Humor, kids, Parenting

56 Reasons My Kids Can’t Eat Dinner

Mealtime with kids is always a big adventure. Most of the time, it is hellish. There is always a reason they don’t want to eat what I have made for them. I must admit, I am not the best cook in the world, but how bad can it actually be?

As an adult, this is all very confusing because, honestly, I can’t remember a time that I didn’t want to eat. In fact, I think about food all day long. Seriously, all day…I think about lunch, snack, what to have for dinner, treats…constantly. I’d even go so far as to say that my world kind of revolves around food. I have even been known not to attend events or gatherings because it interferes with a meal.

So, why can’t the kids just eat their dinner? As I mentioned, I am not a gourmet chef, but it’s like five green beans and cheese quesadilla. Just eat it. It’s pretty much the most non-offensive food known to man. It’s not like I am presenting them with a plate of balsamic-glazed salmon seared to perfection with a handmade lime drizzle. I mean honestly, it is cheese. I guess it is because kids are all about excuses. Those clowns have excuses for everything you can think of and can talk their way out of everything. Or, I really suck at melting cheese on tortillas and heating up chicken nuggets and green beans.

Here is a small sample of 56 excuses my kids give to not eat their dinner.

  1. I don’t like “it” (Doesn’t matter what “it” is; doesn’t matter if they at “it” yesterday)
  2. It looks funny (no, it‘s the same)
  3. It tastes different
  4. I’m not hungry
  5. I hate this food (lies)
  6. It is too crunchy
  7. It’s too soft
  8. It too spicy (It’s plain)
  9. I only eat peanut butter sandwiches, this is not a sandwich
  10. I’m busy
  11. My tummy hurts
  12. It’s too hot
  13. It’s too cold
  14. It’s not 98.5 degrees
  15. It’s not on your plate
  16. I only eat food on blue plates
  17. It’s not chicken nuggets
  18. Next day: It is chicken nuggets and I hate them
  19. I want cheese
  20. Not that cheese…idiot
  21. I want to go outside
  22. The dog ate it
  23. I’ll just have a snack later
  24. I’ll just have milk and a cracker
  25. I’m full (after drinking the milk and eating one cracker)
  26. I’m too tired to eat
  27. It smells gross
  28. It’s green
  29. Grandma makes it better
  30. It’s not yellow
  31. I hate rice
  32. I have a headache
  33. It’s not ham
  34. I’m in the middle of a Pokemon “battle” and I can’t come eat now
  35. It feels funny
  36. I hate your dinners
  37. It has too much butter (What? There is no such thing as too much butter)
  38. I must poop, this very instant
  39. I’m busy (um…you’re three, how busy can you be?)
  40. It feels funny
  41. I prefer candy
  42. It’s too whiteish
  43. It has something weird in it
  44. I want to sit next to mom or I can’t eat
  45. It’s dry
  46. It’s too wet
  47. It’s ugly
  48. I’m singing
  49. It’s yucky
  50. I’m sick
  51. It’s scary
  52. I want chips
  53. I’m cold
  54. I don’t to have to eat
  55. I have to pee
  56. The neighbors are out and they don’t have to eat

Before you judge my parenting tactics, I know that eating a balanced, healthy meal is important. In fact, even they know that. But I can’t force feed them at every meal. Sometimes, I just have to pick my battles. If they want to cry and gag because of the offensive cheese, then there is nothing I can do about it. Eventually they will grow out of it, right? Soon they will be daydreaming of the next snack or meal like their mama. I long for the days that I could resist a tasty meal.

Kids, food rules! You’ll figure that out eventually!

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Humor, kids, Parenting

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

We have already established that parent’s lie to their kids sometimes. We can come up with some really ridiculous things when trying to convince them to do something, avoid a meltdown, or even just because we are tired. But our kids will try their best to pull one over on us as well, especially when they are trying to get out of something they don’t want to do. I guess they learned from the best!

Kids say the darndest things…especially when they are trying to get away with something. They learn early on that they can get away with more if they just bend the facts a little. Truth is, children probably lie for many of the same reasons adults do: to avoid punishment, to gain an advantage, to avoid a consequence, and even to boost their self-esteem.

