking in code

“Do you want take Evelyn to the you-know-what in town and go s-h-o-p-p-i-n-g?” I ask my husband. “What are you talking about?” Evelyn pipes up, looking back and forth between us. This is the question I get most often. If she feels at all left out or confused about the conversation, she simply must know what is being said. She obviously gets her nosiness from her mother. Try explaining a convo about "Bachelor in Paradise" to your toddler. “It’s a show where people go to fall in love,” I put it simply. “I want to watch it!” Nope.

RELATED: What a Long Hot Day With a Toddler is Really Like

6. Letting all my emotions show on my face

She can see my face in the rearview mirror. Someone cuts me off and I scowl, inwardly cursing the maniacal driver. “Mommy, what are you thinking about?” she asks. “Ummm, about how pretty the clouds are!” I quickly hide my anger and smile, pointing to the sky. “Oh,” she narrows her eyes a little bit like she doesn’t believe me. But then her eyes follow my finger, “They are pretty,” she concedes.

7. The iPhone trick

“There’s no service,” I’ll tell her when she asks to play a game. The first time I explained this I might as well have been speaking a foreign language. “Service?” she asks, saying the word slowly, testing it out. “It’s what makes the phone work. No service, no games.” It worked for awhile, until she saw me using it after I said there wasn’t any. “Service!” she says excitedly, pointing to my phone. “Can I have a game now please?” Sometimes I hate it when she uses manners, because it’s so much harder to tell her no. I’m waiting for the day when she figures out how to type in the four-digit passcode and unlock it by herself. I’ll be changing it faster than you can spell h-e-l-l n-o.

More from toddler