If Tomorrow Ever Comes, We’re Screwed

by Telling Dad on March 14, 2012

I realize that child psychologists are probably going to lose their shizzle when they read this, but they have their choice. Either they can excuse the daily lies we tell our daughter, or they can prescribe heavy narcotics to help us get through the day.

I’m fine either way.

Ever since our 3-year old daughter realized that there are things and stuff and toys out there in the world that she doesn’t yet possess, she’s become incessantly greedy.

It’s gotten to the point where “I want that” has almost eclipsed “the dog really doesn’t like it when you pull on that,” as the most commonly spoken words in our household. Second only to, “See? I told you so.”

Throughout your typical 30-second toy commercial, she’ll point at the screen and exclaim, “I want that!”, no less than fourteen times. Sometimes she can squeeze in a few more if she properly controls her breathing.

She used to be discerning when it came to getting sucked into toy commercials. She was picky. She’d sit there watching cartoons over a bowl of cereal mostly ignoring whatever it was Mattel and Disney happened to be pimpin’ at the time.

Occasionally, rarely, something would appear on the screen that intrigued her enough to where she’d lazily point and gesture interest. But the interest proved fleeting and she’d soon go back to spilling half her spoon contents onto herself and the table.

I want those days back. I’ll gladly trade the milk-free tabletop we have today for the Cheerio ticker-tape parade table of yesteryear if it means the begging will stop.

Whereas in the past she had to have genuine interest in something before she’d ask us to buy it, today it simply needs to exist. She doesn’t even look up from her cereal bowl any more.

Like a drone she just sits there staring into a bowlful of cereal flakes as the commercials start to roll.

“Hey kids! Look at all the fun you can have with Zany Pooch…”

I WANT THAT! Please can we buy it?

“New from Mattel, it’s…”

I WANT THAT! Please can we buy it?

“Hello, I’m attorney Dan Smith…”

I WANT THAT! Please can we buy it?

We know full well that she has no real intention of playing with any of these toys. Having had two children before her, I know the drill. We’ll get it home, unwrap it, and she’ll remain interested for about 20 minutes. From that day forward, the attorney will just sit there collecting dust until we donate it to the Salvation Army along with a box of Colonial Penn spokespersons.

As deprived as she makes herself out to be, this is the same girl who’s perfectly content playing with a cardboard box and a couple of markers. The only reason she wants all these other toys is because she doesn’t yet own all these other toys. All she wants is a larger audience to watch her play with a cardboard box and a couple of markers.

Reading what all the experts have to say on the topic, there’s no real consensus. Some recommend that you simply say “No.” Advice that makes me wonder if they’ve ever had children of their own. Clearly they aren’t aware of the potential ramifications of such a response.

Others say to explain to your child that toys cost money and we’ll have to prioritize our wants before budgeting for it. A concept they grasp almost as well as patience.

I even read recommendations that said to give your toddler an allowance so they can save up and buy it on their own.

Bwahahaha!!!

Kamryn? An allowance? With like, real money?

This is a girl who happily traded away a twenty-dollar bill for six nickles. A girl who took scissors to Abe Lincoln and left me with a five dollar pile of shards. Believe me, an allowance is not the answer. Besides, what the heck could she do around here to earn money anyway?

She does offer to sweep once in a while, but as soon as one of her brothers walks by, she immediately repurposes the broom into a bowstaff. While entertaining, it’s not lucrative.

We’ve tried all the recommended routes to get her to stop. We even tried ignoring the fact that she said anything at all, but this only resulted in a louder, louder, and gradually louder repeat of her point. That she WANTS THAT.

We tried explaining to Kamryn that she can’t have EVERYTHING, and she returned with a blank stare that clearly communicated, “Uh, why not? Have you not SEEN these eyes?”

Nothing was working. Not “No,” not “Wait for Christmas,” not “It’s too expensive.” No matter what we said, it resulted in a toddler-induced filibuster of Pleases and Why’s.

That is until the day I inadvertently replied with, “Tomorrow.”

A quip that turned out to be, dare I say, brilliant. For she sat there quietly. Her desire quenched.

Tomorrow.

What a powerful and magnificent word.

Aside from the abrupt silence that follows its use, there’s the added bonus that we’ll never have to follow through.

