It’s not nice to lie to your children, but I suppose it’s often expedient. Case in point from The Spanking Writers:
Said parents were away when we first visited their house. Son sits us down, disappears to fetch drinks. And our eyes simultaneously come to rest on the huge plant pot in the corner of the living room.
We wandered over, as if in shock: yes, it was stashed with the most impressive collection of crook-handled school canes that I have ever seen: junior, senior, in every conceivable degree of whippiness.
Our friend came back in. “Camel whips,” he explained. “Dad collected them when he lived in the Middle East.”
We – just – managed to surpress our giggles.