If you’ve ever been shopping with a child, you know very well what it’s like to be pounded with a thousand different “can I get that” and “can I have this” questions. Well, parents, hold onto your hats and hold onto your sanity, because I’ve perfected a trick that puts an end to it.
Every… single… time.
As I’ve mentioned before (at least I think I have), I try to always say yes to Noah, no matter what he asks, even if the answer is really no.
Dad, can I go outside and play? You bet! After you take a good nap.
Dad, can I have some M&Ms? You bet, tomorrow because today you’ve already had a lot of candy, pal.
Dad, can I stay up just five more minutes? Absolutely. Tomorrow night.
Of course, always saying yes is going to get a lot trickier when he’s older.
Dad, why can’t my friend come into my bedroom? She can. When you’re 35 and out from under my roof, if that’s what you want to do. Until then, come over here so that I can staple your pants and your shirt together.
Dad, can I do drugs? You bet. As soon as you pay me a $6,000 deposit against possible funeral expenses.
Dad, can I go to Europe with my friends? You bet. First, come watch this movie called “Taken” with me. And then this other fun one called “Hostel”.
Ummm, yeah… Just so you all know, I’m completely wasted on Nyquil right now.
Anyway, I find that always saying yes to everything stumps Noah. It stops him in his tracks. It doesn’t leave him with a lot of opportunities for rebuttal.
And, when we’re at the store it’s no different. My answer is always exactly the same. And like I said, it always works. The trick is simple. All you say is, “get out your money!”
Dad, can I have a churro? Sure, get out your money!
Dad, can we buy this movie? Absolutely, get out your money!
Dad, can we buy these pickled pigs feet? You bet! Get out your money!
Noah hates it. Usually all he says is, “Dad, I don’t have any money!” and forgets about it. Sometimes he says, “no dad, I want you to use your money”, at which point I laugh and pull out two empty pockets. I give him a quizzical face as if to demand the question what money? He always busts up laughing and we continue our shopping trip.
Just try it. It works. I’m going to bed.
Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing
PS. What’s your trick for thwarting kids while you’re shopping?
PPS. I realize the pickled pigs feet wasn’t the best example. If Noah ever did ask for that, I’d definitely spring for it.