Semantically speaking, we’re not lying. We’ll buy it tomorrow. Believe me, by the time she can wrap her lil’ noggin around the enigma that tomorrow will be the today that pushes the tomorrow she anticipated into tomorrow, she’ll have either outgrown the “gimme” phase or at least seen it recede into hibernation until her 13th birthday.

From television commercials to the colorful HFCS-laden goodies on the supermarket shelves, “tomorrow” has become our refuge. It’s been said so frequently that even she’s started to embrace its use. Just the other day as she stared at a box of fruit snacks and a box of cheddar goldfish, she said, “I’ll just buy these tomorrow.”

Sure you will, sunshine. Sure you will.

I can safely and conservatively estimate that we’re up to roughly three million dollars in goods and services that must be purchased tomorrow. She has yet to get ANY of the items on her “tomorrow” list, and oddly enough, she doesn’t seem to care.

For tomorrow gives her hope. Tomorrow, she gets it all.

And you know what the best part is?

Tomorrow is always a day away.

It’s just like Little Orphan Annie.

Only Kamryn has big fat liars for parents.

Or does she?

_______________________________________________

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{ 65 comments… read them below or add one }

cat March 14, 2012 at 4:28 am

brilliant! you gave here hope, what a good dad!

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Lynellekw March 14, 2012 at 5:54 am

Personally, I don’t think it’s a bad strategy. After all, that’s what I tell myself when faced with a sudden burning desire to buy some useless dohickey or impractical piece of clothing. I say to myself, “You can have it TOMORROW”. Knowing full well that by tomorrow the initial chemical surge of WANTWANTWANT that something has triggered in my brain will have dissipated and I can calmly continue to NOT BUY IT. I once read a suggestion that if you see something you want, give yourself 30 days. If you still really want it after 30 days, you might as well buy it. I’ve forgotten half the stuff I’ve seen within the 30 day period, and realised that I don’t really want most of the other half.

It’s not lying to tell your kid, “tomorrow”. It’s teaching the secret of delayed gratification. If she can master that, she’ll have an easier life in the long run.

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Liz the Insane March 14, 2012 at 7:21 am

When I’m in the store and faced with that same burning desire, I will take the item, put it in my cart (or drape it over my arm, whatever) and carry it around the store for a while as I do the rest of my shopping. 90% of the time, by the time I’m done there, my burning desire for said item has vanished, and I’ll just put it back. Win!

Kimberly March 14, 2012 at 6:25 am

LOL!!!! Brilliant!

As a mom to now teens I can certainly relate. Sadly my soon to be 15 year old wants it all too. Some how the word “tomorrow” doesn’t seem to work for her. So I have to settle with “Save your dog walking money and buy it yourself”. That seems to shut her up. :-)

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Kaitlyn March 22, 2012 at 8:39 am

I’m a huge advocate for the ‘buy it yourself’ method when they’re old enough. Worked for me AND it instills a good work ethic and an ability to prioritise.

valmg @ Mom Knows It All March 14, 2012 at 6:46 am

I hear the retailers singing now, “Tomorrow, tomorrow, I love ya, tomorrow”!

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WilyGuy March 14, 2012 at 7:03 am

I thought about paying my daughter allowance to spy on and tattle on her brothers (something she does anyway) and then when they complain I could tell them she gets paid for it and if they want to make it stop they should A. stop doing things she can tattle on (haha) or B. pay her more.

I’m sure bribery and racketeering are good lessons for an 8 year old, right?

WG

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Kermommy March 23, 2012 at 1:06 pm

Damn. That strategy is totally awesome! And if she develops some kind of ethical code, she might even STAY bought. In the meantime, you are training your daughter for a career in journalism. Or politics. Or assassination. I gotta try this one. Seriously.

Anne March 14, 2012 at 7:03 am

I always say “We’ll see” meaning we will look into later and then its forgotten.

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msumissa March 14, 2012 at 7:07 am

We got rid of cable just after the Superbowl. We went with Hulu Plus. WHAT A DIFFERENCE IN OUR HOUSE!!!! Wow. When the kids do watch TV, it is either PBS (commercial free), Hulu Plus (they don’t care about the occasional air wick or Oakland University commercial) or our Apple TV hooked up to the computer where DH has spent countless hours loading all of our DVDs on to our home server. We didn’t realize the side benefit of not having all of the obnoxious commercials!!! No begging from our 4 YO, no whining and crying and gimmies! So not only do we save $100. per month in just the bill, but I am saving big bucks in aspirin!

