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Don't Ever Tell Her Where The Bodies Are Buried

I don’t know why, but my oldest girl
simply cannot keep a secret.

We’ve got her Gamma’s birthday coming up, and
we’ve been working at it for a few days, baking a cake and
decorating cards and such. This is no easy task since Gamma lives
with us and we’d like to maintain at least the illusion of
surprise, but I’ve managed to squeeze these things in while
Gamma’s not around. There’s really no point in working
too hard at this, though, since Maddie blabs the first chance she

A couple days ago, Maddie asked if we
could go to the pool after dinner (like we do EVERY night) and I
said no, because we needed to make Gamma’s cake, but
don’t tell Gamma because it’s a big surprise, ok? Ten
minutes later, Gamma walks downstairs and Maddie yells, “Hey,
Gamma! We’re not going to the pool tonight because
we’re making your birthday cake!”

My mother kindly pretends not to hear, and walked on by, Maddie
looking confused – was she not yelling loud enough? I tried
to explain the whole “secret” thing to Maddie one more
time, and she and Cora both stared intently at me, nodding in all
the right places. We baked our cake, chattering about how surprised
Gamma will be and all, and I hoped the lesson had hit home.

Then yesterday we’d just finished up lunch and Maddie said,
“What can we do now before naptime, Mommy?” Knowing my
mom was about to leave the house, I said, “Well, as soon as
Gamma leaves we will make her birthday cards and decorate them! But
remember, it’s a SECRET!” Sure enough, as Mom passed
through with her car keys, Maddie planted herself firmly in
Mom’s path and said, “Gamma! As soon as you leave
we’re making your birthday cards!”

I looked over at Cora, and I swear she was shaking her head

We’ve all pretty much accepted the fact that Maddie cannot be
trusted with any important information, and I even use that to my
advantage sometimes. Back before Brian’s birthday last
spring, I casually told Maddie several times that we were getting
Daddy a big-screen t.v., but to not tell him because it was a
secret. I don’t know if my misinformation campaign worked or
not, but I did see Brian with an inexplicably big grin on his face
a few times.

I know that some time in the not-too-distant future Maddie will
know all too well how to keep secrets, specifically from me, so for
now I should enjoy her openness and transparency.

But if you’ve already picked out my birthday present, please
don’t tell her; I actually enjoy surprises.


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