How do they get away with it so easily? Perhaps it is because they are so cute, or maybe it is those big eyes and dimples. They look so innocent and believable. But, don’t be fooled. Most likely, you have been conned. Those little stinkers are good. Even your perfect children have kept the truth to themselves at one time or another. Whether it’s because they wanted to keep a bad grade to themselves, avoid something, or to sneak off to play, it’s inevitable that a fib will come out of your child’s mouth at some point.

Here are some common things I hear around my house that are not completely accurate…

“I don’t know” – Well…They probably do know. But do you really think they’re going to tell you? No way. They know it won’t be good for them so their lips are sealed.

“I didn’t do it” – If you’re asking them, then they probably did do it. They will just never fess up to it.





“My brother/sister did it” – Again, they did it. Blaming their sibling is an easy out. It only works for a while though. Once the sibling can talk, the fighting starts.

“I finished my homework”– I bet this is actually only the case 35% of the time. They almost always miss something, rush through and make mistakes…and the reading. There is always reading to be done.

“I ate all my lunch”– In reality, they probably threw it away. I can tell they are starving by the way they are stuffing their faces the second they walk in the door after school.

“I feel sick” – This statement comes in handy when they don’t want to eat their dinner, do their homework, go to bed, go to school, go somewhere, clean their rooms…you get the idea. I don’t buy it.

“I need to go to the bathroom” – This excuse is a gem for them. At church, school, sibling’s performance, or on a long car ride. Getting up is way better than sitting quietly. In their minds mom and dad will never say no to having to pee. We wouldn’t’ want an accident, now would we?

“I’ll be good” – The fact that they’re saying this means that they’ve already no been good and been warned about their behavior.  In reality, they have no intention of listening or being good. They are just going to see how far they can push you.

Guess what kids? We are on to you! We were all kids once and we know the game.

What other lies have your kids told you?

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An Ode to the Mom Purse

Oh, the splendid mom purse. You know the kind…The big, magical bag that contains anything and everything that anyone would need at any given moment. These usually massive hand bags contain everything from snacks to crayons to underwear to candy.

With every child, my mom purse has grown in size. What once was a small, clean, neat and tidy bag now resembles a mangled, dirty, messy suitcase filled with papers, garbage, and food. You see, part of being a mom is having whatever those little monsters might need on hand just in case they need it. Band-Aids…check! Hand sanitizer…check! Coloring books…check! So, my purse doubles (ahem…triples) as a diaper bag, suitcase, and bottomless satchel of life resources.

Just the ot her day, my kid was asking me for a Kleenex while we were in the car. I honestly didn’t have one in my purse (shockingly). She lost her shit. It dawned on me right then that she literally didn’t understand that I didn’t have one in my purse. You see, to my kids, my purse has always been a vast container that produces everything they need whenever they need it. She literally couldn’t grasp that I didn’t have what she was asking for. “What do you mean, you don’t have a Kleenex? How can this be? This has never happened before.” It was definitely a fail on my part. The magic satchel wasn’t so magic that day.

As one could imagine, the mom purse can take quite a beating. It goes everywhere. Eventually, the mom purse gets to the point where the clutter and dirt can no longer be tolerated or the bag is so disheveled that it needs to be tossed; It is time for a fresh start. A mom can only handle so much…After hauling around garbage, important papers, food, and childhood necessities for months, it is time to clean out and begin anew.

To me, there are few things more satisfying than purging the contents of or getting a new mom purse. For that short-lived, glorious moment I feel like I have got my shit together. “Look at me…my purse totally doesn’t have rotten food or garbage in it and it is completely clutter-free.”

This is about as close as I ever come to organizing my life.

But, like anything in life, what starts out as a clean, perfect, organized, pretty little package gradually becomes battered, dirty, ripped, and cluttered once again. Slowly, but surely, it becomes a dirty shell of the beautiful purse it once was.

So, what is the point of this delightful little tale? I guess it is a couple things. First, you can never be too prepared with kids. All jokes aside, fill up that bad boy with whatever you want, moms. When your kid is flopping around on the floor at Target for some stupid reason and you remember that you have a tic tac, a sticker, or duct tape and can save the day, you’ll be happy. Whatever it takes to keep them quiet. Second, husbands, stop complaining when your wife gets that new purse…again. Let her feel that her life is put together for that one amazing moment. Even though it will become worn and tattered once again, let her have that moment.

