Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. What’s the Sneakiest Thing You Ever Did as a Parent?

 

A few neighborhood kids stopped by today. We were blessed with lots of kids in the neighborhood — my children’s childhood was much like my own with most of their time spent outside.

My granddaughter had a particularly obnoxious (read: noisy) toy and I mentioned it sounded like an ice cream truck. All the kids had a vague recollection of a popsicle or two — hardly a regular occurrence. I came clean and admitted I slipped the ice cream truck driver a 20 at the beginning of every summer to avoid our block.

Outrage followed. But my daughter (mother of two) got a look on her face which implied she was filing the ploy away for future reference.

How about you: What’s the sneakiest thing you ever did as a parent?

There are 25 comments.

  1. Boss Mongo Member

    My wife makes an amazing spinach ‘n sausage manicotti. To keep our son (kid #1) on board, we told him the spinach was green cheese.

    Years later, he was in on a spoof we pulled with another kid, and said haughtily, “I would never fall for that.”

    Really, dude?

    Really, really.

    You know that “green cheese manicotti” you love so much?

    Yessir.

    When’s the last time you saw green cheese anywhere?

    Uh…(wheels spinning, getting no traction)

    Yeah, cause it’s spinach, not green cheese.

    The look on his face, as he processed how he got played. was priceless.

    • #1
    • April 22, 2017, at 10:29 PM PDT
    • 16 likes
  2. Randy Webster Member

    Our kids were so great we never had to trick them. Oh, wait…

    • #2
    • April 22, 2017, at 11:07 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  3. Henry Castaigne Member

    I don’t get it. When kids grow up, they know that you tricked them. What’s the point?

    • #3
    • April 23, 2017, at 4:23 AM PDT
    • Like
  4. iWe Reagan
    iWe Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I am afraid that if I shared the sneaky things we have done to our kids over the years, y’all would be calling CPS.

    My defense is that I always had fun.

    And that is the whole point of parenting. Right?

    • #4
    • April 23, 2017, at 5:38 AM PDT
    • 11 likes
  5. Grosseteste Member

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):
    I don’t get it. When kids grow up, they know that you tricked them. What’s the point?

    Time horizons paradoxically become much shorter with children in the house. Getting through the next few years, months, hours, or seconds becomes the overriding goal.

    As incomplete human beings, children often make stupid judgments, and it’s sometimes kinder to trick them into doing the right thing than to let them suffer the consequences of whatever ill-advised course of action they cleave to at the moment. So kids will often see that you’ve tricked them pretty soon after you’ve done it, and hopefully will see the wisdom of the corrected action.

    Failing that, there’s the virtue of humility and the valuable life lesson that authority figures regularly lie to gain their compliance.

    • #5
    • April 23, 2017, at 5:48 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  6. The Reticulator Member

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):
    I don’t get it. When kids grow up, they know that you tricked them. What’s the point?

    When I was not yet five, I went to bed when Dad and the uncles promised they would wake me to go fishing with them early the next morning. But when I woke up, they and the boat were gone. They had gone without me.

    I’m still bitter about it. Humans are not to be trusted.

    • #6
    • April 23, 2017, at 6:06 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  7. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    You mean other than the whole “we love you both equally ” thing?

    • #7
    • April 23, 2017, at 6:18 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  8. Nanda "Chaps" Panjan… Inactive

    OohRahBwahaha!

    • #8
    • April 23, 2017, at 8:57 AM PDT
    • Like
  9. Z in MT Inactive

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):
    I don’t get it. When kids grow up, they know that you tricked them. What’s the point?

    When I was not yet five, I went to bed when Dad and the uncles promised they would wake me to go fishing with them early the next morning. But when I woke up, they and the boat were gone. They had gone without me.

    I’m still bitter about it. Humans are not to be trusted.

    That is terrible! And unlike every fisherman I know. Real fishermen want to introduce children to the sport as early as possible.

    • #9
    • April 23, 2017, at 9:13 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  10. Annefy Member
    Annefy

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):
    I don’t get it. When kids grow up, they know that you tricked them. What’s the point?

