a transatlantic mommy / mummy blog – my kids say "tomato" & "to-mah-to"

The most outrageous lie I’ve told my children and gotten away with for over a year!…

When we lived in Chicago we had a daily commute of 7 miles in the morning and evening – that, due to speed limits and traffic took 45-1.5hrs each way and passed 4-6 McDonald’s depending upon the route. My kids had an unnatural ability to spot those Golden Arches from blocks away and create an unholy din in the car as they’d begin clamoring for Happy Meals.

While I don’t have anything against a Happy Meal – the problem was my kids never actually ate the food. So it became an expensive waste. They would only ever just drink the juicebox and play with the toy. We quickly learned that we could just purchase the Happy Meal toy from the drive through for less than $1, and they’d be happy – but it’s certainly not a precedent I wanted to set on a daily-drive basis.

So when we moved from Chicago to London – we got rid of our cars. Our daily commute now involves walking, buses, the tube and an occasional taxi. But here’s where we get to the good part. You see we seized up on the opportunity of the move, and that things are different here in England – to tell our children, that “There is no McDonald’s in England.” This strategy has served us amazingly well! We’ve even walked down the street past it and they’ve not noticed (as we’ve drawn their attention away…) thanks in part due to how different in appearance the McDonald’s restaurant locations are here, and how small their external signage and arches are. Thank you local building authority and regulations!!!

So we’ve gotten away with this for over a year. Recently, our 6yr old said he spotted a McDonald’s from the bus near his school, we told him he must have been mistaken, that it was advertising for America. Which, familiar with ads on his TV shows etc – he’s buying for now.

So how about you – what’s the most outrageous lie that you’ve told your kids? Did it work?


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8 years ago 5 Comments Short URL


  1. I wouldn’t worry, I’ve been telling my children for years that I am a ‘witch’ and every time I think they may be telling a lie I pretend to put a spell on them, the results of which would mean they grow a tail overnight. Guess what? Before bed every time, they admit to the truth. I have a clear conciense.

    • Jackie says:

      Absolutely love it! Do you have a cackle to go along with it? Hahah next time if they take it too far you can get the scissors out and pretend to start snipping a tail hole in their jammies – just in case… :0)

  2. Mine are teenagers now so I suspect the lie is on the other foot (or tongue or whatever). However, I got away with pheasant was “dark chicken” and venison was “dark beef” for years. Rural living meant I had a freezer full of both at less than a free range chicken so they were going to eat it whatever I had to call it.

    Oh and “back eyes” (as in eyes in the back of my head). Before they were about to do anything they shouldn’t they would naively ask if my back eyes were open …. they usually were.

    • Jackie says:

      My kids have been eating a variety of colors and tastes of chicken for years! Chicken in our family stands for (chicken, turkey, beef, pork, rabbit). The only one that isn’t chicken is duck. :0) But that’s only because we used to live near a Chinese BBQ where we’d take the kids and they’d see the duck pre/post cooking and knew the difference.

      • Mrs M says:

        Yes, we have a lot of “chicken” in our house too. The other month we had some fish and my 4 year old said “I don’t like fish, I don’t want it.” Okay, fine. I’ll make you some chicken. Half an hour later “Mummy, that chicken was really nice, have you got any more?”

        Love the Maccy D’s lie!
        Mrs M recently posted..Baby’s First Nursery Must-HavesMy Profile

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