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Kids These Days…ARE EXPENSIVE!

Kids are expensive. Duh, I probably don’t have to tell any of you that. Even people without children know that it costs a lot of money to raise a child. You could probably compare it to lighting money on fire and just watching it burn. There is always something they need at any given moment. Whether it is the general necessities like food, diapers, clothes, and child care or the less necessary like toys, sports, braces, or cell phones…it all adds up very quickly.

When you first have a baby you think to yourself, I’ll just suck it up while they are babies. We’ll pay for the diapers, formula, and child care and we will save money once they are out of diapers. Ha! I have three kids (9 and under) and I am still waiting for the day that I don’t have to spend money on diapers. If it is not the diapers then it is the school supplies, sports, camps, more food, braces…the numbers just keep mounting even as they get older.

I read a recent statistic the other day that pretty much blew my mind. The total average cost of raising a child from infancy to age 17 in the U.S. is currently….drumroll please….$233,610 (U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2017). For each kid. What? And that number doesn’t even include a college education. How can this be? How are parents even supposed to do that?

If you have kids, it is probably best not to think about it. Not much you can do now. If you haven’t had kids yet, think about it…very hard. I’m not saying not to have kids because they are expensive, but rather, think about all the expenses first. There is far more to it than just diapers and formula. There are many hidden costs that you just don’t think about until you actually have kids. Things like:

  • Food – The amount of wasted food is ridiculous. Granola bars with one bite out of them. Bananas that are “no good” because they broke. Billions of uneaten dinners.
  • The urgent care visits. Strep, pink eye, stitches, broken bones…over and over and over. I’ve spent a good portion of my salary on co-pays for strep tests.
  • Christmas presents (from you and “I’ll just ask Santa for an iPad, they say.”).
  • Halloween costumes and candy. That stuff adds up quick year after year (that is if you don’t want to be the crappy neighbor that hands out old parade candy from last summer).
  • Extravagant birthday party venues. Yes, venues. Can’t let your kid be the one that has a lame party at home with no circus. The shame.
  • Cost of gas. You are shuttling them around all over town. It’s like a reverse taxi service… you drive and you pay.
  • Legos – the amount of money spent on Legos is absurd. They are expensive and they usually end up broken on the bottom of a toy box.
  • American Girl Dolls and accessories (because apparently dolls need their hair done at a salon – I had no idea).
  • Shoes…Kids go through shoes at lightning speed. They outgrow them. They put holes in them. They lose them.
  • Cost of electronics. They need ipads and iphones at the age of 2 these days.
  • Netflix subscriptions. It has become a necessity.
  • The wine you need to drink on a daily basis just to survive parenthood.

So if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be off cutting coupons…and selling my organs on the black market. Gotta pay for college somehow.

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Keep Your Hands To Yourself

I’ve always been a clean person. I like to keep a clean house and have everything in its place. I am terrified of germs and I definitely consider myself a germ-a-phobe. Once I had kids, all of that pretty much went out the window…well, the germ phobia, that is probably worse.

Kids are disgusting, filthy little creatures. Let’s face it, their hands always need to be washed, there is always something crusty stuck to their face, and they are constantly touching things they haven’t figured out it’s not ok to touch. I am sure that any parent could probably tell you horror stories about things their kids have touched, licked, or put in their mouths, thanks to their natural curiosity and fearlessness. The phrase “Don’t Touch That” is all too familiar.

So, all you new moms out there that don’t quite know what you have gotten into yet, let me share some tasty little examples of what you may be up against in the very near future. Unless you have a very strong stomach, you might not want to read this while eating.

