kids are so unreliable

First grade started off kind of lacking in some fanfare. Rachel and Claire pretty much knew the drill, so there were no indignant cries of “We have to go back TOMORROW???” or crying each night because the day was too long.

We have, however, already started the ritualistic Refusing to Get Out of Bed.  And a few Battles of the Breakfast.

I try to get as much information out of them as I can, but it’s tough. Instead of “How was your day,” I ask specific questions about P.E. or art class or recess. Who did you sit next to at lunch? What did you do in music class? Why in heaven’s name do you never eat your grapes?

The problem is, they kind of like to make stuff up.

In Rachel’s class last week, they played Marco Polo, which also happens to be one of her favorite games. And Claire (who’s class is across the hall) was there. And another girl from Claire’s class. And Claire’s best friend (who is in an entirely different class). All convening in Rachel’s classroom to play Marco Polo. A standard part of the first grade curriculum, I’m sure. I chalked it up to excitement about the day and let it slide.


On the walk home one day, Claire described in great detail how she went on a field trip that morning. Just her and her teacher. To a farm. I asked her if she was thinking about how she went to the pumpkin patch the year before, but no, she assured me, she and her teacher rode a bus to a farm. Just the two of them.

“So…just you and Mrs. C?”

“Yeah. Oh, and Serenity.”

“Uh huh.”

On this delusional field trip, they held baby chicks and even got to bring one back, and they named her Coconut, and now I’m kind of suspecting that this story MIGHT contain a few embellishments. Like all of the embellishments. I’m also kinda jealous that I didn’t get to go to the farm.

So I said, “Coconut’s a really great name, but are you sure you really went to a farm today?”


I love that my girls have imaginations. Some might even use the term “overactive.” But all good things must come to an end, and since flat out calling your 6-year-old a liar is frowned upon, I decided it was time to bring her back to reality by asking her if this really happened, or if she was making it up. Basically, I threatened that if I asked her teacher, would their stories gel?

And she was all, “Oh, you’re right Mama. I was just kidding.”

Uh huh.


Earlier in the week I had asked Rachel if she remembered the names of the kids she sat next to, visualizing her desk near the backpacks, where it was on the first day of school.

“No. I don’t sit there anymore,” she told me.


“Yeah. I – I moved.” She stutters and looks all shifty-eyed, and I’m not sure if I believe her.

“Oh, why? Where to?”

“I sit over by Isabella [her bestie] now. Mrs. H moved me. Because she wanted me and Isabella to be together.”

“Uh huhhhhh……” I’m starting to lose confidence in her story. Who else do you sit next to? What part of the classroom is it in? The Marco Polo and the farm have made me cynical and suspicious.

So the next morning I walked her to her class as usual, because you can’t make me drop them at front the door yet, teachers. Please, just give me this.

I peeked into her room, and sure enough, her desk was in a completely different spot, practically back to back with her best friend.

So the moral of the story is that I have absolutely zero ability to tell when my kids are telling the truth or not, so they had better take advantage of this before I figure things out. Kids, this is your chance to stay out past curfew and spend time at some less-than-first-grade-approved locations. Just tell Mom and Dad you’re at the bouncy house at the mall.

And yesterday when Rachel pulled one of those “crazy straws” out of her backpack and said that a monster named Bloober gave it to her? I was like, “Okay! Whatever.”

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  1. Hilarious! Mallorie does the same stuff to me! Super tall tales. We’re talking skyscrapers. When I call her out on it, she gets all huffy and says “Mom, don’t you know I was only pretending?”

  2. I’m so glad it’s not just me. I have absolutely no clue what my kid is doing all day this year because she likes to stretch the truth a lot and I can’t tell what’s real and what’s not. For all I know she is learning how to play poker and shoot pool in first grade.

  3. Your girls are hilarious. My kids’ stories are so long and convoluted that I just stare at them while they talk. They could be telling lies. I don’t know.

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