I try to live by the "say what you mean, mean what you say," which sometimes gets me into trouble, but I guess that's a small price to pay for biting your tongue all the time. My kids, however, have mastered the art of not saying what they mean and not meaning what they say. But I'm onto them! I have them figured out.

Kid says: "We don't have anything to eat, I'm starving!"

Kid means: "We don't have any more snacks covered in fluorescent orange cheese powder because I ate them within seven minutes of you returning from the grocery store and I just ate an entire sleeve of saltines but I'm completely bored and that apple or yogurt can sit there and rot for all I care."

Kid says: "I'm full."

Kid means: "I'm tired of eating this actual food. I shall now return to wanting snacks and/or dessert. I know I only ate three bites of chicken and one green bean, and I'm full, but my stomach could hold fourteen double-scoop ice cream cones and a family-size bag of Doritos right at this very moment.

Kid says: "Hey Mama?"

Kid means: "I want something."

Kid says: "Mooooooom!"

Kid means: "My brother is performing some kind of great injustice and I need to inform you of it, even though I did everything in my power to instigate this reaction from him and I totally deserve it."

Kid says: "I don't have any homework."

Kid means: "I don't have any homework except for that huge project I will remember precisely 15 minutes before we leave for school tomorrow morning that requires you going to the store to buy poster supplies and printing off fifty documents."

Kid says: "I cleaned my room."

Kid means: "I put all the clothes in the hamper, whether they were dirty or just had fallen on the floor, this is including but not limited to towels, blankets, shoes, stuffed animals, and costumes/capes. Then I shoved everything else under the bed and/or in the closet. I have misplaced everything, so next time I need my goalie gloves or cleats or jacket or shin guards, I will wait until the last possible second to tell you I can't find it and then require you to stop what you are doing to immediately assist in my emergency search for the thing I hastily shoved in a box of games when I was supposed to be cleaning my room."

Kid says: "I DID brush my teeth!"

Kid means: "I got my toothbrush wet and stuck it in my mouth for half a second. It may or may not have made contact with any actual teeth, and whether or not there was toothpaste present will be a secret I take to my grave."

And who says I'm not bilingual?

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