The other phrase we used was, “I will put that on your birthday/Christmas list’ Once on the list, it would languish and die.

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Kate March 14, 2012 at 7:18 am

And you have once again just explained why my kiddo doesn’t watch much “real” television. I didn’t start out to isolate her from it, it happened by accident, and it’s been a happy accident. We own a Roku player and have Netflix streaming, which means we have access to an ever-changing plethora of kid programming sans commercials. Her current favorites are Busytown Mysteries and Dora (of course, because no one can get away from Dora with a child under 5, right?).

The beauty of it is that when an episode is over, she has to ask to watch more, instead of the constant drone of a television… and NO BEGGING. She just saves up all her begging for our trips to Target, WalMart, etc… And when the poor dear does actually watch “real” television she gets just as impatient as we do with commercials, even if they’re advertising something she might turn around and beg for on our next Target run.

And I’m totally stealing “Tomorrow” as a response, by the way. Brilliant. Because she doesn’t accept “Just because we’re here (Target) doesn’t mean you get something each and every time…” so well.

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Karen March 14, 2012 at 7:21 am

It’s a great idea since it seems to work for your daughter. My grand-daughter has such a memory, she’d be standing at the door the next morning with her coat on and her foot tapping waiting for you to bring her to the store.

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Becky March 18, 2012 at 9:46 pm

My daughter would be the same. At age 3 asked for a goldfish…repeatedly. We told her when she was 5 she could have one.(I have no clue why we told her that.) She never said a word again until about a month before her 5th birthday.

kimi March 14, 2012 at 7:24 am

I had a girlfriend who instituted the “points” system. For example, go to bed on time and you get 20 points. Thing was, she never told the kids what the points were for. They just kept happily accumulating them. She figured at some point they’d get around to asking but until then she used it to her advantage.

Now that we have teens we are working on the “you gonna pay for it?” method of parenting. So far, so good.

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Shasta March 14, 2012 at 8:12 am

I tell my kids to put it on their Christmas or Birthday list. It works well, for a while. My oldest two complain every once in a while but other than that they put it on the list.

My daughters both do the same thing your daughter does. They even beg me to come into the room to see the toy. You know what helped resolve this?? NETFLIX!! No commercials lol.

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Talia March 14, 2012 at 8:14 am

This is brilliant and absolutely hysterical!

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Wendy [mapsgirl] March 14, 2012 at 8:15 am

With our 2 girls (ages 7 and 5), they are reminded that they can put their new “want” on whatever wish list is next on the agenda (birthday, Christmas, etc.)

The 7 year old can tell time and would count the hours until “tomorrow” happens. :(

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TommyO March 14, 2012 at 9:09 am

Here’s an idea, turn off the effin’ TV. Play music during time at the trough, maybe she’ll want to learn the drums instead. Try this one, “Sure but we have to get rid of the TV’s first”. Actually, logic never works on 3yr olds, or soon to be ex-wives, so I’m sticking to my 1st recommendation- No TV during feedings.

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Telling Dad March 14, 2012 at 9:10 am

Rituals are hard to break.

We’ll just try that tomorrow.

Meg March 16, 2012 at 9:13 am

i see what you did there.. =P

Ash-Matic March 14, 2012 at 9:46 am

‘Tomorrow’, huh? Seems like a pretty powerful tool to have in your arsenal. Also, if you use it in inappropriate circumstances, it makes you sound philosophical and wise:
‘What would you like for dinner?’
‘Tomorrow…’
‘Where did the cat go?’
‘Tomorrow.’
‘What’s that on your face?’
‘Tomorrow!’

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Audra March 14, 2012 at 9:53 am

Awesome!! Until you try teaching her what “tomorrow” or “yesterday” is. Then things get really complicated.

Now my daughters know better. They simply say to each other, “Wow…. I sure wish I could have that….” to which they know my reply is “uh hu. Ok. You buying it?” My daughter once popped off with “Yes. Yes I am.” OOHHH really, with what money, little girl? “With yours.” That was an argument she lost very quickly!

