Eavesdropping 101

 It’s a given that kids like to play with their toys. They will drag them out, play until their little hearts content, and then put them away at the end of the day. Well, some children put their toys away. My son, Adam, didn’t.

 I was a stay-at-home mom, so we played all day. It was like a little day care center. We would make crafts and paint, build with blocks and Lego’s, and color the day away.   Adam liked taking his books and making a road with them. All of the downstairs rooms were open, so he could ride his little Hot wheels car from the kitchen through the living room, the dining room and back into the kitchen. It was at the end of the day, that Adam just didn’t want to pick up all of those books.

 Every time I would ask Adam to pick up his toys, he would ignore me and go about his business. So, I would ask him again. “It’s tooooo much.” he would always reply.

His next line was, “My back hurts.”  He would hold his back like he was in pain, and just couldn’t possibly pick up all of those books. The bending over was just killing him.

 I thought I was being a nice mom by helping him pick up his toys, but I soon realized that he had to learn to do this all by himself. New mothers need to learn a lot too. Trial and error.  So, I told him he had a choice, pick up his toys, or I would put them in a bag for a day and he would not be able to play with them the next day. I don’t think he believed me and off he went.

 So, I got out a black trash bag and started picking up his toys. I walked into the living room and held the bag up. “You can have this back on Tuesday.” Well, that didn’t go well. But, I stuck to my guns and I thought that that would work. It didn’t.

 The next day, Adam decided to place his books on the floor as a road. He and Alex jumped on his little car and away they went. So, when it was time for him to pick up his books, he told me that his back was hurting. Oh, he thought he was a good little actor. But, I was better. He had no idea who he was dealing with.

“You know, Adam, your back has been hurting a lot lately. Almost every day. I think that I am going to have to make an appointment with Dr. Dev. to take a look at your back. I’m really worried about you.”  I stuck a Pee Wee’s Playhouse tape in the tape player, and said on my way to the kitchen, ” Now, you guys please sit and watch this while I make a private phone call to the doctor’s office. I will be back in a few minutes.”

 Well, I knew that Adam was going to eavesdrop. He’s my son. I picked up the phone, with its long cord, and went around the corner, peeking back around like I was going to make a private phone call. He watched my every move. I knew that in a minute, he would be at the corner, eavesdropping on my conversation with the doctor’s office. This was going to be good.

 I dialed the phone. ” Hello, yes. I need to make an appointment for my son to get his back checked.” I went on to tell the receptionist about how his back hurt when he bent over to pick up his toys and how it seemed to be getting worse. They put the doctor on the phone for me. I was whispering, in a loud sort of way.

“Hi, yes, Dr. Dev…………why can’t he just have an x-ray?………………Oh, are you serious?………………….He’ll have to have an operation?……………………..I had no idea…………..I mean, how long will he have to stay in the hospital?………….Oh my gosh, he will not be able to get out of bed for how long?………………..Summer will almost be over by then?…………………Why can’t he go swimming after the operation?……………..Well, is there any way at all I can just watch him for the next week or so to see if his back feels any better. I would hate for him to have a back operation. He’s so young………We are going on vacation in a few weeks.He would have to stay with his Grandma Georgie…….. I hope it is just a muscle hurting or something. I will watch and see, Doctor.”

 I finished my fake conversation, hung up the phone. I could hear Adam run back to his place in front of the tv. I walked in the room, wiping a pretend tear from my eye, and said nothing. His eyes were wide, but he knew he couldn’t tell me he heard the rest of the conversation. “What’s wrong, Mommy? he asked.  “Nothing, sweetie. I just have a piece of dust or something in my eye.”

 That evening Adam came up to me as I was picking up his toys and said “Mommy, I think my back is feeling better. Look.” He bent over 3 or 4 times. “I’m going to try to pick up my toys.”

 “Well, ok, Adam.”  I hugged him like I was never going to see him again. “Thanks, Adam. Mommy loves you.”

 Adam always picked up his toys after that. 

 And he thought HE was a good actor.

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183 responses to this post.

