Trifecta Challenge & Why CIA Doesn’t Employ Children


Trifecta Entry #3 – Today and Yesterday

Mother Goose rhymes read,

I want to linger, but instead,

Leave a kiss on each forehead.

Memories surface.

I remember stories read,

Mom at my door instead,

Her kiss lingering on my forehead.


This weekend’s Trifextra is the first of its kind.  This weekend we only need 32 words from you, because we’re giving you the 33rd.  Your challenge is to write anything you want, in whichever form you please, so long as your response is exactly 33 words and includes the word “mother.”  See the Trifecta site for details.  My regular Sunday post follows below.


Why The CIA Doesn’t Employ Young Children

In honor of Mother’s Day, I’m going to share a piece of my vast motherly knowledge (if you’re a new visitor, this is my brand of sarcasm.  The term “knowledge” is used loosely here.)

As a mother, I’ve discovered why the CIA doesn’t employ young children.

You’re probably thinking, I know why – it’s called ‘Child Labor Laws’….duh!  To that, I say, “If the government wanted to do something against existing laws, they’d just modify them with loopholes big enough to drive a caravan of Hummers through…duh!”

It isn’t that children are too trusting (but they are), or that they can’t lie (oh, they do it…quite well), or that they are too young to drive, drink alcohol, or solicit call girls (oh, wait…that’s the Secret Service.)  It’s another part of their nature that does them in.  Here’re two real-life examples:

Case #1 (Hubby’s Birthday)

I’d asked begged the kids to help me keep a baked birthday cake a surprise until after dinner.  At the restaurant, younger son showed his weakness.

Each candle = 2 years. I’m into conservation: conserving candle wax, singed arm hairs, and hubby’s lungs.

Son:  “Mommy, when are we having the cake?”

Me: (I shrugged)  “I don’t have a cake.” (then I gave him the “shhh” stare)

Son:  (ignoring cue) “You didn’t make it?  You said you would when we bought the stuff.”

I glanced at hubby – he was talking to our older son, but I knew the secret wasn’t a secret anymore.

Case #2 (Mother’s Day)

Last week, my younger son set a decorated paper lunch sack on the counter and said, “My teacher told us not to let you see the ceramic thingie we made until Mother’s Day.”

Granted, he partially kept this secret – I knew “it” was ceramic, but I had no idea what the “thingie” is.  Every night afterwards, he’s asked me if I wanted to open it.  Each night, I told him that I would wait because that’s what his teacher wanted.  And every night, I resisted the urge to peek inside the bag just a little bit to see the “thingie” he made.

“Thingie” is a necklace with a painted/glazed ceramic imprint of younger son’s shoe sole.

Saturday, my younger son rode with me on a fairly long car trip.  Here’s some of the conversation:

Son:  “Can you make sure you get up later than me tomorrow?”

Me:  “Why?”

Son:  “Can’t tell you.”

Me:  “Ah.”

Son:  (Several minutes later)   “If you had toast, what kind would you like?”

Me:  “Oh, I like wheat with butter and jam.”

Son:  “Do you like cinnamon?  Made in the toaster oven?”  Or do you like pancakes better?

Me:  (I smiled.  I’m slow, but I figured out where he’s going with this.)  “Yes, I like cinnamon toast.  I like pancakes, too.”

Son:  (after forty-five minutes of quizzing me about my breakfast food preferences)  “Mommy, can you write this down for me when we get home…in case I forget something?”

When we got home, we made pancakes and put them in the fridge, just in case he wanted them for breakfast on Sunday (wink, wink.)

Now, he didn’t come right out and say it, but I knew Sunday’s breakfast would be pancakes with strawberries and whipped cream, with a glass of Tang.  I suspected there would be sticky spots on the kitchen floor (and counters) where his abilities didn’t match his ideas.  I expected a few skirmishes between him and his older brother (that’s what happens when there are two chiefs.)

Yes, the morning went pretty much as planned, except my older son put his thumbprint on the meal by topping one of the pancakes with a generous amount of butter and cinnamon sugar:

Breakfast surprise: pancakes at 6:19AM 🙂

So this is why young children would not be suitable CIA agents:  their excitement over knowing something someone else doesn’t, and their natural tendency to please others, get in the way.  They have to share it before their insides actually burst from the force of the secret.

Until duct tape is approved as a silencing method, we will enjoy our blessing of non-secrets and premature surprises.  And we will give thanks to God that the government does not have a Junior CIA Agent Program.

Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers, and also to anyone who has ever had a mother, or someone they love like a mother.  I think that’s everyone 🙂

Do you have a favorite Mother’s Day memory you’d like to share? 



41 thoughts on “Trifecta Challenge & Why CIA Doesn’t Employ Children

  1. pattyabr May 13, 2012 / 8:58 AM

    lololol. wow what an information packed blog post today. pictures and the comments are priceless. Happy Mother’s Day to you.