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David March 14, 2012 at 9:58 am

I love the comments. Well, mostly. I don’t think it would make a difference if you turned the TV off during breakfast, I think you’ll get the same result any time she’s watching kids shows. Those kids commercials are…insidious.

Like many others, I don’t have “TV”, which solves a lot of my problems around commercials, but that doesn’t really help you. My three-going-on-four year old still wants things, and she’s never satisfied by a simple “no”, but that’s what I usually go with. And then stick to. Over and over again.

“Daddy please?”
“No honey.”
“Dadddyyy I want it.”
“I’m sorry sweetheart. You can’t have it.”
“But whhyyyy?” (Generally alligator tears here.)
“Honey, the answer is no.”

“But why?” is always a trick question. Even at this age she’s looking for an answer that she can refute, and getting dragged into “But why” will only lead to “It’s not fair” which leads to the intersection she hates the most, “You’re right, it isn’t fair, and neither is anything else in life.” and “I know you’re upset but you need to stop yelling now.”

The part that breaks my heart isn’t the “Pleasseee” it’s when I answer “But why?” with “because you won’t play with it.” She gets so earnest in her pleading, “I will daddy I really will! I’ll love it so much.” I feel, at that moment, like the worst dad in the world for denying her. So I try not to let it go there.

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Milo March 14, 2012 at 10:05 am

I was going to comment on this post, but I think I’ll wait ’till tomorrow.

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Jodi March 14, 2012 at 10:36 am

I tell my kids “We’ll see”… They seem content with that, and then they forget all about what it was that they WANTED :). Everybody is happy… Oh, and a few days ago, I was sitting on the couch watching TV, and I saw something that I really wanted to buy, and guess what came out of my mouth before I thought about it… “I want thaaaaat”. :) Geez. If you can’t beat ‘em join ‘em, I guess.

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mrs. r March 14, 2012 at 10:58 am

I always say, “We’ll talk about it.” This delays the discussion. If/When the time to talk arrives, we discuss it & I give a definitive NO. Then I didn’t lie. If that doesn’t work, “I couldn’t give it to you now if I wanted to because you’re whining. Children who whine don’t get their way.” (I am the meanest mommy ever…or so I am told. I wear this title proudly)!

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Telling Dad March 14, 2012 at 10:59 am

If your kids call you mean, you’re doing something right!

Karen (the other one) March 14, 2012 at 11:12 am

Turning off the tv won’t stop the behavior, it will just abate the amount of Go-Gurt commercials you are subjected to. My almost three year old will probably go through the same thing eventually and we don’t watch tv (outside of pbs and netflix.)
She does have a case of the ”grabbies” which at the dollar store was any ball she could get her hand on. You have not lived till you have to admonish your daughter, ”Stop grabbing those balls.”

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Paula @ Frosted Fingers March 14, 2012 at 11:21 am

We always say “later” or “we’ll see.” The almost 7 yr old is starting to catch on to the “we’ll see,” though.

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Rhoda March 14, 2012 at 11:22 am

My kids have learned over time. There have been painful moments. My son learned from an experience around the age of 5 when he finally got a coveted “I want that” commercial item and it turned out to be complete junk. After that we would discuss the things he saw on commercials and whether or not they REALLY did all those awesome things the commercial said the item did and relate it back to the junk purchase. Now he is teaching his younger sister these things….But from age 3-5…yeah, lots of “We’ll see” and “tomorrow” got us through.

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Brenda March 14, 2012 at 12:13 pm

Number 1: You.Are.Hilarious! I cannot eat and read your blog at the same time becuase I nearly choke. Especially the one “Lucky to be Alive” I just about fell off my chair laughing….at work. Seriously.
Number 2: Kids don’t understand the word “no” and you just have a fight on your hands, so whatever works until they are old enough to understand is all you can do! I use “later” for my kids, and they are totally content with that. The best part is, “later” is not a difinitive period of time, so I can delay it however long I want to!

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Carol March 14, 2012 at 12:48 pm

I also know the wonder that tomorrow can be. I did feel bad the first few times the eager little girl looked me in the eyes in the morning to ask “Is it tomorrow yet?” But I always gave her the same answer, “Nope, today is today. Tomorrow will be tomorrow.” She always seemed satisfied with the answer.

