10 Necessary Lies You Have to Tell Kids in the Summer


Summer vacation; teachers love it, parents don’t always think that it is the most amazing time of year. I love being with my kids, but this summer is a bit rough on me. There’s a lot of pressure to keep my two older kids entertained on a regular basis when they are so used to being over-stimulated 6 hours a day. Suddenly, I’m on my own for 10 hours a day with four kids, two of which nap twice a day and two who want me to keep them entertained every 6 seconds while I’m trying to work from home. And taking them places by myself is not always an option – it’s hard to corral a 7, 4 and two 1-year-olds at the same time. When daddy is home, it’s easy. When I’m alone, I can’t do it all alone. Four kids that size at the park is a lot for me to keep track of with two eyes. Four kids that age at the zoo or Disney – no thanks. We’ll wait for weekend.

What I do during the summer is lie a lot. Seriously, I lie all day long to my kids. I have no choice, really, if I want to keep my sanity and I want my kids to keep their sanity. So I lie to them about things that make all our lives easier.

The playground is closed

It takes me 1 hour to dress four children and myself, pack a bag with a blanket, snacks, drinks and little toys for the babies, load two infants into car seats, two big kids into the car and spray everyone from head to toe with sunscreen. It takes me another 10 minutes to get all the stuff out of the car and to the playground, another 20 minutes to get everything loaded back up and into the car and 20 minutes to unload the kids and the car at home when we are done. And it takes 5 minutes before my kids are ‘too hot’ and ‘too tired’ to want to play anymore once we get to the playground. So…it’s closed. A lot.

Only the drive-thru is open this summer

Sorry kids – mommy doesn’t feel like letting you guys play in plastic tubes without any air flow where I cannot see you and a half dozen kids too big to be in there in the first place have made it their business to push little kids around. I’m not particularly in the mood to have to go all quiet, scary whisper that “I hate you and will rip your arms off if you touch another child in that germ filled tube one more time” so that their parents can’t hear me today.

It’s going to rain

I’m a Floridian, so technically this is not a lie. It is going to rain. My kids do not need me to elaborate that it is going to rain for approximately 7 minutes before the sky is brilliant blue one more time. While that might sound lovely and peaceful to those who have not yet experienced a Florida day post-rain, what It means is that it’s gone from 100 degrees and hot as can be to 100 degrees with 100 percent humidity and air so thick with moisture that your perfectly natural pin straight hair curls the second the door opens. No thanks.

There are bugs

It would be fun to get in the pool today, but there are bugs in it and we have to wait for daddy to come home and clean them out. Translation – mommy doesn’t want to put you all in your swimsuits and swim for five minutes until one of you decides you’re hungry or thirsty and I have to get four kids out of the pool, dried off and in the house. Because I can’t leave you out there, can I?

Sure, when daddy gets home

Nope, not even when daddy gets home.

Oh no! The ice cream truck is playing music again…you know that means they’re out of ice cream

Please. It’s a classic lie that all parents tell their kids every summer, and I’m pretty sure I got that idea from Pinterest. So there can be no judgment.

It’s ice cream

It’s frozen yogurt. Our wonderful friend owns a frozen yogurt shop down by the water, and we love the take the kids there to get yogurt and then down to the water to enjoy the view. But they won’t eat frozen yogurt, so it’s ice cream.

You have to be invited to a party at Chuck E. Cheese, honey, it’s not just open for everyone

I heard another mom say this, and I shamelessly stole it. My aunt not-so-fondly refers to this place as Yuck-E-Sneeze, and refuses to go. We’ve been twice for parties, and we will decline the next birthday party invitation. It’s busy, it’s loud, it’s crazy and the kids are too fast in a place where there are too many people for us to feel comfortable.

Summer camp is the most amazing place you’ll ever go; all the other kids are so jealous of you right now

Summer camp; the thing that all parents long to find. I’m not looking for a sleep away camp my kids can learn to ride horses or whatever. I’m looking for a glorified daycare that will tire my kids out for four or five hours a day so that they’ll come home, take a nap and want to go to bed at a reasonable hour. Is that too much to ask? Also, if they could pick the kids up and bring them home, that’d be great too. Things that interrupt nap time make me sad.

The beach is closed because the sand is too hot, honey

Well, it should be. And on that note, when a pool company tries to get you to spend more money on “cool decking” so that no matter how hot it is, the decking never burns, they’re lying.

Photo by Kristian Dowling/Getty Images


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