A friend of my oldest came to play today. We were joking around and somehow we were joking about sending the boys upstairs to play Barbies.
And the middle one outed the oldest one. "He plays Barbies. Yuh-huh. You do too, you play Barbies with me."
He denied it emphatically. How else does an eight year old save face in front of his friend?
You see, at the begging and pleading of his little sister, he'll play. In fact, that's what they played so beautifully together this weekend. He hasn't done it for months, but if he's in the right mood, and his sister has worn him down, he'll play.
I pulled the middle one aside. I quietly explained to her that if she ever wanted her brother to play Barbies with her again, that she needed to keep quiet. That she needed to keep in within our family. (Telling the internet totally doesn't count, does it?)
I'm not usually a fan of secrets. In fact, we don't keep secrets in our family, only surprises. I've explained that secrets usually are bad, that you're hurting someone's feelings by not telling them a secret or that it's just a bad thing that really should be told to a trusted grownup. Surprises, on the other hand, run rampant this time of year, and they're joyous things, they're fun, and the truth will come out and everyone will be happy with surprises.
But in this case, to save the oldest one's face and to save the middle one's precious time with her Barbies and her brothers, she needs to zip it. And she did. I was impressed.