    • jannatwrites May 13, 2012 / 7:50 PM

      Yeah, I’m just a wealth of (useless) information 🙂 I’m glad you got a laugh from my post – thanks for reading 🙂 I hope you had a happy Mother’s Day (and that both kids got you cards.)

      • pattyabr May 14, 2012 / 5:57 PM

        You are so funny worrying about my young adult kids getting me cards. My son called and talked to me for about 30 minutes yesterday. My daughter called about 4 times as she had some health issues to discuss; her card came today. No worries it is all about sharing love in my way and each of their way of expressing it.

        • jannatwrites May 14, 2012 / 9:26 PM

          It’s true that we all have different ways of expressing love. I’m glad they remembered and everything is in harmony, Patty 🙂

  2. karen May 13, 2012 / 9:16 AM

    What a fantastic breakfast you’ve enjoyed. Me? I’m still in my bed patiently awaiting mine. I hear noises and am not allowed out, though I did beg a cuppa tea at some point, it is long gone now and I am still hungry. =)

    • karen May 13, 2012 / 9:18 AM

      Oh, and what I meant to say was (a) great trifecta entry and (b) I don’t think kids would make great agents because their sense of right and wrong is still mostly intact. Mostly. The post is lots of fun to read and I love the ceramic necklace. Very sweet and creative.

      • jannatwrites May 13, 2012 / 8:01 PM

        Hehehe…that’s what happens when you blog on an empty stomach 🙂

        You’re right, their sense of right and wrong would impede their success as CIA agents. I don’t konw what I’m going to do with the necklace yet. The cord is too short, so if I tie the strings, I can’t get it over my big head (kiddo sized it to his head!) Oh well, I could just hand it up on the wall, I guess.

        I’m glad you enjoyed reading the post! Thanks for stopping by!

    • jannatwrites May 13, 2012 / 7:52 PM

      Oh my! The day is done, but I hope you eventually got your breakfast, Karen. I don’t know if I could stay in bed…the urge to check out the damage would be too strong 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and sharing your comment – it made me smile. (Just smile though…hunger is no laughing matter.)

  3. xoEvelynOrtizHasSpoken May 13, 2012 / 9:17 AM

    aww that was quite an adorable story, I LOVE IT! Enjoyyy :-0 ❤

  4. barbara May 13, 2012 / 9:29 AM

    WHA???? You DON’T use duct tape as a silencing mechanism????? You’re not from Alaska, are you? 🙂 Loved the stories.

    • jannatwrites May 13, 2012 / 8:02 PM

      WHA???? Duct tape is condoned in Alaska??

      I need to consider relocating.

      🙂 Thanks for reading, Barbara. Your comment made me laugh!

  5. yvonneroot May 13, 2012 / 10:00 AM

    Happy Mother’s Day!
    You captured both the trifextra and the regular post congrats from this Mom turned Nana. Excellent work, young lady. 🙂

    • jannatwrites May 13, 2012 / 8:10 PM

      Thanks, Yvonne. It was a lovely Mother’s Day. I hope yours was nice, too! Thank you for reading and for offering your support in your comments. I appreciate it.

  6. Gina May 13, 2012 / 10:44 AM

    There is nothing better than pressing you lips to your baby’s forehead even when they at 18 and 21. I live for it. Thanks for the wonderful image!

    • jannatwrites May 13, 2012 / 8:23 PM

      Thanks for reading, Gina! My kids will always be my babies and even if I have to stand on a chair, I will kiss their foreheads when they’re grown 🙂

  7. newwhitebear May 13, 2012 / 11:49 AM

    Wow! Today it was your mother’s day. Also a cake? it’s fantastic!

    • jannatwrites May 13, 2012 / 8:31 PM

      The cake was for Hubby’s birthday last week, but it was another secret-keeping test they failed! Thanks for taking time to read and comment, Newwhitebear 🙂

  8. nrhatch May 13, 2012 / 2:08 PM

    Happy Mother’s Day, Janna. Sounds like your little guy whipped up quite the breakfast for you. Nice present thingies too.

    This is not a mother’s day story . . . it’s a birthday cake story: When my older brother was old enough to talk (and far too young to keep secrets), my mother baked a birthday cake for my dad and hid it. Jim saw her and promised NOT TO TELL.

    The minute my dad arrived home, Jim started dancing around and pointing at the hiding place, squealing, “Cake in d’ere. Cake in d’ere.”

    The C.I.A. did not hire him either.

    • jannatwrites May 13, 2012 / 9:03 PM

      Thanks, Nancy. It was a nice Mother’s Day. My younger son dreamed most of it up, but he couldn’t do it without big brother (he doesn’t know how to work the microwave yet because he can’t reach it!) At leasst I didn’t wake up to them yelling at each other.

      The story of your brother is hilarious! I was a lot like Jim. My parents couldn’t tell me anything. My kids were there, too, but have progressed a little since then.

      “Cake in d’ere”….still makes me laugh!