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Wombat Central March 14, 2012 at 1:32 pm

“We’ll see” worked quite well for a while until they got smart and said, “‘we’ll see’ means no!” *sigh*

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Miss Annie V. March 14, 2012 at 3:23 pm

BWAHAHAHAHAH! Long time listener, first time caller – “Tomorrow”! NOW WHY IN THE HELL DIDN’T I THINK OF THAT!?!?!? So far, we’ve gotten away with our own brand of trickery in the form of “Now why would we buy that AGAIN? You already have one at home!” “WHAT!? WE DO!?!??!?!” As my boys were blessed with my ridiculously short-term memory (plus the added bonus of the attention span of coked-up hummingbirds), it works EVERY TIME. That said? “EVERY TIME” = IN THE STORE. We’re a bit hosed when we try applying it on commercial breaks as they’ll begin LOOKING for it. *Ugh* Foiled again. At that point, we both disappear into the garage and calmly explain we must have an adult conversation post-haste and if they’ll simply eat their OREOs and go about their business, we’ll all look for the toy when we return. “Tomorrow” seems far more sensible in hindsight!

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Valerie March 14, 2012 at 9:05 pm

If your daughter is anything like mine, she is keeping a secret list of all the Tomorrows. Said list will be brought to your attention in November. Santa better start saving some coin. ;o)

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Alli March 15, 2012 at 8:32 am

I have 3 kids (a baby, a 3 y/o and a 13 y/o step-son). The boy came pre-inocculated with “TV Watching Disorder” as I call it, but I’ve managed to avoid this problem with my daughter by getting rid of the broadcast and cable, and only having Netflix and DVDs, and by wielding utter control of the TV until 7 pm. That really is your only solution, but let me tell you, what a solution! There’s no begging, no whining, no DORA, no other inane children’s programming. My 3 year old is just as happy to watch Dr. Who or Star Trek as she is to watch Dragon Tales. And my son’s manners, focus and attitude have improved drastically since we stopped allowing so much of that influence in our house! We probably let the kids watch about 2 hours of TV a week, on the generous side. My daughter doesn’t miss it, and I enjoy seeing her able to focus on playing and developing, rather than picking up behaviors from the television!

As to the begging, with the teen, I just tell him to “save your pennies” and with the toddler, a simple ‘no’ works most of the time. If pressed, “we have better things to spend our money on” works great, too. We can’t use “tomorrow” since my 3 year old knows when that is and will remind me then!

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Allison@thecrazyfat March 15, 2012 at 9:50 am

I just sent this to my mother, and then projected it onto the screen in my team room at work for my colleagues to enjoy. So thanks for single-handedly decreasing the productivity of the Federal government with your hilariousness.

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Telling Dad March 15, 2012 at 9:58 am

I didn’t even know it was possible to decrease the productivity of the Federal government so I’ll take that as a wonderful compliment!

Amy March 15, 2012 at 10:32 am

Oh, I am so worried this is going to blow up in your face the day she gets the concept of fulfillment of promises. But I gotta hand it to you for finding the perfect solution in the meantime.

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Telling Dad March 15, 2012 at 10:35 am

I will absolutely 100% fulfill my promise when tomorrow comes.

I’m not sure you see the brilliance in that statement. It’s better than saying “wait until Christmas” or “wait until your birthday” because those days DO arrive.

Tomorrow never does.

You’re welcome!

Emily March 15, 2012 at 11:05 am

Ah, the dreaded “Gimme” phase. My son went through the same thing around Kamryn’s age, and I wish I had been as insightful as you in my responses. I just pretty much said “no” and left it at that. Queue tantrums, pleading, and pouting. Every flippin’ day for a year and a half.

Now that he’s almost six, he’s gotten so much better about it. Every once in a while, he’ll see something on TV that catches his fancy enough to mention it. But, we’re still battling this problem in the store (thank you so much, Grandma, for the toy shopping sprees when you come to visit. That totally helps us re-enforce our message. Ugh!).

He has started to earn an allowance, so that helps. Although, not so much when he’s out of scratch and begs us to float him a loan. Ha! Dream on, kid.

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Diane March 15, 2012 at 11:56 am

Shut off the TV. Read aloud or take those crayons to cardboard boxes instead.

