When it’s good to Lie

If Cauliflower can become pizza you can do anything.


Yep, you read that title correctly: it is good to lie. Now you might be asking yourself what lies are Olive and Tilly speaking about.  I am talking about telling your little precious angels lies. Still confused? Please continue reading.

Tilly: Oh boy, that’s a hornets’ nest! Show me a parent who has never lied to their offspring!

I was in the grocery store the other day, picking up a few things that I needed and a few that I didn’t need.  A toddler started hollering, the mother assuring the toddler in honeyed tones that he did not have to eat that. She again comforted him by repeating that, as his mother, she knew “just what he liked.”

Tilly: Setting up maternal slavery or what?

Now folks, I am a patient person.

Tilly: I am not.

Now y’all have had one of those mornings when you can only take so much, blame it on the lack of coffee or the screaming brat. Rolling my cart closer to hers, I whispered to this new mom, “Just lie to him.” Continuing with, “That’s how I got my son to eat all his veggies.”

Tilly: One for that lady: ‘It is possible to educate children in the pleasures of food; and that doing so will set the children up for a lifetime of healthy eating. Feeding is learning.’ – Bee Wilson

You would think that this young mother would be happy to take this advice from an old broad. Hell no, she didn’t want my advice and not so politely told me to butt out. She added  that she would never lie to her child.

Tilly: Now that’s a big fat porky. (Pork pie = lie. Cockney slang.)

Rolling my cart away from her and her screaming brat, I stopped and turned back towards this young mother. Whispering again I asked, “Have you told him about Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny, and in years to come are you going to tell him about the Tooth Fairy?”

Tilly: Hey, don’t knock it – I used to hear Santa’s sleigh bells when he landed on our roof. I’d believe in the Easter Bunny now if it guaranteed lots of chocolate. Not eager to lose my pegs, so the Tooth Fairy can stay home.

Her glare put a big ol” sarcastic grin on this face, and I slowly turned and rolled my cart away.

Tilly: Bet it was smug, too.

Now just what lies do you tell, setting aside the usual ones mentioned above? First, you have to accept that you, with everyone else on planet Earth have given birth to a little con artist. That’s right, a con artist. Trust me, they have you pegged the moment you look into those tiny eyes and smile. So don’t fall asleep, that’s when they get ya. They will lay awake and plot their next move.

So remember, the next time, the lil brat tells you, “I don’t like that.” Here is what you tell them, “Gee I’m sorry to hear that, cuz I’m fixing it this time because you loved it so much the last time I fixed …” and name the veggie.

Tilly: Cheating is also allowed. All kids love gravy – blitz the cooked veg with some stock (chicken or beef or vegetable), make it the colour they like – red or brown is usually preferred – and don’t them.  Ditto soup – if it looks like tomato soup, they’ll down it without querying.

We used to say to the boys that if they were invited elsewhere, they had to try whatever the meal was. Then they could legitimately say they didn’t like it. When they tried that at home … I used to say they had to have five mouthsful, and count on their behalf. Naturally, being a mathematical non-contender, I’d muddle one, four, three … and have to start all over again.

The ultimate tactic was ‘take it or leave it. It’s amazing what a child will eat without fuss when hungry. I read about a chap whose mother, if he said he didn’t like what she cooked, opened the window and threw it out for the cats, dogs, birds.

If you are wondering if I have put this into practice, you will have to take my word when I tell you today eats all veggies, including the evil peas. So go ahead and lie.

Tilly: So do ours. They have preferences but will eat what they are given when guests and choose what they want when in a restaurant. And they will always try new foods and presentations. Not so much baked beans … but I can only echo their yuks.

‘A child can’t get to like food they’ve never been offered.’ – Solid Starts.

Olive and Tilly

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  • Jerry Bell

    This blog is a little different than your others, but I enjoyed it very much. It brought back all if the little lies that I muttered in order to entice my progeny. It also reminded me of a showdown with my oldest son regarding the ghastly sweet peas. All he had to do was eat one bite. He heals those peas in his mouth for three and a half hours I tried to tell him he wouldn’t taste them anymore if he just swallowed. It took him so long. He did finally taste them but to this day he doesn’t eat them.

    • Olive

      So happy you enjoyed it and that it brought back such great memories… My son even today… still hates peas. But will eat them if I put them on the table. Mind you it is only a spoonful,but he does he them. Thank you for your comment.

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