Good Listeners

We’ve already established that I’ve told a lie.

Okay, maybe a couple of lies.

But I have another gem that I must confess to.

Katie was watching DVRed PBS recently and when her show ended, I didn’t rush to turn it off.  After the commercial break, I heard a sound that nearly paralyzed me with fear.

The Barney theme song.

I went into full stunt person mode and dove for the remote to push pause before she could figure out what was happening.

No Barney. Ever. Not on my watch.

Well, she caught enough of a glance to want to know what that “purple thing” was.

So, I did what all sane mothers would do. I lied.

Here’s the problem: I am a bad liar.  An atrocious liar.  I don’t think well on the fly and here’s what I offered up to her:

Those kids are on that show with that purple guy named Fred because they aren’t good listeners. Their parents sent them to Fred so that he can teach them how to listen to their parents. They can’t go home until they learn better listening skills.


That was the best that I could come up with.

I know!

So now, whenever I tell her that she’s not being a good listener, she asks if she’ll have to go see Fred.

Sigh. There’s a good year of therapy I’ll be paying for.

Any chance you can make me feel better by sharing some of your best gems?


  1. Tim

    Lol Fred sounds way cooler than Barney. Lying to prevent Barney viewings makes you a good mom. Katie will thank you later.

  2. Was she watching Word World? Abbey watches about 30 minutes of TV a day and loves Word World, and I stalk the TV for the second it is finished to avoid Barney. She, too, caught a glimpse one day. Being a worse liar than you, I panicked and said, "I don't know. Let's go do a glitter craft!" since glitter doesn't come out too often. Parenting fail or sanity saver? Either way, no Barney for us!

  3. Efloraross

    LMAO! I think it is universal thing that all parents hate Barney, and all kids love him. I also swore my daughter would never watch, too. Having babysat for years, I loathed the purple dude. But, you know what? It just so happens that Barney is what is on PBS when I usually get home from the grocery store. And I need him to engage her so I can bring everything in from the car and put it away.

    So I actually allow SB to watch Barney from time to time. Does that make you feel better?! ;) But I'll tell you something that might shock you. I've found he's really not that bad. He teaches very good lessons about accepting those who are different from you, and being a good friend. The message is always a good one, even if it comes in a very annoying package. ;)

    We limit our TV time here to one hour a day or less. SB used to be madly in love with Super Why. Word World was a close second. And I had no problems with those shows. But once we started watching the Signing Time and Baby Signing Time DVDs, that is all she wants to see. My husband and I hear those songs in our sleep and HATE them! But, she has learned well over 200 signs, and they help us all to communicate.

  4. Dolli-Mama

    My least favorite kid show is Sponge Bob. My son watches Diego daily and Sponge Bob often comes after Diego. I can always tell if he saw some of it because he starts belching or doing something else that's gross.
    Sigh… What can you do?

  5. Alison

    I do the same dive for the remote thing, only with Sponge Bob Square Pants. My boys like Diego, but it's on the same channel as Sponge Bob, which I can not stand! I also do not like Barney, so you are certainly not alone on that one :) I'm pretty sure your lying was justified!

  6. CDG

    As I comment, the Small Boy is watching Dinosaur Train, also DVR'd from PBS, but my hubs leaves the TV on FOX NEWS (ack!!) so I have to hurdle the train table and the Imaginext Dragon Castle to find the remote and stop the fear-mongering news cast when the show ends.

    Eleven years of babies and preschoolers, Nichole, and I'm still Barney free. Stay strong, and whatever white lies needs be told? Tell them.

  7. I can't stand lies, telling them or hearing them. So, I didn't lie and was always truthful, then I became a mom and realized what an important thing it is to do sometimes! Like you, I am horrible at it and often get "the eye" from my husband! I know it is a common one, but I still feel guilty playing the Santa card every single time I do it. I don't think the guilt has stopped me once though.

  8. I'm a horrible liar too.

    Most of the time, I end up being vague instead of lying.

    For example: Mommy, what's this on my pizza? – It's really mushrooms and onions, but I respond with vegetables, and they don't question it.

  9. Jaime

    Too funny! Really, that's very creative. I think my favorite way of getting out of things is the "It's not for little kids." Which my daughter quickly turned on me when I also tell her she needs to be a "big girl." She is confused at how she can be a LITTLE kid and a BIG girl all at once. So now I tell her, it's "not for girls your size." That seems to be doing the trick…for now :)

    On another note, I just recently discovered your blog and I really enjoy it. I'm slowly trying to make my way through your archives and such. Just wanted you to know how great it is.

