Don’t Tell Mommy!

His little hand, still with baby dimples for knuckles, nicked a pointy-edged Transformer from my grasp, and with a quick mix of spins and elbow grease turned it from a robot into a car. Officially marking one of the first moments I gave my husband, “the eyes.”

“They’ve done it,” my husband said. “The children are outsmarting us.”

Skip forward a couple years and they’re learning new tricks. Like this:


School starts soon. Meaning crayons, markers, notebooks and Ticonderoga pencils line our walls in anticipation. I bought a new backpack for my son, since a T-Rex chewed a few holes in his last one. And we’re stocking up on juice boxes and snacks. In short — getting ready.

What I wasn’t ready for were the gleaming eyes of my kids chittering in the back of our minivan on our way out the door yesterday. They’d plotted something — I could taste it on the air.

“What are you two talking about?” I asked.

“Nothing,” chirped my daughter. “Snakes,” said my son.

I gave him a different set of “the eyes.” The ones mothers reserve for those shocking moments when their children veer off the path of Truth.


“Sure!” piped up his cohort. My daughter exchanged a giddy glance with her brother, who from a whim of the air began a comprehensive diatribe on slithering creatures.

I got into the driver’s seat and heard the laughing begin. At five- and six-years-old it’s happy laughter. Happy they “got away” with whatever they’d been discussing. Which, let’s be honest, was something like, “Look! Here are some acorns. Let’s eat them.”

They’re pretty smart, these tiny people we call children. I’m just glad my two are still tiny enough their cries of “Don’t tell Mommy!” mingle right in with the things they yell playing hide-and-seek.

“Where are you?”

“I’m under the coffee table — don’t find me!”

Truth. It must be like a Transformer to a kid. Bend it, twist it, shake it, make something else out of it. As long as it’s all there somewhere, it counts.


19 thoughts on “Don’t Tell Mommy!

    1. Thanks, Peg! I can see my kids’ minds working when they scour their brains for ways to twist what they’re saying. It would be the same on adults too, if we hadn’t learned to control our expressions! πŸ™‚


  1. “I gave him a different set of β€œthe eyes.” The ones mothers reserve for those shocking moments when their children veer off the path of Truth.” -I liked this line a lot.
    I always enjoy your writings because nothing feels better than seeing the world from a mother’s perspective. Every time I visit your blog, I start remembering memories of my childhood with my mother.
    And let me tell you, even at 28, I still use that “do not tell mommy!” phrase too often. πŸ™‚
    I am sure once your kids will grow up, reading this blog they are surely going to realize how blessed they are to have you in their lives. Thanks for another beautiful post.


    1. Arindam, your comment means so much — thank you! I know you understand the main point of my post, as you said, “because nothing feels better than seeing the world from a mother’s perspective.” What a sweet and honest reaction. I’m so happy to hear my posts trigger memories of your own childhood. Thanks for letting me know!


  2. They grow up too soon. I truly regret the time I spent focusing on my career rather than with my precious child. It is time I can never have again. Enjoy your little ones.


    1. Seeing all the work you do with children, I’m sure you can imagine that quote loud and clear! πŸ™‚ And the snakes? I daresay it’s just the first thing that popped into my creative boy’s little mind.


  3. My daughter often plays hide-and-seek with us and it kills me how she’ll stand right in plain sight and whisper, “I’m not here!” They really do live in a magical world of thinking.


    1. So true, Darla! πŸ™‚ My kids go through these elaborate schemes where one will say, “Okay. Now I’m going to go run over here and put this on the ground and you’re supposed to follow me and trip on it and then I’m going to hide behind the sofa but you can’t find me…” and then they both act out their parts! It’s awesome.


  4. Love this post, Melissa! Brought back precious memories of when my children were ‘little, little children’ …and the times I’d get the “I’m not your friend!” pronounced whenever I told them off! *giggle* πŸ™‚


  5. Thanks for following “Tails from Paris”. We’re now following your blog too.

    If you want to sharpen your international sense of humor, we do also have a French version called “Sous nos Couettes” :

    Thanks for sharing if you enjoy it too …

    Best from Paris, France πŸ˜‰

    Alix, Roxane & their bald, bold & funny (at least he pretends to …) Dad


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