Here’s What Your Parents Did, Kids, When You Weren’t Looking

Secret confessions from real parents |
Stock photo: Canva

We parents all have our little secrets, the things we’ve done or said but intentionally kept from our kids.

Below is a round-up of candid parent confessions addressed to their children, shared by some of my favorite grown-ups.

Dear Child of Mine:

I . . .

  1. Ate Halloween candy in the bathroom at 2 a.m.
  2. Conducted better research than the FBI on your [fill-in-the-blank issue].
  3. Washed your high chair in the bathtub when you had a poop-splosion all over it, which is how your parents learned the hard way that the cover was not removable.
  4. Ate chocolate in the guest room from my top-secret hiding place.
  5. “Went to the bathroom” for quiet time.
  6. Snuck veggies into your food. Cooked with bison instead of beef.
    Stirred in flax seed in your food, in the name of fiber.
  7. Tolerated your favorite friend, but only barely.
  8. Opened the Christmas presents from your grandparents, donated them to a homeless shelter, and bought you gifts we wanted you to have, wrapped them, and put the tags from Grandma back on.
  9. Recycled massive stacks of your drawings, paintings, and sheets of paper covered in stickers. And glitter.
  10. Caused every Happy Meal or birthday party Dollar Store toy you’ve ever received to vanish, bedtime by bedtime.
  11. Pulled out stitches of your knitting to pick up dropped stitches, then re-knit those rows, so that your project would come out as nicely as you hoped it would.
  12. Snuck in extra stitches/weaving/wood carving work on the project you were getting frustrated with so that you could finish before giving up entirely.
  13. Started on my own schoolwork only after you went to bed.
  14. Gently removed your bunny from your sleeping arms, replaced it with the identical bunny we ordered off Amazon when you wouldn’t let us wash #1 after you barfed on it, washed #1, and put him away on the top shelf for the next rotation. Repeated this for 6 years.
  15. Studied construction truck and prehistoric fish names ad nauseum.
  16. Put puréed cauliflower in gravy, spaghetti sauce, biscuits, yeast rolls, meatballs, mashed potatoes, and smoothies.
  17. Put your older bother’s hand-me-down clothes in shopping bags so you didn’t feel left out of the back to school shopping. Then told your older brother that, yes, he did used to have a shirt and pants just like these when he was the same age.
  18. Told you a library book was “overdue” and had to be returned because I couldn’t stand to read it again.
  19. Told you my chocolate had coffee in it. (It didn’t.)
  20. Smuggled old toys out of the house like they were illicit drugs.
  21. Changed the subject every time you asked who filled the stockings on St. Nicholas day.
  22. “Lost” the singing birthday card you slept with for a year.
  23. Binge-watched House of Cards and ate popcorn.
  24. Went through your laundry while it was still in the dryer to throw out worn out or too small clothing.
  25. Slept.
  26. Removed the apple seed you planted in the desert when you were four, because it really didn’t have a chance. We then replaced it weekly with ever-larger cacti shoots. Your excited reactions each week were priceless. (Of course, when you were 10, we finally had to tell you that you didn’t grow a cactus from an apple seed, so you’d stop telling people that you had.)
  27. Made extra gluten, antibiotic and soy-free chicken nuggets for you so I could sneak a few for me.
  28. Told you that the batteries in that loud toy with the flashing lights couldn’t be replaced. (Also might have said that “There’s a strange force-field around our house that drains all the power from batteries.”)
  29. Cried during your first music recital.
  30. Parked outside your classroom windows on the first day of  Kindergarten to spy on you and reassure myself that all was well.

What about you, reader? What do you dare to confess?