  1. Well done. My mom used to play this tricks on me when I was a kid, but now that I’m 20 she usually does the reverse. She asked me to do the dishes one night because she was feeling tired, which I didn’t think anything about because my parents are very rarely tricky, and they know I will do the dishes anytime I’m home in exchange for freeing me of dorm food for the weekend. I finished the dishes and walked into my mother’s bedroom to ask her a question only to overhear her shrieking with laugher that she had tricked me into doing the dishes so that she could look through my diary… The diary that I have had since high school. It was funny and almost sad at the same time, up until she got to the parts that weren’t meant to be mean and that escaped being buried from prying eyes.
    Mom- 1. Sophia- 0.

    Reply

  2. […]  It's a given that kids like to play with their toys. They will drag them out, play until their little hearts content, and then put them away at the end of the day. Well, some children put their toys away. My son, Adam, didn't.  I was a stay-at-home mom, so we played all day. It was like a little day care center. We would make crafts and paint, build with blocks and Lego's, and color the day away.   Adam liked taking his books and making a road w … Read More […]

    Reply

  3. Posted by Stephen Hatamosa on December 16, 2010 at 10:48 pm

    hahaha.. You deserve an award for outsmarting a smart kid!

    Reply

  4. That was a fun read. 🙂

    Reply

  5. 😀 poor guy….. u crafty ol’ mummy you!

    Reply

  6. The tear and the “Mommy loves you” bit were expert touches.

    Reply

  7. Awesome ! I am fan of your blog. This is a good story and the photographs that use in this blog is very cute.

    Reply

  8. That is a great story. Parenthood requires so much imagination and humor to deal with children who do their best to out-think grownups. Looks like you had a handle on it. 🙂 -Jen
    http://sasfiction.wordpress.com

    Reply

  9. ha ha ha ha ha!:-) this was funny:) im surely gonna use this on my son as he grows older coz im sure gonna need it. he is just turning two and all that he does is pick things up and put them on the floor….no amount of logic/pleading/cajoling/love/scolding works to make it the other way round! except when he is in a mood to listen!

    Reply

  10. So cute…and how lucky for your kids that you can “play” just like they can! Too bad I can’t use that one on my 16 and 18 year old!

    Reply

  11. Posted by -Durk- on December 15, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    What a great story! Congrats on being freshly pressed!

    Reply

  12. Posted by Generation 26 on December 15, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    Oh my gosh this is too funny 🙂

    Reply

  13. As I was reading this, I couldn’t stop smiling. Keep on writting! 😀

    Reply

  14. haha that’s so awesome! I’m totally suscribing to your blog. 🙂 Congrats on FP! 😀

    -Tia

    http://www.tiallarising.wordpress.com

    Reply

  15. I think your inventiveness and humour prove that you are a creative and flexible mum that has correctly identified through trial and error a strategy that works well for your son. As you said, every child is different, and I think in this case there was n impish undesrtanding between the two of you that has only now found its words in this post! The story made me smile and reminds me of the kinds of things my mum would come up with when I was growing up. Nice blog too 🙂

    Reply

  16. Congrats on being freshly pressed 😀 I loved your story and I couldn’t help but read through your previous posts. And I’m still laughing now. You have a wonderful way of narrating and I look forward to reading future postings 😀

    Reply

  17. So incredibly awesome. I’m filing this away to use on my six-year-old tornado with a nasty case of rheumatism that flares up right before Clean-Up Time.

    Reply

  18. Posted by poeticpiper on December 15, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    Love the blog, check my new art blog out,
    http://art-shelbysart.blogspot.com

    Reply

  19. Loved your post! It so reminded me of my own kids when they were young. We are of like-mindedness in our parenting skills. We used the garbage bag method for the toys too. One time my husband took the bag full of toys to the garage, where we promptly forgot about them. Didn’t find them again until we were moving a year later!

