You know what? I take it back--I do remember my MIL doing something like this. And I told her to stop.
And once when DD, then 3, wanted to ride the little coin-op horse outside the grocery store but couldn't because it was broken, MIL told her, "Mommy will fix it."
So of course the moment I arrived to pick DD up from the visit, she said, "Mommy, come and fix the horsie." I told MIL, "Don't lie to her." And then I had to explain that Grandma was wrong, it was "the people's" horse, and they'd need to fix it.
Thanks for making my job tougher, Grandma! Instead, how about teaching the truth, so my kid can learn to handle disappointment (or injury, in the case of the "bad table") like a sensible, learning person.
I had a similar problem with my ILs and the kids. The ILs would lie to them over the silliest stuff. I asked them to stop. I reminded that eventually the children would figure out what they were doing and would stop trusting them. Nothing worked. Until Grandma got caught with egg on her face.
A couple of years ago, my ILs were at a restaurant we often visited and had a terrible customer service experience. They decided that they were done with the restaurant unless there was a management change.
A while later, my ILs told the girls they'd take them out for breakfast, where did they want to go? ODD suggested the Horrible Restaurant.
Instead of saying something like, "I'd like to but the last time we were there we had a bad time and we're going to take a break from going there for a while. How about this other restaurant?", she said "Oh, that place burned down."
I didn't hear of the above exchange until 2 days later when we were all together in the car and passed the restaurant. My youngest asked, "Grandma, I thought you said [restaurant] burned down?" MIL was very embarrassed and as far as I know, it hasn't happened again.
I mean, we drive past this restaurant on a regular basis. What on earth was she thinking?