We were in the grocery, waiting to check out, when my son spotted that tantalizing row of colorful candy bars shining in the impulse aisle. “What,” he gasped, “is THAT?”
“This?” I asked, holding up a bar of pure milk chocolate filled to bursting with creamy caramel. “You wouldn’t like this. It’s medicine.”
“Ew,” my son said. “I don’t like medicine.”
“This one’s really bad,” I told him. “It tastes like dog drool. You’d really hate it.”
It wasn’t my finest moment. Ten years ago, if I’d seen a parent lying to their child in the brazen openness of a supermarket, I’d have tsked and quietly told myself, I’ll be a better parent than that.
Today, though, I am a parent, and I am not better than that. My wife and I lie to our son about food often enough that it’s almost a family policy. It’s not something we’re proud of, and it’s not something we’d recommend to other parents – but it is something we’re doing.