    Reply

  20. […] And don’t worry, he eventually does get them back, but not for quite a while. It’s a given that kids like to play with their toys. They will drag them out, play until their little hearts content, and then put them away at the end of the day. Well, some children put their toys away. My son, Adam, didn’t.  I was a stay-at-home mom, so we played all day. It was like a little day care center. We would make crafts and paint, build with blocks and Lego’s, and color the day away.   Adam liked taking his books and making a road w … Read More […]

    Reply

  21. Sweet. Reverse psychology at its finest. 🙂

    Reply

  22. Posted by bjacobus on December 15, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    I so loved that story!

    Reply

  23. Posted by MmeZeeZee on December 15, 2010 at 3:50 pm

    Awesome. I tried it and didn’t think to make it “private” and she kept getting near the phone and finally accused me of lying. I’m such a bad liar, LOL!

    Reply

    • Oh, he would have known right away if I had the conversation in front of him. I put the tape in, told them to watch it and took the phone around the corner…lol…I could hear him. That was the best part…lol

      Reply

  24. My parents made up a story of an older sister named Gloria that I had never met. She had been “bad” and had been banished to living under the porch. Every time I started to do something bad, I was warned that I’d be joining Gloria if I continued.
    Of course it was a lie, but I didn’t want to live under to porch with Gloria! I’m 25 now and have nothing against my parents, and to all these other people saying your kids are going to be liars, cheaters, etc, grow up. I didn’t lie or cheat my way through school or college. I have a good job, a good husband and don’t lie just because my parents lied to me when I was 4.
    Awesome story, and I will SO use it when I have kids.

    Reply

    • Thank you so much! That made me feel a lot better! 🙂 I deleted the postings. She is promoting a book and trolling around trying to get business by stirring the pot. She was just a mom who took a few courses, wrote a book and is pretending her ideas work. I am in charge of my own delete button, so I chose to use it..lol
      You will be a great mom! Thanks for writing.

      Reply

  25. Well, congrats on getting freshly pressed and my condolences on all of the people questioning your motives. Considering your lie was a way of outing his lie, I am not sure which begats the other. However, I loved the ploy because it got you the wanted action. I have to threaten death and destruction to make my kids clean up. Does that mean I am raising children in a horrible environment? Maybe, maybe not.

    Reply

  26. Posted by xepictoastx on December 15, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    I liked the story, it sounds like something i would do lol.

    Don’t let the “negative” comments bother you. Everyone has their own opinion :]

    Reply

    • Thank you! Oh, I don’t mind opinions at all. I welcome them. I do mind the people that don’t know me telling me how to raise my children. There is no right way, because each child is different. Thanks for writing. 🙂

      Reply

  27. Nice… I really liked that story!

    Reply

  28. I used to use the fake phone call trick on my brother when I babysat him. Works every time.

    Reply

  29. Thanks for sharing such a great story.

    Reply

  30. very enjoyable story. I really felt compelled to finish the story after the first paragraph. I like how you found your own way to deal with your son’s lack of cooperation through trial and error. You found what worked for you and you stuck with. That should be a lesson to all parents. Every child is a little bit different. Rather than just beating, yelling at, or grounding their child, parents should figure out different strategies to get their kids to behave. Congratz on figuring out yours.

    check out my blog: cheapsushi.wordpress.com. I’d love to have your opinion 🙂

    Reply

    • Thank you. Each child is different. Mine was much smarter than me and wouldn’t sit in a time out chair if his life depended on it. I will check out your blog! Thanks for writing. I appreciate your take on the parenting aspect of it all. 🙂

      Reply

  31. http://superdan95.wordpress.com/
    hay guys check out my blog i got some cool ultimate Frisbee stuff in it also some funny stuff to.

    Reply

  32. Posted by Asian Butterfly on December 15, 2010 at 6:32 am

    that was…
    that was just… FANTASTIC.

    haha ^^

    Reply

  33. You are a clever mom.
    I donna know. Toys never much bothered me. I mean they were toys not dust nor dirt. Eventually, I figured the kids would grow up and the toys would be gone. Lo and behold… Now my little grandson has his scattered about. It warms my heart to trip over his little blocks while getting my coffee.
    Little problems little children.

