You know your kid is going to be all kinds of successful in the corporate world when at age four he's already manipulating a three-year-old.
Friday nights one of the big kids spend the night at my in-laws. Usually, they switch off, Rich one week and Lily the next and it goes on and on forever unless one family (ours or theirs) is out of town. Richie went last week, so this week was Lily's turn. Whenever it's her turn to spend some quality time with Grandma or Grandad she routinely lays her cards on the table and says, "But I'm not feeling well." We don't want to push her to go for a few reasons: 1) she might actually not be feeling well 2) we want her to go because she wants to, not because she is forced to.
So, yesterday I said to Lily pretty early on in the day, "Lily, it's your turn to spend the night at Grandma and Grandad's! How exciting!" She replied with a smile, "Yeah!" Almost immediately, Richie chimes in (with myself, his father, and his Aunt present), "No, Lily. You're not feeling well, remember? It's okay, you can stay home- I'll go."
Lily didn't protest her brother's decision one bit. She said, "Yeah, Mommy, I'm not feeling well. I can't go." I couldn't believe it. Her brother tried to steal her chance at alone time by convincing her she wasn't well enough for a sleepover. Of course, we didn't let him get away with it. Lily tried closer to go-time to stick with the "I'm not feeling well routine," but I made it a non-option. I had her help pick out her clothes for the day and the following morning, pick out her jammies, and a stuffed animal to take with her. Off we went before Richie reminded her that she wasn't feeling well enough to go.
When I told Grandma about what happened (where little ears couldn't hear, lest she remember her lines and demand on returning home), she mentioned how she recently was thinking the same thing. When Grandma comes to take kids to the library, Lily always say with a smile, "I'm not feeling well enough to go." She says it with a look that says, "I said the right thing, didn't I?"
It makes me wonder just how long my little guy has been whispering in Lily's ear to get himself some extra alone time.