My no means no…except when it means yes

Do you believe in magic?

There’s this odd little phenomena that occurs in my house wherein the children use magic and sorcery to consistently get what they want from me. Firm in my resolve to not be swayed, I wake up each morning prepared to stand strong against their wily ways and not back down when I say “No.”

It usually takes about a half an hour to break me.

They’re really good at this magic.

My oldest usually breaks the barrier of my resolve first. “Mom, can I have pancakes for breakfast for the 52nd day in a row? Please?”

Me: “No, honey. We’re going to have eggs and fruit today and take a break from pancakes.”

Oldest: “What about cereal? Can I have cereal? Please?”

Me: “No. Just eggs and fruit today.”

Oldest: “Can I just have one pancake on the side with my eggs and fruit? Please? Just one? Please, Mom? If I make it myself? Please? Please? Please?”

This conversation happens before coffee, mind you and before I’ve actually registered that I’m awake.

Me: “Okay, that’s fine.”

See what happened there? He broke me. He got past my firm exterior with his trickery and got exactly what he wanted. Score one for the children.

My daughter uses a slightly different tactic to get me to do whatever it is she wants me to do. It’s strongly resembles guilt and she is really, really good at it.

The girl: “Mom, can you play Pretty, Pretty Princess with me? Please? Just one round?”

Me: “No, babe. I have so much to do today. Maybe we can play later.”

The girl (falling to the ground dramatically): “But Mom,” she wails. “I have no one to play with. There are no girls in this neighborhood and I have no friends and I miss my friends in St. Louis and I have nothing to do and now you won’t play with me.”

You can usually find me sitting on the floor playing Pretty, Pretty Princess or UNO shortly after this outburst.

She is skilled at her magic.

The youngest doesn’t usually have to say much. He just has to look at me with his baby blues, which sit just above the cutest smattering of freckles you have ever seen and I’m basically putty in his hands.

Me: “Landon, you didn’t eat your breakfast/lunch/dinner (the kid’s not much of an eater) so no snack for you today.”

Youngest: “Okay, Mom. I don’t want a snack.”

Thirty minutes later…

Youngest: “Mom, I’m hungry can I have a snack?”

Me: “No, babe. You didn’t eat your meal. You can’t have a snack, remember?”

Cue alligator tears and pitiful sobs. “But Mommy, I’m thstarving. Pwease? Pwease can I have a snack?”

Me, wavering: “No. But I saved your food from breakfast. If you finish it you can have a snack, okay?”

Youngest: “Can I just take 3 bites?”

Me: “No, you have to eat it all.”

Youngest: “5 bites? Pwease?” He blinks his eyes at me, which are brimmed with tears and sends me into some sort of hypnotic shock.

Me: “Alright. 5 bites.”

I get a -1 just for being such a pushover...

Ten minutes later he’s munching on Cheezits and I can’t tell that he’s eaten anything off his plate at all. He’s good at what he does.

Even the dog manages to get in on this game. She sits on my feet all day just staring at me. When I look away, her large fox ears perk up and when I turn to face her she pins them pack all pitiful-like and opens her eyes wide. Like a cartoon caricature. She does this over and over until I oblige and walk her and I swear as we make our way around the block I can hear her chuckling and mumbling “Sucker ,” under her breath.

My husband is, of course, generally immune to the magic of their ways. His conversations with the kids go like this: “Daddy, can I have a snack?”


“Okay!” Skips away to play.

What the?!

The dog doesn’t even attempt to whittle him down with her magic ears and big eyes. She knows it’s to no avail.

Of course he is not always able to escape their magical prowess. When Landon asks him to play baseball, he does so without ever breaking eye contact. His eyes round and big, he stares directly at his dad and says in a voice dripping with honey, “Will you frow da baseball to me, Daddy? Pwease?” He doesn’t blink, he just stares.

Sometimes I find my husband outside in his suit and tie throwing the baseball to all three children and I take the moment to sit down on the couch, kick up my feet, close my eyes and chuckle softly.

“Sucker,” I think.

Do your kids use magic powers on you?


  1. OH.MY. STARS! My youngest, now 17 can still bat those eye lashes and flash that multi-thousand dollar smile and …… well, compromise OFTEN happens. He has it so much easier than his older brothers. 🙂


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