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Jessimus March 15, 2012 at 12:42 pm

Might I suggest you get her a copy of the book The Berenstein Bears Get The Gimmies. It is totally relevant here and it worked for me as a child. Also wht worked for me when I was going through that stage is that my mother would just ignore me. Then when I threw a fit in the middle of the store she would just back away and say “Oh my gosh…who does this rotten little child belong to? Anyone? Anyone? Anyone want to claim this child? Poor thing…” And then start to walk away. Then I would follow says “I am YOUR child!” and whatever I was wanting would be forgotten.

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Charity March 15, 2012 at 1:49 pm

When our daughters became teenagers Abercrombie warped their brains and decimated our wallets. UNTIL…my husband instituted the “clothing allowance”. Every winter my girls get a school clothes allowance – they have to buy an entire wardrobe for the school year with that allowance. Suddenly the $80 sweatshirt from Abercrombie was no longer realistic when the money had to come from their account. The allowance has been in place for 3 years now and they have become quite savvy at finding sales and bargains. At this point they can even buy the occasional Abercrombie item. This will not work for a 3 year old, but when she becomes a teenager the “gimmees” will increase ten-fold. Good luck!

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Melinda March 15, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Ha ha so true. I just realized I haven’t heard those words spoken since canceling cable and going Netflix/Hulu. Yet another bonus savings. My 6 year old periodically gets paid for some work. This week I spent nearly an hour in Hot Topic’s clearance section as she attempted to find something she could afford with Hello Kitty on it. I showed her an ice cream cone shaped lip gloss for $1 then after declaring the prices of 1000 others things out of her price range, she circled back to the $1 item. She was stingy with her precious $6. FYI Hello Kitty is never on sale.

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Forest March 15, 2012 at 3:41 pm

Used to work in a Hot Topic, and you speak the truth; Hello Kitty is almost never on sale. Target carries Hello Kitty/Sanrio products, and sometimes you can even find them in the $1 section.

Forest March 15, 2012 at 3:40 pm

I shared this story with my husband, since his step-mom is a child psychologist with three kids of her own (a 9 year old boy, and twin girls, aged 6). If the t.v. is on, they go into full lock down mode. You can say their names over and over and they’re oblivious. Their mom is not above telling them half truths and doing the “I’ll talk about it with your dad” when they proclaim their wants.

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Susan March 15, 2012 at 3:58 pm

I think dishonesty is never a good option – it will come back to bite you. How will you feel when she finally realizes you have been lying to her all along – it doesn’t take much to destroy trust. Someday you will ask her to do something important to you and she will just say “Sure dad I’ll do that tomorrow…” and then blow it off because that is that answer you taught her to give.

My solution was that my kids almost never watched commercials on TV. We have TV stations that don’t play advertising during kids shows so mine were never exposed. Every now and then we would watch TV with commercials and then I would hear the “I wants” so I just stopped offering that station as an option.

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Telling Dad March 15, 2012 at 4:12 pm

I’m not being dishonest. If today is ever tomorrow, she gets it all.

And I wouldn’t take too much of what I write seriously. My kids know I’m your atypical goofy dad. No one should get all clinical over this.

MC March 15, 2012 at 6:03 pm

My kids are literal so “Tomorrow” wouldn’t work. I’m a meaner mommy. Begging and whining begets badness. We often start with a solid “Maybe”, which quickly turns to “No” if I’m poked about it. If we start with a “No” and progress to whining then I start turning the screws:

“Can I have that [thing on commercial]?”

“No.”

“But I want it.”

“The answer is no, and I don’t want to hear about it.”

“But it’s my FAVORITE.”

“Another word and the TV gets turned off.”

This usually results in silence and as soon as the program returns she forgets the exchange. If it excalates and I turn it off she gets to calm down or the next level of punishment is engaged. This philosophy has served me well thus far and as long as I follow through with what I say (both punishment and reward) we actually have a fairly peaceful house.

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Becky March 16, 2012 at 8:06 am

I do the same thing… “if I hear about that game one more time, I am definitely NOT getting it for you.” Usually works, but only with the 6 year old. The 4 year old has yet to master this concept.

Lynn March 15, 2012 at 6:06 pm

I’m still waiting for the Palomino (a real one) that my dad promised I’d get tomorrow! So that same strategy worked 50 some years ago.