Things kids do and touch that might make you dry-heave

  • Lick the salt shaker at restaurants. Just imagine all the grimy hands on that bad boy.
  • Suck on candy off the floor (probably covered in fuzz and hair…not to mention someone else’s saliva).
  • Pick up cigarette butts they find in parking lots.
  • Feminine hygiene garbage cans in the restroom. Always. They can’t resist the fingerprinted, silver delightfulness.
  • Drinking fountain spigots. Full-on mouth over the top.
  • Chew on the dirty, old, half-eaten crayons at a restaurant. Imagine how many kids have sucked on them and dropped them under the table on the disgusting floor.
  • Lick just about anything in sight…shopping cart handles, elevator buttons, the bottom of their shoes, pretty much anything at their eye level.
  • Drink stagnant dog water from the dog bowl.
  • Play in the cat litter. Lots of buried treasure in there.
  • Eat food they found when they emptied out the bathroom garbage…old gum, half eaten granola bars, rotten bananas…doesn’t matter to them.
  • Touch any glass surface anywhere (windows, doors, aquariums, displays). Full hand prints and tongues all over it.

Moral of the story? Obviously, we should do our best to teach them to keep their hands to themselves and make sure they fully grasp how disgusting it is to lick stuff other people touch. AND don’t think too hard about it…you’ll put yourself into a panic. It’s inevitable that it is going to happen, might as well not barf.

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No is Not Another Word For Yes

No means No!

No doesn’t mean Yes!

Dear Kids,

I would like to go over something with you. There seems to be a bit of confusion with the meaning of a very familiar word that we both use all too often. It’s a word that when you, yourself use it, you seem to understand just fine. It’s when anyone else uses this very same word with you, that is when the confusion sets in. The word I am referring to is “No.”

It is such a simple little word. Only two measly little letters. It was actually the first word that all three of you learned when you were very young. “No”. You clearly understood the meaning way back then, but now, I am not so sure. Perhaps you have forgotten. Perhaps there is some sort of confusion in the context of which I say this word. Or maybe, you just don’t hear me or care when I say it.

So, my precious little angels, please know that when I say this word, I really do mean it. It should be the end of the story, case closed…but somehow it is not. “No” doesn’t mean ask 10,000 more times. “No” doesn’t mean maybe. “No” doesn’t mean throw a fit and try to get your way. “No”, is not another word for yes. In reality, it simply means “no”.

I want you to know that I am not just a mean mom…I don’t just say this dreaded word to annoy you or make you mad. There are very good reasons for why I do what I do.

It could be that what you are asking is unsafe.

“Can I play in the construction site across the street after dark?” No.

It could be that what you are asking is too expensive.

“Can you buy me another American Girl Doll for no reason other than I want it?” No.

It could be that what you are asking will take too long for the amount of time that we have available.

“Can you take me to the park to play even though we need to leave for gymnastics in 15 minutes?” No.

 It could be that the timing of your request isn’t the greatest.

“Can I have a snack (right after I just finished cleaning up all the dishes from dinner)?  No.

 It could be that what you are asking for is just annoying, plain and simple.

“Can I buy another giant Nerf gun when we run to Target later.” Hell No.

Or maybe what you are asking for is just simply not a good idea.

“Can you get me the super glue, paint, a Sharpie, and scissors so I can make a “special” art project before school?” No.

So, kids, next time you hear me use the dreaded word “no”, please listen. Don’t argue. Don’t cry and flop around on the floor like a fish out of water. You are not going to get your way. Just listen. It is for your own good. No is not another word for yes.




JENerally Informed


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5 Personalities of a Threenager

Threenager: Size of a three-year-old…attitude of a teenager. I’m sure if you don’t have one yourself, you have seen them around bossing and yelling at everyone in sight. These little divas want to rule the roost, and will do whatever they can to make that happen. I have my very own, feisty threenager. Like most kids, she can be sweet, funny, and adorable…but then at the drop of a hat, she flips the hulk switch and can be bossy, mean, aggressive, and sometimes, very angry. Every day is a challenge and you never really know what you are going to get. Whoever said that twos were terrible duped parents everywhere into thinking that once the child turned three, they left all that behind. Sadly, it doesn’t quite work that way.  Parents (myself included) are blindsided when they realize that three can be so much worse and leaves them wishing for the glory days of the “terrible twos.”

My threenager has several personalities that come out multiple times each day. Each one is very real; each one is very different. Allow me to introduce you to them.