    There’s no way my kids would have ever know about the ice cream truck had I not confessed. @grosseteste‘s point is also well taken – we had an evil dog that we lost years ago. He got lost because he jumped out the car window on the way to the pound, but that was a detail my husband conveniently left out. The dog was simply “lost”. Not a lie, but not the complete truth either.

    We had another dog that got picked up the city and put down. We searched for him for over a week before we found out what happened. My daughter was with me when I got the call and she’s eventually shared the truth with her brothers as they grew older. But there was no way they were getting all the facts and 7 and 9.

    • #10
    • April 23, 2017, at 12:04 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  11. Boss Mongo Member

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):
    I don’t get it. When kids grow up, they know that you tricked them. What’s the point?

    To get them to eat spinach.

    • #11
    • April 23, 2017, at 12:08 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  12. J. D. Fitzpatrick Member
    J. D. Fitzpatrick Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I don’t know if this counts as a trick, but a friend of mine likes to tell this story about his childhood.

    “I was watching a show on PBS with a friend. When the show ended, a news show came on. I said, ‘Man, I hate this show.’ My friend said, ‘Me too!’ And then he proceeded to get up, walk across the room, and change the channel.”

    In other words, for years my friend had no idea that there was more than one channel on TV.

    • #12
    • April 23, 2017, at 12:27 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  13. iWe Reagan
    iWe Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    OK, here is one sneaky/awful story.

    We were living in an apartment building in London. Mrs. iWe and I were grad students, and we did not have much consumable income (grad school in the UK was about 20% the yearly rate as the US, and a PhD program took 4 years on the outside). An integral part of every weekday was my kids biking out to a local park, and riding around for several hours (London has super parks all over the place, which compensates for the fact that back yards are very small, indeed).

    When our #1, @kidcoder was coming up to his birthday, #1 and #2 were well aware that #1’s bike was near-death. I had patched and repaired it, but he had outgrown it, and the frame was cracked… its days were numbered.

    I, of course, told #1 that we thought having a broken bike was good for his character, but what he really needed was a pretty toy pony. He thought I was joking, as foolish children do. So every time the issue came up, I reinforced it. And then I went out to the local ToysRUs and bought a small (8-10″ long) pretty fuzzy pony, which we wrapped up.

    The Big Day came. We sang, we offered cake, and I presented him with his present. He unwrapped it slowly, and it dawned in his eyes that I really had bought him a pretty toy pony. He was very solemn and quiet, but he kept it together. He managed to choke out that he very much appreciated the present, it was very nice, and what he always wanted. His little brother, sitting beside him, kept looking at us, and asking, “But where is his bicycle?!”

    @kidcoder was in shock. But we managed to point out that if he had paid attention to the wrapping, he would have seen, on the inside, a handwritten numeric code (@kidcoder likes codes)… he broke the code to read “look in the stairwell.”

    @kidcoder by this point was almost out of all initiative. We actually had to push him to check the stairwell, where he found a shiny new bike. Peace was restored.

    That night, when Mrs. iWe tucked him into bed, he earnestly thanked her for a wonderful day. And he said, “I really don’t know which I like better, that pony or the bike.”

    And he kept the pony near his pillow for many years to come. He might even still have it.

    I am hoping @kidcoder weighs in, to tell it how he remembers it.

    • #13
    • April 23, 2017, at 1:29 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  14. Boss Mongo Member

    iWe (View Comment):
    I, of course, told #1 that we thought having a broken bike was good for his character, but what he really needed was a pretty toy pony. He thought I was joking, as foolish children do. So every time the issue came up, I reinforced it. And then I went out to the local ToysRUs and bought a small (8-10″ long) pretty fuzzy pony, which we wrapped up.

    Awesome. You’re either a genius or a heartless bastard. Mebbe both. But me likee.

    • #14
    • April 23, 2017, at 1:34 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  15. iWe Reagan
    iWe Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    We think it was @kidcoder‘s 6th birthday. He was much tougher and composed than we had expected.

