When it’s Good to Lie

When it’s Good to Lie


“MOTHER: It’s broccoli, dear.

CHILD: I say it’s spinach, and I say the hell with it.”

E.B.White (1899-1985)

Cartoon caption in the ‘New Yorker’

Yep, you read that title correct it is good to lie. Now you might be askin’ yourself what lie is Olive and Tilly speakin’ about. I am talking about telling your little precious angels lies. Still confused, please continue reading.

Tilly: Sometimes it’s about survival – theirs.

I was in the grocery store the other day picking up a few things, that I needed and a few that I did not need. When as usual a toddler started crying, the mother started assuring the toddler that he did not have to eat that. She comforted him by repeating that as his mother she knew “just what he liked.”

Tilly: Mothers (and fathers) do – doesn’t mean you should give it to them.

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

Tilly: I had a number of sneaky tricks to get vegetables down our children. 

Y’all 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 continued by saying she would never lie to her child.  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 Clause or the Easter Bunny, and in years to come are you going to tell him about the tooth fairy?” The glare from her eyes put a sarcastic grin on this old face, and I slowly turned and rolled my cart away.

Tilly: Parents lie all the time, intentionally or otherwise.

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.

Tilly: they can twist those silver cords and have you tap-dancing to their tune.

So remember the next time the lil bugger 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: I blitzed the vegetables into the gravy. They loved it. Also had a counting game – they had to eat ten peas, two pieces of broccoli, six matchsticks of carrots – except that before they were mathematically inclined, I always lost count and had to start again …Also said that when they were invited to eat in friends’ homes, they had to try whatever was placed in front of them.

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

Tilly: One son will no longer eat raw tomatoes – cooked is fine – but they eat every other vegetable.

Olive and Tilly








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4 thoughts on “When it’s Good to Lie

  1. A number of years ago one of my sons high school friends was over for dinner. I noticed he did not touch any of the many vegetables on the table. I told him he would get scurvy to which he replied “If God intended for us to eat them He would not of buried them”. I almost choked I was laughing so hard!!!

  2. Well, the little white lies do come in handy at times, and I do agree with both you ladies. However, I’ve known several people where once they get started, like alcoholics, they can’t stop and before they know it they are spiting the three great lies. I’m sure you’ve run across them at one or more times. (If you don’t know what they are, message me.)
    Very great blog.

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