My kids have recently made friends with a neighborhood family. They have five kids, and Porter waits at the bus stop with some of them, although they attend a different school. They came over one day while we were out in the yard, and we all had a good time playing in the tree house and running around outside. Then they came over the next day. And the next. And they started coming over in the morning before school. And being here every day while I cooked dinner. They are very polite, nice kids. The older girls dote on Molly, and my kids really seem to like them.
But. It's a lot. No matter how nice they are, four or five extra kids is more mess and attention, and it was getting hard. And then one day after school, Porter was playing with his Legos while Molly was napping. We saw them coming down the hill, and I could see in Porter's face that he didn't want to play. He just needs his down time, he's always been like that. They came anyway, and it was all fine.
Afterwards, I told Porter that if they ever came over and he didn't feel like playing, he could tell them that I needed him to do something and that it wasn't a good time. I know it's hard for him to say no and to be assertive, so I was trying to give him an easy out without hurting anyone's feelings.
He looked at me funny, and said "Mom, wouldn't that be a lie?" Sigh. Yes, bud, I guess so.
It's so hard to know how to teach your kids about life. Because, yes, lying is bad. But you also don't want to hurt feelings. So I thought about it. And he's right, lying is probably the wrong way to go about it. He's going to have to figure out how to tell them he doesn't want to play. Or he's just going to have to suck it up. And deal with life his own way. That goes for me too. Thanks Porter, for teaching me the lesson this time.