Off Duty Mom

Thoughts from an exhausted mom who is NEVER really "off duty"

House of Lies

He’s a player.


It’s hard to tell, really.  And, I love him so much.  It can be very difficult to be objective about this and sometimes it is just really tough to decipher the truth from the lies.

He is my 5-year old son.

I think I have some of it down pat:

  • “Mommy, I am not hungry anymore.” = LIE.  If I offer you ice cream, you will magically find room in that tummy.
  • “I love you, Mom.” = TRUTH.  I am very lovable.

But, here are the grey areas I have recently discovered:

  • “You spend more time with my brother than with me.  Is that because you love him more than you love me?”

—Hmmm… well, the answer to that question is, “My love is not divided, but multiplied.  I will never love anyone or anything more than I love you.  And, I will never love anyone or anything more than I love your brother.”  But, I can’t tell if that little man is playing my sensitive heart because he wants me to spring for a new Minecraft app or if he is genuinely worried about where he stands in our family.

  • “I promise to put it back where I found it.”

—This is not a lie because he really means it when he says it.  But, it also isn’t true because whatever “it” is, it never ends up back where it was originally found.  So, this has me wondering whether this is a punishable offense for irresponsibility or whether it is evidence of the need to work on basic skills in memory and household obligations.

  • “You are an excellent cook.”

—This sounds nice.  I like to hear it.  But, I think I am being ego-stroked for ulterior motives.  My husband has taught the kids that they may not leave the dinner table until they ask to be excused, thank their mother for the meal and let her know that they enjoyed the fruits of her work.  Then, they have to clean up their plates and they may go play until homework or bedtime.  Now, my son may truly believe that I am his personal 5-star chef or he could be trying to score some points for extra playtime or the coveted statement of, “Don’t worry, honey.  I will clean up your plate.  Go play.”

I do have to say, though, that I am pretty wise to my children’s games for the most part.  I can tell when a bellyache is real.  I can differentiate between crocodile tears and the real ones.  I know you’re not really sleeping!  I see that your toys are not put away!

But, I do wonder when it is important to assume a child is being straight with you and when he is trying to scheme on ya.



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10 thoughts on “House of Lies

  1. They are conniving little buggers for sure. I’ve learned that when my 4 year old gets exceptionally touchy/huggy/sweet, it really means that he wants to play the Wii. Lol. I like your husband’s rule about dinner. We do pretty much the same thing, except for the 2 year old. He doesn’t listen to anything so we’ve given up on him already.

    • Aaagggghhhhh! The Wii! Wasn’t that thing supposed to get kids healthy by making them jump all over the place? My kids just sit and press buttons like any other console.

      Except when the little Lego man shots a Stormtrooper. That incites excitement like its New Year’s Eve.

  2. I wish I knew! My 5-year-old is exactly the same. If you figure it out, let me know!

  3. Jennifer Butler Basile on said:

    As I’m about to pen a post on why I’m afraid of my six year-old, I don’t think I am qualified to give advice.

    Get a killer evil eye perhaps? Will it scare the truth out of them?

  4. As someone without kids, I’m just going to snicker from over here.

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