Confession of a Bad Mom :: I Lied to Summer Camp

You know how it is after Christmas. You get through the hustle and bustle of the season, and then before you know it, Mardi Gras, Spring Break, and BOOM! It’s May, you’re frantically searching for teacher appreciation gifts, bathing suit shopping, maybe planning a summer vacation. But did you remember to sign your kids up for summer camp way back in February? What about that registration date in March? Missed that one too, huh? That was me last year.

It was one week before I would need to send my kids to camp, and we still hadn’t registered. The camp we wanted only had a spot for one of my boys. Luckily, I heard about another great camp nearby. The boys had a lot of friends in that one. I crossed my fingers and called.

Me: Hi, I know it’s late, but do you happen to have two spots for 6 and 4-year-old boys?

Director: For your older one, definitely. When does your little one turn 5?

Me: December.

Director: I’m sorry. If he was turning 5 maybe in June, it could work. We don’t take them that young.

I thanked him and hung up. I’m kinda proud not really proud of what I did next. I got someone else to call the camp back a few minutes later and ask for spots for a 6-year-old boy and a 4-year-old boy. Same conversation, but this time, when the director asked when my little one would turn 5, we lied. We said he’d be 5 on June 6. I was delighted to hear that he had spots for my 6-year-old and “almost 5-year-old.” I went right over, paid the registration, and filled out paperwork. I wrote June 6 on the date of birth line and got a few size small camp shirts. We were all signed up and good to go.

The following week, it was time to drop the kids off for their first day of camp. My little one’s shirt almost came to his knees. He needed a smaller size, but they didn’t have any because, you know, they don’t take preschoolers. As we walk in, I overheard counselors’ remarks about how cute my little one is. After all, he did have that baby face, and he was for sure the smallest camper. We put their bags in the appropriate piles and walked to meet the counselors. I handed in a few last-minute forms, and the counselor noticed that my little one has a birthday on June 6.

And she is delighted. How perfectly perfect because June 6 would be in just a few days and did I want to bring cookies or something to celebrate his birthday with his camp group? By this point, my kids, who both know his birthday is the week before Christmas, were looking really confused. And I was trying to hold it together because the kids weren’t in on my lie. I’m not a perfect mom, but truly what kind of mother would I be if I used my kids as accomplices? After all, I do have some standards. With a smile, I replied, “Wonderful, let me know if there are any allergies!” And I threw my kids in their lines and got the hell out of dodge. A few days later, it was June 6. And my kids skipped camp that day to celebrate my youngest’s birthday.

So there are two lessons to be learned here, Mommas. I’m sure you’ve heard about how lying leads to more lying. Here’s what that looks like. But perhaps more importantly, as soon as you finish reading this, get those kids signed up for camp.

Alyson Haggerty
Alyson lives in Metairie with her husband, Patrick, their two boys, and their Morkie, Beignet. After teaching for almost ten years, she left a career in education, earned her BSN, and now works as a pediatric emergency nurse. In her free time, Alyson enjoys flipping furniture, writing, dancing, and painting. She is always looking for a racquetball partner and loves streetcar rides and playing board games with her family. A good cook, she is constantly on a quest to answer the age-old question, “What’s for dinner?” but has thus far been unsuccessful.


  1. I would be right there with ya sista! Sometimes you need to do things for your sanity. No judgement here.


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