Please meet:

  1. The Sweetheart: This little girl is the sweetest thing you will ever meet. She snuggles, hugs, kisses, and tells you she loves you. She wants to do everything with you, even play with your hair. She is a lovey, adorable little sweetheart. I wish she would come out more often!
  1. The Know It All: This is the girl that knows everything and can do everything by HERSELF. She can get her own shoes on, pour her own glass of milk, and get her own seatbelt buckled. You get the idea. She is fiercely independent and how dare you even think about helping her or giving her any advice on anything. Get used to waiting. They move at the speed of molasses.
  1. The Baby: This is a needy little thing occasionally makes an appearance, especially when they are not feeling good or when you are busy helping a different child. “Mommy do it” for things that she just yelled at me for helping her do 10 minutes ago. Mommy comb my hair; mommy get me milk…NOT DADDY. MOMMY has to do it.
  1. The Drama Queen: Just about everything makes her believe that the world is ending. Your sock feels funny…end of the world. You can’t find the blue blanket…end of the world. Your brother turned the light off when you were in the bathroom…end of the world. Your moive is no longer available on Netflix…the end must be near. Any of these things cause massive melt downs and on-the-ground tantrums.
  1. The Angry Dictator: This girl is mean. She says a lot of, “Mine” or “You’re stupid”. She can go from Sweetheart to Angry Dictator in a matter of seconds. And the looks…the evil, angry face. You live in a constant state of fear not knowing when the dictator will emerge. Look out. She might cut you.

I am hoping that these multiple personalities disappear with time and that only one remains. The one that is happy, loving, funny, and perfect like I know she really is. This too shall pass, right?

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Things That Drive Moms Nuts

Have you ever met a mom that doesn’t get irritated by some little thing their kid does? I am pretty sure that they don’t exist. Kids do lots of things that just plain old infuriate most moms. They learn very early on how to push buttons…and they will test you over and over again, probably until they are grown.

I would wager that all moms probably have a couple things that their kids do that can push them right over the edge into crazy land. Maybe it’s a sound they make, a word they say over and over, or something that they do that drives you crazy. For me, well, there are a lot of things that just drive me nuts.

I have decided to put together a lovely little list of the things that my kids do that instantly make my blood boil. Warning: This post may raise your blood pressure and elicit feelings of rage and frustration.  It is probably in your best interest to read this with a big, full, glass of wine.

  • The constant background noise of children bickering. Kids are constantly fighting about anything and everything (50 reasons my kids are fighting). “It’s my turn.” “He’s looking at me.” “No, I was here first.” It’s like an annoying buzz in your ear that you can’t get away from.
  • Putting empty food boxes back in the pantry. Why can’t you just throw it away? If you eat it all, throw it away. Seems simple. Why even waste the time putting it back into the pantry? It just doesn’t make sense.
  • Loading toy purses and bags full of puzzle pieces, cards, and game pieces. They haul their crap from one room to another and then unload it where it will be sure to get kicked under the couch or shoved in dark corner, possibly to never be seen again. I don’t think we even own one complete puzzle or game.
  • Going to the bathroom with an audience. The second I enter the bathroom, it becomes party central before I can close the door. I am glad you love me so much you want to watch me poop.
  • For the love of God…put the damn covers back on the markers! Why do you insist on taking them all off and throwing them on the floor? Every single time. Seriously, just kill me.
  • “Mom, Look!” Then they proceed to shove whatever it is directly into your cornea.
  • Taking forever to get out of the car. Especially when they decide to exit the vehicle through the door that is furthest away from where they are sitting. Most of the time they will need to jump over human beings to accomplish this.  There is nothing more frustrating than standing outside in the below zero temperatures of Minnesota waiting for a kid to get out of the car.
  • Bite off the erasers to all the pencils. Why? What is the purpose of this? They don’t eat them, so it is not like they enjoy the taste. It’s a treasure hunt trying to find just one to do homework with…except all you get at the end is an eraserless pencil.

Is your blood boiling, too? Aghhhhhh! Drink up, my friend.

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The Loss of an “On-Demand” Movie: The Toddler Stages of Grief

When you have a toddler and their favorite On Demand movie has been removed from the “free” list, the pain is real. They can go from adorable, funny, and sweet to a possessed spawn of Satan as soon as they realize the movie is really gone. This is a death to them.

Like any loss, there are stages of grief. Here are the five stages of toddler “movie-loss” grief.