    Reply

    • Oh, I know what you mean. I didn’t have a problem with their bedrooms. And Oh MY God..but the toys were all over the place. My skin was crawling. I just needed to be able to walk without breaking my neck..lol

      Reply

  34. Oh, my goodness. This is amazing! I’m totally logging this away for the future. Thanks for the laugh.

    Reply

  35. I have just stolen this, and am going to use it!!! How can kids all be so predictable? It is always too much, and something is always sore. My little girl is 4 and she is my everything….. she is really a monster disguised as a princess.
    Looking forward to reading more of your blog!!!!
    Mine is: http://husbands4hire.wordpress.com

    Reply

  36. ha what a great story thanks for sharing. I remember my mom doing something like that with me.. i was kinda a hypochondriac and i heard her boyfriend talking loudly in the next room that if i didn’t get better soon i would have to go to the doctor. For me that was horrifying. What do ya know I was fine no trip to the doctors for me.. kids are funny like that.

    Reply

  37. thats awesome. it work awesome.

    Reply

  38. Ahahhahaa…Great Idea Mom ! I did the same things to my 2 kids…Our kids are really smart so we must 2 times smarter than them..God bless ur family !

    Reply

  39. Santa once left a note tucked into the tree for my three year old. It read “I know you just moved and might have been worried that I wouldn’t find you so I sent you this tree to tell you not to worry.
    p.s. don’t say shut up. it isn’t nice and Santa doesn’t like it.” I never heard him say that again…well..at least not for the next seven years. I will take what I can get.

    Reply

  40. Posted by Isobel Devi on December 15, 2010 at 1:03 am

    That was a very cute story ❤ I wish similar tactics worked for my dog

    Reply

  41. Posted by jannajesson on December 15, 2010 at 12:51 am

    Hahaha very cruel– I mean, cute! 🙂

    Reply

  42. ahahahhaha…Great trick Mom ! I did the same things with you…

    Reply

  43. Posted by Greggory on December 15, 2010 at 12:00 am

    Moral: don’t spy on your parents, kids!

    Reply

  44. Very cute story. I used to threaten to take the kids toys to Goodwill and start to pick them up. Suddenly they were helping! Worked every time.

    Reply

  45. I have tried numerous things to get my children to pick up their toys, but this one takes the cake – when they give you an act, it seems appropriate to serve them with their own medicine! So much more fun than begging. I like it!

    Reply

    • Oh, I went through all kinds of ways to get them to pick up their toys. The trash bag and holding it hostage for a time period works, but this back complaint was so real..lol..I had to see if maybe his back was hurting…LOL

      Reply

  46. Terrific story. Can’t wait to try using that ploy with our crew. Maybe tonight, in fact. A quick cell call to Santa when the Hellcat gets out of bed for the fifth time might do wonders.

    Congrats on Pressed. Loved this. And thanks for including me in your Blogroll. I’m honored!

    Take care,

    Chase

    Reply

  47. That was really funny..I have a 9 month old…I guess we would soon be entering into the world of “No I don’t want to”

    Reply

  48. Hey blog friend – congrats on being freshly pressed! Better watch out, now there will be people judging your parenting acting!

    Reply

  49. Excellent!! When I was a kid I used to say “but Mommy it’s such a BIG mess and I’m just a LITTLE girl!” 🙂

    Reply

  50. When our grandson was going to the babysitter, she sometimes used to tease her little girl about calling the police when she was naughty. One day after church, Tommy and I heard a siren. I told him it was the police, and he turned ashen and ran down the street and back into the church. I had to pull hard to get him back outside.

    Reply

  51. Posted by Abigail on December 14, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    The problem comes when the kids can tell that you are lying/teasing. We (kids aged 16-22) do that all the time now. Mom mom will say something like, “I don’t have this card.” Or whatever and we’ll all be there and saying, “She has it. It was hers.” Forget eye movement, it’s tone of voice. 🙂

    But seeing how he’s 25 now, you probably know that already.

    Reply

  52. That is hilarious! On my blog I post another fun (but nearly as sneaky) way to get the toys picked up … !

    http://jessicavitalis.com/tip-22/
    Stop Pinching Your Sister! (Practical Parenting Tips Based on My Columbia MBA)

    Reply

  53. i wish i could act like that!