  10. Evonne

    If it gets her to be a good listener, than go with it. I cannot stand Barney and thank goodness my kids never got into him. But I would choose Barney over a few other shows they did like (Yo Gabba Gabba).

  11. Cheryl @ Mommypants

    My kids have watched barney (BY ACCIDENT) and they didn't really get into him.


    The clean up song? When I sing it to him, X hustles to clean up stuff. Because if I just ask him, he shouts NO!. But the song works like a charm.

  12. 32mari

    lol, too funny. though I hate Barney myself. I have not turned it off, if they want to watch that stupid show I let them, eventually they loose interest on their own. Only my youngest has liked Barney the most, he still loves barney, geez my other 3 would only veiw it a few times then get bored, but Jehzel, he just loves it.

  13. ash

    My nemesis is Caillou. What won't I say to keep that whiner off my t.v.?

    You're doing just fine.

  14. That's hilarious!! I think we all lie to our kiddos every now and then…it's how we survive their childhood!

  15. angel

    so I won't tell you that my 2 oldest boys adored BArney. But I also liked the lessons he taught about friendship and kindness and minding.. so it was a win for me. They out grew him around 4 or so . however I think Nick has far worse shows then Barney ever thought about

  16. Nichole

    I have to think so, Tim!
    I'm protecting her, right? ;)

  17. Nichole

    Oh, glitter! Wow, that's desperation! ;)
    Glitter only comes out for emergencies here, too.

  18. Nichole

    Oh, Elizabeth, I keep meaning to recommend two videos to you that Katie absolutely loved when she was smaller– Baby Babble and Baby Babble 2. They're produced by two speech pathologists and they are truly amazing. They focus on speech, but also incorporate signing. I bought them through Amazon and they were worth every single penny.

  19. Nichole

    I've actually never seen an episode of Sponge Bob. It sounds like I should keep it that way? :)

  20. Nichole

    I've heard that Sponge Bob is pretty annoying too.
    I will go to any lengths necessary to avoid Barney, so I completely get that.
    And thank you for condoning my teeny lies. :)

  21. Nichole

    Okay, how much am I loving the vision of you running and hurdling to get to the remote!? Love it.
    I'll keep fighting the good fight, have no fear! ;)

  22. Nichole

    Oh, Tayarra, you've made me giggle this morning.
    I was the same way, always honest.
    It's funny how parenting ideology is quickly replaced with parenting reality when you have kids!
    I am still laughing at the idea of your husband giving you "the eye." That's awesome.

  23. Nichole

    I'm going to try that trick with vegetables!
    The list of what Katie will eat is shrinking. She's gone to bed pretty hungry several times lately.

  24. Nichole

    Ah, yes, I too have played both sides of that big girl/little kid card and now Katie is catching on.
    I love the "not for girls your size" explanation. I am so stealing that!

    I'm so happy that you've found my blog and I can't thank you enough for your kind words.
    I look forward to getting to know you better! :)

  25. Nichole

    I've never seen Yo Gabba Gabba, but I've heard that it's enough to drive a parent completely mad. ;)

  26. Nichole

    We're a fan of the clean up song too.
    Also, when they're crabby, I sing You Are My Sunshine and that works beautifully to snap them out of it.
    The funny part is that when I sing, most other people cry. Go figure. ;)

  27. Alicia

    So funny! Love it! I am an awful liar too! No shame in that Nichole!!

  28. Nichole

    You are so funny. :)
    It's not a bad show…there are so many shows on tv that really aren't good for kids.
    Isn't interesting how different our children can be from one another?

  29. Nichole

    He is the biggest whiner in the history of whining.
    I'll make the remote dive for him too if he ever comes on.

  30. Nichole

    It really is all about survival, isn't it, Crystal!? :)

  31. Booyah's Momma

    I cannot believe you have made it this far down the parenting path without exposing your kids to Barney. That is heroic, for sure.

    We got into the bad habit of letting our kids watch a few minutes of Barney before bed. And now they want to do it every SINGLE night. As if bedtime weren't painful enough.

  32. Yuliya

    Worse than a mommy confession I have a regular person confession..I USED TO WATCH BARNEY! (AND I DIDN'T HATE IT) and I am off to have my face altered…

  33. she

    hahaha I love this story. Who told you that you were a bad liar? That was brilliant! ~thirstymagnolia

  34. Mom

    You are my sunshine. Great song! It also was your Pe'pere's song. So happy it works for you .It did for me too!

