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Note to Self: Never Tell a 3-Year-Old This…


There are a few things that I have learned along my journey in parenting.  One of which I just recently wrote about in a letter to the Kid, others I probably should have written down to remember.   I did not realize that though, that telling a 3-year-old would result in catastrophic chaos.

Telling my son we would be flying in a plane to go on vacation.

Never Tell a 3-year-old this

He is ready for vacation already

Some of you are probably asking, what the big deal is?  Well, our vacation is a month out.   I can wait, in fact I’ve learned patience as a parent.  Patience to a 3-year-old is about the span of 5 minutes.

My first mistake is that I pointed to the sky one night as a plane flew by and said we are going to ride in one of those soon.  My resulting error was probably in one word, soon.  Never say that to a toddler.   About 5 minutes later another plane flew by, and I began to wonder if we were on the flight path to the local airport and began to fear that airplane fuel might be dumped onto my house or a plane’s engine might cut out on approach and come crashing into our house, my son though said, “We ride in that plane?”  He said it with an excitement that can only be described as me skipping out the door at work before a 3 day weekend.  Telling the Kid that, more than likely, the plane that he sees will not be the plane we ride on, you could tell he was crushed.

The Kid has also stuck onto one other word within my vacation statement, the word, vacation.   Now, any moment I get up from the couch his eyes open wide and he asks, “Vacation?” I sadly have to look at him and say, “No, not right now son later.”  At which moment I regret saying the word later because in 5 minutes he will be asking me the same question.   When he wakes up in the morning, he will ask again.

With our, and my much-needed vacation, a full month out, I should have known better than to say something to the Kid, but I had to go and open my big mouth.  You can ask Hot Mama, I tend to do that a lot and my foot ends up shutting me up only after I caused enough damage to take out the Hoover Dam.

For you more experienced parents, once you have told your child about an exciting vacation in the future, how do you keep them from asking the question every single day?

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About The Rookie Dad

I am husband and father foremost. Secondly, I am a PBS producer and contribute to Traveling Dads and Dads Round Table.

Posted on June 6, 2013, in Parenting. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Ouch. Yup, you dug yourself into this one, I’m afraid. It would appear that your son and I have a lot in common when I’m at work looking at the clock. My wife and I deliberately don’t tell my son when we’ve got something fun planned until a day or so before. We have to start preparing him for the bad stuff, on the other hand, years ahead. Your best option now is a good hypnotherapist that can erase the vacation idea from your son’s head. Of course, you could also pay the hypnotist to make you not hear requests and questions if they’ve already been asked more than twice…

    • I wonder if I could get the hypnotist to give me the “office space” treatment do that I just don’t care anymore and will be moved to management and have 4 people working under me.

  2. My son at this point would have said, “Huh” until I repeated the question, only to get the same exact answer. That is a two year old for you. 😉

  3. We’ve been there 🙂 We got the “dad can we go back there tmr?” Even months after the vacation.

  4. Something tells me that I will be fighting that after our trip too!

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