Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Features

February 1, 2014

The things we hide

Parents' white lies are time-honored tradition

NEW YORK (AP) — Generally speaking, mom Shannon McCormick loves fruits and vegetables and wants to pass that on to her 4-year-old, but her resolve is tested when she encounters her plump, red nemesis: the tomato.

"Tomatoes are my kryptonite. I hate them. My daughter loves them and I don't want to even suggest that they're anything less than delicious," said McCormick, in Columbus, Ohio.

That's why she choked down an evil chunk when her child stabbed it with a fork and held it to her lips a few months back.

"I just sat there and looked at her and thought, 'Well I just have to do this,'" McCormick recalled. "I swallowed it whole."

Kids, parents are people, too. Remember that when you're older and learn of all the little things yours hid from you for the greater good or their pleasure alone. Absent serious crimes and misdemeanors, you'll live to tell about it. Consider such moments great family stories and decide for yourselves whether you want to carry on the time-honored tradition of hidden vices and small deceits in parenting.

"I've been hiding Twinkies under the front car seat since my first kid was in diapers," said Genevieve West, a stay-at-home mom of three in Portland, Ore. "Now that she's 12, my husband and I hide all evidence of our Starbucks trips or Thai takeout so we don't suffer her wrath."

Fast food was also a problem for Katrina Olson in Urbana, Ill.

"My husband abhors it, so when our girls were toddlers and wanted to go to McDonald's, we told them it was closed for cleaning on Tuesdays or Thursdays, or whatever day it happened to be. It worked for several years," she said.

Her girls are now 10 and 12 and their parents have other secrets. One involves Whiskers the cat. Or rather, the gender of Whiskers the cat.

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