  35. Lyndsey

    Nichole you are so funny! This may run a close second to "mommy what are you drinking with the straw?" and your comment was…"beer". Awesome! Just wanted to share that I too am not a Barney fan…but somehow he too came on at the end of a show and Max wanted to watch. Then one day he told me that when he grows up he wants to be on "Barney and Friends"….I nearly laughed and died at the same moment. So I guess Barney has given us a funny memory!

  36. Nichole

    The show really does teach some amazing things.
    I used to nanny for a little girl who watched it and it has taken me YEARS to get the them song out of my head. I can't risk getting it trapped in there again! :)

  37. Nichole

    I'm going to fight it for as long as humanly possible!

  38. Nichole

    She's always been a huge fan of Sesame Street and has recently fallen in love with Super Why, so we haven't had to resort to Barney yet. Cross your fingers for us that we make it through!
    I'm fairly certain that watching Barney in the evenings would interrupt my sleep…I'd hear that song in my head and never be able to fall asleep.

  39. Nichole

    I. Am. Dying.

  40. Nichole

    I remember you telling me that. I think of it every time I sing it. :)

  41. Nichole

    How silly that he wants to be on it when he grows up! By grown up, does he mean six or seven? :)
    I hope that you wrote that story down because it is too funny!

  42. Nichole

    I tried to visit your blog to say hello, but it doesn't seem to be a valid link.

  43. Rachel

    Oh dear god…Barney is AWFUL. My kids have discovered him but thankfully don't ask to watch him. Fred…SNORT!

  44. @2old2tap

    I have a serious dislike for Barney, good lessons or not. He's been around way to long to be natural. I always think of brain washing when I see that purple monster.

    I miss Eureeka's Castle very badly though.

  45. Nichole – When my son was about 18 months old, I was pushing him in thegrocery cart down the "adult beverage" aisle on our way to the deli. That's when Jack shouted with glee, "MOMMY'S JUICE!" I'm sure you can imagine the "little lie" I'd told him. I tried to be proud that he was attempting a sentence…

  46. My kids know who Barney is, but they don't watch. I wouldn't let them even if they wanted to. Ewwwww!

    I lie to my kids a lot.
    Exhibit A: Baskin Robbins is closed today.
    Exhibit B: Target doesn't have those boots in your size.
    Exhibit C: That sign says kids are not allowed

    What will I do when they can read (we're getting close!)?????

  47. Anne @ A JD + Three

    I used to take the batteries out of Noelle's toys and then tell her they were broken. Gave me a great deal of peace and quiet when she was younger.

  48. Sherri

    I knew I adored you….this just cements it! Hate, Hate Barney and everything about that show! I never let mine watch it…..and I think he was new when my son was little! Sometimes I love having just basic cable and missing out on some of this stuff!

  49. Ana

    I wish I had done that trick about 17 years ago, I hated that purple dinosaur. Trust me you did the right thing it will save you years of headaches and torment

  50. andygirl

    snort. well, hon. that pathetic lie was worth it. Barney is an abomination. and I don't use that word lightly.

    let's see. I don't have any kids to lie to. but my dad told me a whopper once. we were driving to Disneyland and I was all jazzed and bouncing around and wouldn't shut up. so he drove to an empty lot and told me Disneyland burnt down. scarred. for. life. we still went that day, but I will never forgive him for that one. he still laughs about it.

  51. I probably would have said the devil himself wears purple and that he's not to be trusted…kidding…that would give my kid nightmares.
    But my son has a wee little addiction to Yo Gabba which is also painful to watch and hear. It is like torture to all senses. Anyhoodles, I lied and told my son that Gabba was on vacation indefinitely.

  52. ksluiter

    we do NOT watch Barney in this house. you would think Barney is porn the way I run to turn it off. Eddie has never seen it and if all goes my way? never will!

  53. Ugh! I HATE BARNEY. The MIL turned it on for my son. Once. I threatened her with a slow, painful death. He has not seen it since.

  54. kris

    Neither of my girls ever liked Barney (thank goodness).

    But Kallan did like the Teletubbies . . . a horrible horrible show.


    She watched it a few times, and I couldn't stand it. So I told Kallan it was a show for slow kids. And that watching it would make her slow.


    She never wanted to watch it again.

    Not one of my finer moments.

  55. @heym0mxtwo

    I nearly pissed myself laughing. I am following you now. Great blog!!

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