    • #15
    • April 23, 2017, at 1:42 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  16. kidCoder Member

    We went out to lazer tag for a party later (I always picked the red team, number 14 I think). The worst part of this was how my parents told everybody when we were sitting down for (cake? Foodstuffs) about the pony, and that was the part I liked least.

    I was able to reconcile the toy pony being my birthday present. I kept track of it, and was disraught when I broke its halter.

    • #16
    • April 23, 2017, at 1:46 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  17. MJBubba Inactive

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):
    I don’t get it. When kids grow up, they know that you tricked them. What’s the point?

    To get them to eat spinach.

    Snooks became the Mistress of Stealth Vegetables on account of our sons were learning to be picky eaters from a nephew. I still like cauliflower in my mashed potatoes and some other tricks she applied.

    • #17
    • April 23, 2017, at 1:49 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  18. iWe Reagan
    iWe Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I never bothered to try to get my kids to eat vegetables. You are, most emphatically, not what you eat.

    • #18
    • April 23, 2017, at 2:41 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  19. Annefy Member
    Annefy

    MJBubba (View Comment):

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):
    I don’t get it. When kids grow up, they know that you tricked them. What’s the point?

    To get them to eat spinach.

    Snooks became the Mistress of Stealth Vegetables on account of our sons were learning to be picky eaters from a nephew. I still like cauliflower in my mashed potatoes and some other tricks she applied.

    My kids weren’t picky eaters – at least I don’t think so. Never thought to ask actually. But I loved tricking some of my nieces and nephews into eating stuff they “thought” they didn’t like.

    • #19
    • April 23, 2017, at 3:26 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  20. 9thDistrictNeighbor Member

    I used to call the ice cream truck the ‘music truck.’ “Oh isn’t that nice, honey, the truck comes by and plays fun music for us!”

    • #20
    • April 23, 2017, at 4:11 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  21. iWe Reagan
    iWe Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I know a woman who was 27 years old before they understood that when the music played it did not mean that the ice cream truck was OUT of ice cream.

    • #21
    • April 23, 2017, at 5:56 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  22. Boss Mongo Member

    iWe (View Comment):
    I know a woman who was 27 years old before they understood that when the music played it did not mean that the ice cream truck was OUT of ice cream.

    Now, that’s genius right there.

    • #22
    • April 23, 2017, at 6:21 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  23. Israel P. Inactive

    Soon after we were married, we were out someplace and I needed my wife’s fourteen year old to get me some cash from the not-so-nearby ATM. He asked what my code is and after thinking a few seconds I said “Today it’s …”

    It was several years before he realized that the code didn’t change from day to day.

    We still laugh about it.

    • #23
    • April 24, 2017, at 7:43 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  24. iWe Reagan
    iWe Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    @kidcoder has many of his mother’s preferences for being organized. When he was learning to dress himself, he wanted to know which sock went on which foot. For once, I told it to him straight. He refused to believe me: he knew full well that socks were made specifically for right feet and for left feet.

    So we just told him which one was right and which was left – for many years. He knew there was a difference – there simply had to be – and he believed that his parents could detect it so he would be properly dressed.

    Conversations went like this:

    kidcoder: “Is this my right or my left sock?”

    Mrs. or iWe: “The right one.”

    kidcoder: OK. Thank you!

    For quite a few years.

    • #24
    • April 24, 2017, at 7:51 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  25. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I’ve never been the clever sort when it comes to sneakiness — I attribute it to a lack of imagination. However, I did once decide to do some information gathering on the school lunch I packed every day for my oldest. I suspected she wasn’t eating the carrots I so diligently packed, so I added a little powdered Tang to the bag. Of course, when I quizzed her about how she enjoyed her carrots, the jig was up. “They were fine.” She didn’t notice the odd astronaut orange flavor, which meant they went straight to the garbage. Thereafter, many carrots were spared such ignominy.

    I never succeeded at getting my kids to eat their vegetables. But, there was an upside to this little incident. They learned that Mother has ways of finding stuff out.

    • #25
    • April 24, 2017, at 8:48 AM PDT
    • 1 like