  9. Sandra May 13, 2012 / 4:23 PM

    Janna, I adore your writing. This third entry is blessedly wonderful. I love the repetition and juxtaposition of present and past. I agree that kids cannot be CIA agents; my kids do just the same. They are just not capable of keeping any secrets. But then again, maybe I’m a kid at heart, too, since sometimes I’m the same way! (Maybe I clicked on something by accident, but I cannot seem to subscribe to new comments on your site anymore… Is it something I did?)

    • jannatwrites May 13, 2012 / 6:24 PM

      Your comment is so nice and I appreciate the huge compliment, Sandra. I’m a bit of a kid, too. It’s so hard at Christmas to not give gifts right away – especially when I find the “perfect” gift for someone 🙂 The comments thing wasn’t something you did. Since WordPress changed their settings recently to automatically check the ‘subscribe to comments’ box, I’ve been messing around with things to find a way around it. The last thing I tried removed the box completely. I haven’t gotten around to testing thereply by email option to see if it copies the commenter on my response to their comment. If it doesn’t, I’ll enable the checkbox again. Sorry for the hassle!

      • Sandra May 13, 2012 / 10:21 PM

        No hassle at all! You always write such nice replies that I don’t want to miss them or forget to come back. =)

        • jannatwrites May 13, 2012 / 10:29 PM

          Thanks, Sandra…I appreciate it. The comments are so much fun – I’m glad you enjoy reading them, too.

  10. trifecta (@trifectawriting) May 13, 2012 / 6:11 PM

    Thanks for linking up with Trifecta this weekend. I love the way “Mother” for you was part of Mother Goose, and the mother was referred to as Mom. It took me a minute to find it. 🙂 Happy Mother’s Day!

    • jannatwrites May 13, 2012 / 9:06 PM

      Thanks! I use ‘mom’ instead of ‘mother’ so it felt more natural 🙂

  11. Diane Turner May 13, 2012 / 6:43 PM

    Lovely piece. I so love your writing. The back and forth in time is clever and so well done.

    • jannatwrites May 13, 2012 / 9:07 PM

      Your comment is so nice, Diane – thank you. I appreciate you reading it 🙂

  12. pattisj May 13, 2012 / 8:15 PM

    Breakfast at 6:19? Oh, my, they couldn’t wait! Your pancakes look delicious!

    • jannatwrites May 13, 2012 / 11:12 PM

      Yeah, and my son was worried about me getting up before him? Nothing like waking up at the crack of dawn to pancakes shoved in your face!

      The pancakes got rave reviews – when I stepped away to get my camera, I came back to find my cat tasting the whipped cream. Apparently, Cybil is a fan of breakfast in bed, too.

      I hope you had a happy Mother’s Day, Patti!

  13. jesterqueen (@jesterqueen) May 13, 2012 / 8:50 PM

    My kids would make spectacular CIA agents by those standards. They are quite secretive. Me? Oh dear GOD, I can just see myself in the Russian Embassy. “And Mr. AMbassador, I’m so sorry to hear about your hemorrhoids….oops. Pretend I didn’t say that, OK?”

    • jannatwrites May 13, 2012 / 11:13 PM

      Good one, Jester Queen! I’d love to be a fly on the wall for that conversation 😆

  14. Debbie May 14, 2012 / 10:36 AM

    This is sooo true, Janna! Kids have a really tough time keeping secrets. Some of them don’t ever grow out of it, either! Maybe that’s why they become journalists? Or writers?

    • jannatwrites May 14, 2012 / 9:14 PM

      Well, I can keep a secret, but I’m still not CIA material, Debbie 🙂 It’s true that some story ideas come from real life, but the essence of the secret stays in the shadows. Thanks for reading, Debbie.

  15. Widdershins May 14, 2012 / 12:05 PM

    Fabulous stories to tell when they’re older and you want revenge!

    • jannatwrites May 14, 2012 / 9:15 PM

      I hadn’t thought of that Widdershins. Perhaps I should be compiling a book to share 🙂 Thanks for the laugh!

  16. judithhb May 14, 2012 / 2:08 PM

    Keep this one for his 21st. He will really thank you for that. Several years ago when the boys were all much younger, I had a photographer meet us at the beach and take photos. The boys knew that the photos were a surprise for their parents for Christmas and all managed to keep the secret for the following two and half months. One of them is now old enough to apply to the CIA. I wonder should I include this in the reference I shall have to write for him. Hmm!

    • jannatwrites May 14, 2012 / 9:16 PM

      I’m impressed that they didn’t say anything. That’s a long time for something to slip! Oh, this story would surely help him if included in the reference, Thanks for reading and sharing your story, Judith!

  17. philosophermouseofthehedge May 15, 2012 / 11:56 AM

    Wonderful post – lots of laughs. Loved this line;” They have to share it before their insides actually burst from the force of the secret.” It’s so true!

    • jannatwrites May 15, 2012 / 4:48 PM

      Thanks for reading, Phil! I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂

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