Lies I’ve Told My Kid While Reading

by Tom Burns

Photo credit: svetikd, E+ Collection/Getty Images

I can’t remember the very first time I ever lied to my daughter, but chances are it happened while we were reading.

Don’t get me wrong — reading is wonderful and, ideally, it should be a free, open, and honest exchange of … yadda, yadda, yadda. That’s the ideal. The reality is that sometimes, when you’re a parent, you have to make some “selective” edits when you’re reading with your children. Sometimes it’s for their own good. Sometimes it’s for your own good. But regardless, every parent has had that moment when they’re reading something out loud and suddenly realize, “Oh no. I can’t read that as is. What am I going to do?”

Lies I've Told My Kid While Reading

And that’s when the lies start. So, in the interest of making amends and letting other parents out there know that they’re not alone, here are just a few of the lies I’ve told my beautiful, trusting daughter while we were reading together. (Don’t judge me.)


I read everything on the page.

No, I read that part.

Yes, it just ends there.

That was funny.

I don’t know what’s going to happen next.

I don’t know where that book is. (Yes, I do.)

It’s not under the bed. I already looked there.

I had to take it back to the library. It was overdue.

The Giving Tree is so nice. (She’s an enabler. This isn’t going to end well.)

I’m sorry, but it’s already been ten minutes. (When you finally develop a concept of time, I’m screwed.)

No, I really read everything on the page.

You’re right. The Man in the Yellow Hat is a good daddy.

The thing about the Revolutionary War/Middle Ages/any historical period is … (Anything following should be accompanied by a disclaimer highlighting my bachelor’s degree in English.)

“And then the Little Mermaid decided that she was far too young to get married, and she had just met Prince Eric, so she went to medical school and became a doctor.”

Sweetheart, there could never, ever be a tornado here …

But the Wicked Witch of the West was bad, so that makes it okay. (Dorothy melted her. She MELTED her. That’s messed up.)

Rhyming is fun.

A plant-eating dinosaur wouldn’t hurt you. (Needs fact-checking …)

That was the end of the chapter.

I don’t really know what that nursery rhyme means. (Yes, I do, and it’s HORRIFIC.)

I think it’s pronounced … (Anything following is a blind, stinking guess.)

I didn’t skip anything.

I can’t wait to read it again.

Vampires aren’t real. (I mean, I think that’s true, but what proof do I really have?)

Oh, it makes sounds when you press the button? That’s awesome.

I’m not sure. I guess the batteries died.

Living on an island where it rained meatballs every day would be fun. (Think of the smell …)

I’d try green eggs and ham.

I bet Christopher Robin visited Pooh all the time when he got older.

I’m not crying.

I didn’t fall asleep.

I haven’t read ahead.

I think we should stop for the night.

I SWEAR TO YOU — on the soul of your mother — I read EVERY, SINGLE WORD on that page.

I’m sorry.

You’re not being annoying.

I love you, but if you don’t stop interrupting, I’m never going to read to you again.