I absolutely cannot keep a secret—let alone a secret about my kid. Maybe one day my son will ask me to conveniently forget to tell Dad that we watched a horror movie together and he got scared or that he broke the computer playing a game he wasn’t supposed to. I don’t know. I find it hard to keep things hidden as a family—but some folks find that keeping secrets from one parent creates a special moment or bond between them and the other parent.
On Reddit, fathers are specifically sharing "Don't tell mom this happened" stories, and they range from secret food binges to forbidden video game playing to keeping gifts secret. Some are still keeping their secret from Mom while others have let the story go after time with hilarious results.
"While building the outdoor play set for my five year old, I drilled a screw completely through a board and into my shoe, barely stopping just as the screw broke skin. I swore right in front of him, something along the lines of 'Mother-fucking fuck mother fucker.' We are sworn to secrecy to this day." — Maxtubular
"I was with my dad and we thought it was a good idea to start a small fire, on the porch, the wooden porch. It was made of mostly paper and we made sure to scatter the embers and everything but after we went inside and to bed, the wind must’ve kicked up because we came outside the next day and there was a giant hole burned into the porch. My dad just told me,'hey don’t tell your mom, I’ll get it fixed,' he the proceeded to cover it with a small table. She found out anyway and we’re pretty lucky that the house didn’t burn down." — who_is_this-
"This last Christmas my four year old helped my wife wrap one of my gifts. It was late so I was working. The next day, while my wife was at work, she came running through from her bedroom first thing and yelled excitedly, 'Daddy! Daddy! I helped wrap your gift it's a surprise it's a slushie maker!'
'Honey that's awesome but you aren't supposed to tell me that.'
'I know, I know, but it's a slushie maker!'
'If you know not to tell me then why did you tell me?'
'Because I'm just so excited to make slushies with you!'
I was crying with laughter at this point and told her that it's an awesome gift but to keep gifts secret, and I told her we wouldn't tell mummy so she wouldn't be disappointed that I knew what it was. I ended up telling her that evening because it was just too funny and cute." — RancidLemons
"We forgot my passport during vacation and were already at the border station when we noticed. My dad then said that we won't turn back but that he will 'figure something out.' Turns out he smuggled me successfully across 3 Border crossings without my passport. Before we arrived at home, he told me not to tell my mom about this." — b778av
"Dad was putting new roof shingles on. I was probably 3 maybe 4. I asked if I could help. He said if I could climb the ladder sure. I was always climbing so that was no issue. Climbed right on up and started handing him shingles. It would have been a 'don't tell your mother' moment had she not come home from grocery shopping." — LordWisePhoenix
"One night when I was about 8, after I had gone to bed, my Dad was playing a Nintendo game, Legend of Zelda I think. We had both been playing it but we were stuck. He finally found a secret passage, paused the game, and came upstairs to wake me up. He told me he figured out where we were stuck, 'snuck' me downstairs in a blanket (I'm sure my mom knew), and I got to stay up after midnight on a school night, hiding under a blanket, to see where the hidden passage went. It was a silly little incident, but very memorable." — Strongdar
"One day I decided to pull a sick day at school and came down stairs and saw that my dad was making a coffee, I asked him what he was doing and why he wasn’t at work and he said I could ask you the same question. We stood in silence for a moment and he said I won’t tell your mum if you won’t. We had a good laugh about it and he let me have the day off." — bluej1375
"I have always worked in restaurants and get home late nights. On Fridays I treat myself to takeout. Not just any takeout, the bad stuff... Cheese fries topped with Gyro meat, steak nachos with guac. Always a large, always with a big bottle of beer they sell singly. When my girls were little they would sneak down late at night and we would munch bad food and watch really bad funny movies with all the swear words in." — Astrochef12
"When I was in middle school I was the only one willing to go shopping groceries with my dad, he didn’t want to go alone and my mom was at school studying her master’s. None of my siblings wanted to go with him. We used to go to Carl’s Jr., have a big breakfast, and then we went grocery shopping. Nobody knew, not even my mom, until years later. He would also let me buy any cereal I wanted. That’s actually how I learned how to buy good fruit and veggies, how to order meat and fish, etc. When my siblings found out they were angry bc 'they would’ve gone if a big breakfast was on the menu.' My mom just laughed. Nowadays they sneak to have breakfast together before going grocery shopping since we’re all grown up." — vickyaage
"When I was ten years old I was in a head on car crash with my dad and my little brother. My dad ended up with two shattered feet and he was in a wheelchair after getting out if hospital. Now my dad did stereotypical dad things around the house before this happened and being stuck in a wheelchair was difficult for him. One day while my mum was out it was just the two of us in the house. Suddenly I'm being called by my dad to go grab the lawnmower and the trimmer. My dad had decided to cut the grass while in his wheelchair. So ten year old me does as she's told and grabs what needs to be grabbed and plus everything in as told. I move what needs to be moved into the garden but there's one problem, dad can't get into the garden in his chair. The entrance is just too narrow. So my father being the reckless and mischievous man that he is, comes up with a plan. He's going to lift himself up using the garden wall, I'm to collapse the chair and move it through and then reopen it so he can sit down. The pressure is on. Little ten year old me is ready to go. He gets himself up and we manage it in one try. After that cutting the grass together was fairly simple but by this point we'd attracted the attention of the neighbours. My neighbour from across the road was frantic when she saw what we were doing. Husbands from other households were joking my dad was making them look bad. Then, the jig was up. Mum was home. I didn't get into trouble exactly but mum never let us live down." — bensoloforpresident
