Deborah Ross: Son, your pasta calendars were only ever average, if that

If you ask me: When I said Mummy and Daddy can't be watching you all the time, but Santa is, that was also a lie

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If you ask me, the latest research showing that parents set poor examples to their children as they lie to them all the time filled me with such shame and mortification, I decided to confess all to my son, as follows:

* When I said we could not afford to buy tinned Power Ranger pasta shapes, that was a lie.

* My Great Uncle Rex did not get pneumonia from going out without a hat and scarf.

* The cinema was not sold out that time you wanted me to take you to Pokemon 12.

* When I said Mummy and Daddy can't be watching you all the time, but Santa is, that was also a lie.

* The electrics in your bedroom could have easily withstood a television.

* My Great Auntie Betty did not explode because she failed to brush her teeth twice a day.

* I'm the one who removed the batteries from your noisiest toys and said they were broken.

* The nose of your father's Great Uncle Harry did not drop off because he always wiped it on his sleeve.

* The starving children in Africa didn't care if you ate your vegetables or not.

* After any day out at the zoo or similar, the relevant gift shop was, in fact, never "closed today".

* I'm the one who "lost" your raggy by throwing it away.

* Your art works, pasta calendars and craft works were only ever average, if that.

* In bad weather, when I couldn't be bothered, your football training was never actually "cancelled".

* Fads did not "run out" of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle wallpaper, matching curtains and duvet covers.

* You would not eat fish unless I called it chicken, so I did.

* Your performance as a sheep in the school nativity play was not definitive.

* You cannot be arrested by the police and sent to prison for screaming in the supermarket.

* Your father's Great Auntie June did not contract TB from leaving the swimming baths with wet hair.

* Your in-car Noddy tapes did not unravel of their own accord.

* I apologise for making you say you were five for three years, but otherwise we'd have had to pay.

* You wouldn't drink water unless I told you it was still lemonade, so I did.

* When I left you behind in the pub, aged eight, as can happen to any idiot, it wasn't a "great adventure".

* When I told you penguins were charming and adorable, who'd have thought they'd turn out to be necrophiliacs and rapists? I'm sorry, darling, but you can't blame me for that one. No way.

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