    Reply

  54. Hahahhaaa – this had me laughing out loud! My daughter is just entering the terrible twos and when it comes to picking up toys sometimes it is a fun game and at other times? Well, she just cocks her head and says “mmm, no don’t wanno” – ah, the horror. This story just teaches me how many more theatrics we will be going through in the future!

    Thank you so much. Good to know we aren’t the only ones out there dealing with the drama of childhood!

    http://www.lushcluster.com

    Reply

    • Thanks so much! I’m glad it made you laugh. I laughed after I did it..lol My son wouldn’t sit in a time out chair. I guess you just have to pick your battles. I had to think outside the box every day..Fun but really drained me..lol

      Reply

  55. hah very funny. you sly devil you. great read and nice post

    http://enjoibeing.wordpress.com/

    Reply

  56. That was great, I’m so glad it turned out ok, you had me believing it at first. I thought it was going to be a SAD story, Ha, Ha, Ha! Kids’ll o the dardest things, right?? Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

    evelyngarone.com

    Reply

  57. Posted by jensully7 on December 14, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    That is a quick an easy cure to back pain! I’m sure he won’t be complaining about his back anytime soon!

    Reply

    • It’s weird, but a couple of years ago he had a fractured vertebrae. He’s 25 now. We aren’t sure if it is a fall on the ice while ice skating, the jumps down after rock climbing or jumping out of an airplane. When he told me his back was hurting, I thought of when he was little..lol maybe it WAS from picking up the toys..lol

      Reply

  58. I love it! My mom would do the garbage back trick with my brother, and it never seemed to work either.

    Reply

  59. Posted by jule1 on December 14, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    Hysterical. Wait until he’s a teenager and a better actor than you, lol! But until then, you win.

    Reply

  60. LOL too funny. Smart woman! 🙂

    Reply

  61. Haha. Great blog. I remember doing some fake phone calls myself sans teardrops. : ) Nice touch.
    I guess we keep learning as much as they keep learning.
    Congrats on freshly pressed.
    http://lifebehindthemakeupcounter.wordpress.com/

    Reply

  62. Great story! It’s funny how creative we become once we’re parents!

    Reply

  63. Posted by Ruthie on December 14, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    This made my day 🙂

    Reply

  64. Posted by ryoko861 on December 14, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    High five mom!! You get props! A little psychology will get you far!

    Reply

  65. Posted by misscrystal43 on December 14, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    hahah this is too good.

    Reply

  66. I’m happy you got Freshly Pressed! I love it when my blog friends get Pressed! Congrats!

    Reply

  67. NICE! My parents were never so smart. I was one of those kids who didn’t pick up my toys either. I still haven’t really learned to pick them up. Now I just have different toys. My living room is strewn with books and clothes and shoes. It will be clean on Saturday night because I usually clean it on Saturday afternoon. But by Sunday afternoon it is always a mess again. If only my parents had found some sort of ingenious way to teach me to pick up after myself.

    Crystal
    http://www.crystalspins.com

    Reply

  68. Hahaha.. That’s awesome. I’ll have to tell my sister this one to use on her very stubborn daughter – and see if it works, lol. 🙂

    Reply

  69. Oh my god that’s awesome! How old is Adam now and does he know this story?

    Reply

  70. haha! i love it. great story

    Reply

  71. Loved the story! As much as I wish my little one stays a baby forever, I can’t wait when he is older and we can have actual conversations.

    Reply

  72. haha! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed, that acting deserves it! 😀

    Reply

  73. Posted by Barbara @ Just Another Manic Mommy on December 14, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    that’s a totally adorable story and I learned some parenting techniques I may need to utilize! (I also love the Pee Wee’s play house reference!)

    Reply

  74. That is hysterical.

    Blessings,

    Ava
    xox

    Reply

  75. Heh heh heh. I am enjoying my boys’ current ages, but I also look forward to having grown kids and being able to talk to them about things like that.