"When my son was 6 I was playing Grand theft Auto late at night. He wakes up and comes to the living room, tells me he can’t sleep, and asks can he watch me play. I say he can but not to tell his mom he agrees with a big smile. Maybe after about an hour he is playing and I’m watching and helping him. He can’t stop laughing driving into people and running from the cops. I was telling him to watch out for the 5-0 and he asks me what that means, so I tell him it’s the cops, he just shrugs and keeps playing. Now fast forward about a week later and we are all driving in the car. All I hear is a scream of 'Dad watch out it’s the 5-0!' And I absolutely start crying from laughing so hard all while his mother is questioning where he learned that. He just says 'YouTube.' She found out later that I let him play GTA, but I hope the memory of that is as special to him as it is to me." — polarbearsaregay
"When my 3 year old wakes up in the middle of the night, like maybe 3 times a month, instead of putting her back to sleep okey her stay up and partake in whatever it is I am doing no matter what. Sometimes she falls asleep in minutes and some times she stays up for a couple hours. I think it’s amazing times , I think it may even be dream like for her by the way she speaks and moves. She has painted with me, heard my books read aloud, watched lord of the rings and cooked creme brûlée. The rule is, it’s my time so if she’s gonna be with me she does what I’m doing just like o do for her all day long. She totally gets it and never makes it about her." — donteverforanyreason
"Female coworker of mine was miserable at work one day. I asked her what was wrong...she told me it was her anniversary, and she knew her husband had forgotten. She had pre-teen girls at home during summer vacation...I knew her home phone number (pre-cell phone era). I called her home phone and one kid picked up. Explained to the kid who I was and that she needed to call Dad at work and remind him it was Mom and Dad's anniversary...and don't tell Mom OR Dad I called. The next day she was all smiles, gosh he DID remember, brought home flowers and took her to dinner. Mission Accomplished. Not a word was ever said about this...Until 6 years later, when she left the company. She gave me a hug at a farewell luncheon, and whispered 'my kids ratted you out. Thank you.'" — MastadonBob
"When l was 12 or so I walked into my dad's office to find him counting money. He says don't tell mom and you'll find out what it's for. So I don't say a thing. Two days later he wakes me up early to run errands with him. We came back with a new (used, but new for us) car. He also said if I don't tell how much he spent on it he'll let me drive it. It was only a couple hundred dollars but we were broke and she would have been mad. My mother tried so hard to find out but I kept the secret. So anytime we were in an open space like an empty lot he would let me drive it. I felt like the coolest kid in middle school knowing how to drive a car. Again, don't tell your mother he says. It was our secret thing and I'll cherish those memories forever. When I got my permit at 16 I was so excited to drive it for real. I ask my mother if I can drive her around when she has to go out but she says absolutely not since I have no experience. Well I can't argue because I don't wanna get Dad in trouble. This goes on for a few weeks, I keep asking she keeps telling me no. This finally happened one day while dad was home and overheard. He comes in the room gives me a nod and says to my mother 'she's a better driver than you anyway', tosses me the keys and tells mom everything. I was so stoked and cheering I can drive! I can drive! Dad says 'Drive it? No. If you can keep a secret for that long you can keep the car too.' Twenty years later it's still one of my favorite memories." — just_mossy
"I was in middle school, my father gradually bought computers and monitors for us 4 kids and himself and the 5 of us would play World of Warcraft together for many days and always log off one hour before mom got home. We’d rush all the chores in that one hour. That’s when we had teamwork at its finest. She never knew we all played cause she thought it was the devil." — theNameless97
"When I was very little, dad worked first shift and mom worked some evenings. Dad liked to watch The Twilight Zone and the like. I enjoyed them too, but would get scared after he put me to bed and they played hell getting me to sleep. Hence, mom ruled that I was not allowed to watch them anymore. Every time mom was at work, I would wheedle until dad let me stay up late and watch his shows with him. I would promise that 'I'm bigger now, I won't get scared, I'll go right to sleep.' And every time, mom would get home from work at 10 PM and I'd still be awake, wide eyed and scared of the dark." — accio_peni
"My mom is against card games because she thinks the encourage gambling. My dad loves all card games and is amazing at a lot of them. So he taught me to play all casino games (black jack, Texas hold ‘em, and keno) I got pretty good at poker and I would play on the first red dead to the point I made over 200 dollars in game. I got busted when my mom watched me play and asked me how I knew to play poker. I never told her my dad taught me I just said I looked online." — links-Shield632
"My dad didn’t ask us to keep secrets from my mom, but I asked him to keep some from her. When I was a teenager, my mom and I clashed HARD. My dad was the only person I could talk to who was sympathetic and seemed to understand. If there was something I didn’t want my mom to know I’d ask him to keep it between us, and he would. He and I still go out to dinner just the two of us every now and then, and I cherish every bit of it. I love my dad." — similartoasir
"My 7 year old daughter's favorite song is 'War Pigs' by Black Sabbath. heard it once, told mom how cool it was, mom freaked out. said don't listen to it because it's too 'old' for her. the kid gets the message of the song as well as appreciates the sick guitar solo. Well every time we take a ride together, she requests that song, and i just say 'don't tell mom' and we jam out." — Bricka_Bracka
"Took my 2 year old to the donut shop the other day. The lady working there said 'oh how cute is this the baby's first donut?'
'Sadly, no. And if you ever see her here with her mother if your could please pretend you've never seen her before that would help me out.'" — PRNmeds