  1. Denial: It can’t be gone. No way is it really gone. It was just here yesterday. This is not happening. The “Monkey Movie” cannot really be gone. Parents: Please note, this is the warning stage. Shit is about to get real.
  2. Anger: You better be kidding me. You get that movie back before I go “Godzilla” on this place. I will destroy you and everything in this house. Parents: The toddler anger stage is one of the strongest and most dangerous forces on earth. This is when the screaming, crying, biting, flailing, kicking, and head-spinning starts. You can’t reason, you can’t argue, you can’t bribe, and you can’t restrain. There is no telling how long this stage will last. Just stand back and watch the amazing (yet terrifying) show until they move along into the bargaining stage.
  3. Bargaining: Just turn it back on. I’ll be really sweet and cuddly if you just turn it back on. Please? I’ll be your best friend? I might even consider eating some of my dinner. Please? Parents: It is unknown as to exactly what happens for the toddler to move from the anger phase to the bargaining phase. It could really be anything…. possibly pure exhaustion from the monumental tantrum in the anger stage. But beware, if you still don’t give them the answer that they want, they may revert back into the “anger stage”.
  4. Depression: None of these other movies can even come close to comparing to the “Baby Monkey Movie.” There will never be another one. I will cry myself to sleep every night dreaming of the movie that once was. My little toddler life is over. Parents: This stage also has a lot of crying. Less screaming, but lots of crying. Hugs may help.
  5. Acceptance: This new cartoon is not so bad, I guess. There are some funny parts in it. There is even a different monkey that is alright. Maybe I could get used to this. Parents: this is the stage where that cute, adorable, loving toddler slowly returns. You’ve made it through…at last for the next five minutes until the next crisis.

And the cycle then repeats itself with the new movie. Damn you “On-Demand” you are a blessing and a curse.

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Ridiculous Things I Have Told My Kids…That Aren’t Even Remotely True

In general, I am an honest person. I try to tell the truth, be open with my thoughts and feelings, and do the right thing. That said, if I’m being honest, I’m not above throwing out a quick, creative white lie (or a whopper, if necessary) to protect my kids, to avoid a mega meltdown, or just simply to have a second of peace and quiet for myself. I have discovered that with kids, sometimes this is necessary for survival.

Whether I’ve come up with some crazy story for why the Tooth Fairy didn’t show or a clever alternative to why the darn elf on the shelf forgot to move, if it’s for the good of your child, what’s the harm? I find myself coming up with some ridiculous things when trying to persuade my kids to do something, go somewhere, or just behave. Most of these things are crazy and not even a remote possibility. I, Barrie Bismark, have turned into a mom of empty threats. Here are a few examples of my tall tales.

Lie: If you don’t get your shoes on, I am leaving without you.
Truth: No, no I won’t. Where am I going to go? I mean, I’m pretty sure I would get arrested and go to jail if I actually left you.

Lie: Stop it now or I am going to turn this car around.
Truth: I won’t do it. I want to make it to work or the doctor on time. Plus, this is probably what the kids really want…for me to turn around and go home.

Lie: I’m counting to three. You better stop it.
Truth: I may be counting, but even I don’t know what happens when I get to three. Really, I have no idea. Maybe I’ll take something away, maybe I’ll yell louder. Who knows. The unknown is part of the ploy.

Lie: Pick up your toys or I am going to throw them away.
Truth: Actually, I won’t. That is a lot of work and I have spent a hell of a lot of money on them. I won’t really do that, even though the temptation is there.

Lie: See that guy working over there? He is going to kick us out of this restaurant. Now behave!
Truth: I have no idea who that guy is. He probably doesn’t even work there.

Lie: It’s ham…white ham.
Truth: It could be chicken, turkey, or really any other meat that remotely resembles ham.

Lie: Just wait until your dad gets home. You’re going to be in big trouble.
Truth: Nothing will probably happen. I’ll probably forget about it in the midst of the crazy, hectic dinner hour.

Lie: You better stop or I am going to come over there.
Truth: I don’t really want to get up. In fact, I probably won’t. Just stop trying to kill your sister.

Lie: The “Monkey Movie” is broken. We can’t get it anymore.
Truth: It is not broken. I am just going to explode if I have to watch it even one more time. Pick something else…anything else!

Lying really isn’t my thing. However, I do seem to do it, probably more than I should. What empty threats have you given your kids?

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