I tell my kids white lies on a daily basis, and rarely feel guilty. I think they are needed in order to run a functional, less stressful life: 'No we can't go to that fairground, it is for children over ten' or 'No we can't get the paddling pool out, there is no water left in the taps'.
However, recently I got caught out by Betty, told a white lie to save my bacon, and felt awful about it. She is a hoarder, and can make her Easter egg supply, for example, last months. I am a chocoholic, and if there is chocolate in the house I find it very hard not to eat it. I do have morals though and draw the line at stealing from a four year old.
The other night, however, one minute I was watching Eastenders, the next thing I knew I had devoured an entire egg, from Betty's collection.
Despite my prayers that she might not notice the missing egg, she of course noticed the very next day. 'My very very very special big egg has gone' she said with tears rolling down her cheeks.
'It's ok' I said, 'The Easter Bunny must have come back to collect it in the night, because it has been there for so long it became mouldy, and he didn't want you getting sick'.
Betty eyed me suspiciously. I felt wretched. And although fairgrounds will continue to be for over ten year olds, and our taps will conveniently run out of water when it suits, I will never ever steal from my children, and then lie about it, again.