    Reply

    • They were so much fun when they were young, but trust me, they remember EVERYTHING, and will remind you of it when they are older. My daughter remembers me saying, “And YOU, little Missy Foo Foo..” lol

      Reply

  76. Ah, the joys of parenthood and twisting their simple little minds into something of decent human caliber. Reminds me of my childhood. I wonder if my mom was acting when she left me at that funeral home (http://t.co/qMm9BBm)
    Great story and congrats on FP. Adam doesn’t even know who he’s dealing with.

    Reply

  77. Oh thats so sweet! 🙂 cute little story.

    Reply

  78. […] original here: Eavesdropping 101 Posted on 2010 年 12 月 13 日 by lanshang1460. This entry was posted in 未分类 and tagged […]

    Reply

  79. Posted by humanitarikim on December 14, 2010 at 10:49 am

    Ahh, they psychology of parenting! Great story!!

    http://humanitarikim.wordpress.com/

    Reply

  80. hahahaha now that was pretty good!!! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Reply

  81. That’s just too cute! Mothers do have to pull some quick ones on their children sometimes. Every now and then my son would ask to do something that was way out of bounds for what I would normally allow. Sometimes, it even involved friends (“but all my friends are doing it”) and I would hate having to be the one mom that said “NO” but knew it was the right thing to do. So I would just tell him that if I let him do that terrible, dangerous thing that we both knew was bad for him that I would go to Hell because God gave me the job of being his mother and if I didn’t do a good job and keep him safe, I would go to Hell for disobeying God. Then I would look at him all serious and say, “I don’t want to go to Hell. I want to go to Heaven. Don’t you want me to go to Heaven, too?” He would always say, “Yes.” Thank goodness!

    Reply

  82. So funny! My mom swears that children know when adults are lying to them, but I think you may have proved her wrong!

    Reply

  83. Simply. Awesome. 🙂

    I do love how children thing they’ve got us all figured out — then we pull something out that is totally unexpected, causing a change in behavior.

    Funny story!

    Reply

  84. Thats a great little story. I have two little ones of my own and the oldest is just getting to the point where she’s going to give em greif about her toys, I can just tell. Thanks for telling it. I’ll pass your blog on to other friends of mine who are parents that would get a kick out of this. I hope you’ll check mine out as well if you get a chance.

    Reply

  85. thanks for this…something to consider when i eventually have kids. just need a girlfriend first.
    http://dearexgirlfriend.com/

    Reply

  86. Great story!
    I can tell who your child got his cheeky smartness from! 😉

    http://littleexplorer.wordpress.com/

    Reply

  87. This reminds me of the time that I “cleaned up my room.” Cleaning up, to me, obviously meant that you could shove every toy, sock, and PJ bottom underneath your bed until you needed them. My mom had a different idea. When she told me to clean up my room, I hurtled everything under my bed, and when she came up to check, she was stunned at how clean it was. Her eyes sparkled with surprise, and I was well on my way to winning the Best Kid Award of 1988. However, all hopes for acclaim soon failed when she figured out where the mess had gone…but, I can’t say that she was mad, just entertained.

    Great post! Congrats on FP!

    Reply

  88. This is a great story! Kids can be very smart…and well done for your acting performance! 😉

    Reply

  89. Hehe, I always love those stories!! Thanks for sharing, and sticking to your guns 🙂 Now it’s time to accept your Mommy Academy Award!

    Reply

  90. Classic!!! I am soooo using this!

    Reply

  91. Perfect. Find out if he remembers this happening!

    Reply

  92. Hahaha.. I love it! I will have to remeber that one when my daughter gets a bit older. My son did not enjoy picking up his toys either, but I was not as sly. I use to use the 10 second tidy (care of ‘The Big Comfy Couch’ show) and he would rush around like mad well I chanted the tune to the tidy up song, luckily children don’t catch on to time, because it was a VERY long 10 seconds!!! I don’t think my daughter will be so easy to get involved though she is already stubborn at 9 months, so I will pack this idea away ‘just incase’…
    Thank you

    Reply

  93. Thats a good one. You are so sly.

    Reply

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