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Rae March 15, 2012 at 10:53 pm

Back in the day it was called “Maybe”

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Judit @WineDineDaily March 16, 2012 at 12:58 am

You are one brilliant storytelling Dad! Your “tomorrow” has worked for generations and I’m sure it will survive…
Cheers – and would you like a glass of wine? Oops perhaps tomorrow…

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Becky March 16, 2012 at 8:04 am

I read this post a few days ago and had a little chuckle. Then, I got to put your theory into practice while driving by a rental place that always has bouncy houses out. We see this place every day and every day my 4 year old asks if we can play on one. I said no, like always, and she said, “Tomorrow?” Usually I would say no and explain that they cost money and you have to rent them, but this time I said, “Ok, tomorrow” and she said, “YES!!” Needless to say, the next day she had totally forgotten about our deal and we had the same conversation. You’re right, IT WORKS!! Thank you!

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Telling Dad March 16, 2012 at 11:35 am

I’m changing the world! One little white lie at a time.

Matt & Vanessa March 16, 2012 at 8:58 am

We just found and are hopelessly addicted to this blog. We’re not alone in this mysterious parenting thing!!! Whoohoo! Thank you so much, keep writing!!!! We’ll continue to pour over your older postings in the meantime.

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Kat Rowley March 16, 2012 at 11:16 am

I laughed until I had tears in my eyes. I did this with my son too, who to be honest had all the memory span of a goldfish between the ages of 3 and 6. He’d just forget about having ever asked for it by the time tomorrow came. God forbid he call that tab in now that he’s 16. :D

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Susan March 16, 2012 at 10:41 pm

Mine went thru the Gimmie’s about the same age as your daughter. Try as I might to reason with them (is there such a thing?) I finally just gave up and said “NO”. Of course then the whining started. All three, asked why, pleaded, begged, and told me how they simply HAD to have that item!. I would say No and explain why, but nothing satisfied them. Finally, after one exhausting episode (with the daughter I think) I pulled the trump card, one that she couldn’t refute and couldn’t deny for a long long time. “Because I’m bigger than you, and I said so.” That ended the conversation pretty quickly :)

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Sara March 18, 2012 at 7:38 pm

We turn to good ol’ Mick Jagger in these situations. A quick (badly off-key) chorus of “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” usually distracts our 4 year old, at least temporarily. It’s to the point now where she sings it along with us!
I’m totally stealing “tomorrow” though. Or as my daughter calls it, “after THIS day?” =)

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Sheila March 19, 2012 at 3:04 pm

LOL, I used that one when my kids got older. But the best one and its the one my daughter still finds distasteful, even at 23 and a baby of her own, is “if you ask me now, the answer is NO”. I was telling her about this story and told her “just wait till your daughter starts with the gimmies and can we’s,” baaawaaa. Can’t wait. Justice is suweet!!!

Helene March 22, 2012 at 11:31 am

For any requests to do, buy, or see something, my sister used to tell my niece “Sure, someday.” One day, my niece was talking about doing something on Tuesday and then asked my sister “but Mommy, when is Someday? ” Like was a day of the week…hilarious!

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Michelle March 22, 2012 at 2:15 pm

The two things I employ in these cases are: 1) Oh, maybe tomorrow honey. And 2) Really? You really want that? Why? What is it? What does it do? It’s great when this line of questioning is in response to seeing a toilet paper ad. “Ohh… I want that!” “You want *that*?” “Yeah!” “Really?” “Yes really!!” “Why on earth do you want toilet paper???” And yes, this conversation really happened between my friend and her daughter.

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sara ellen awesome March 26, 2012 at 5:01 pm

Oh my goodness, that’s wonderful. I’m going to put that away somewhere in the brain for when I have kids.

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MommaTama March 30, 2012 at 4:45 am

LOL. I am a developmental psych prof. There is no “right” answer! Actually, what was running through my head as I read this was- ‘why didn’t I have this problem?’ Oh right! … my two girls, now teenagers, got to watch TV on Saturdays until they got me out of bed! We’d set up bowls of cereal at bedtime Friday, they each had a plastic measuring cup with milk on a low shelf in the fridge. I’d lay in bed blissfully snoozing or reading or both. If the TV was too loud, or they started arguing I got up, shut it off, turned on the radio and we started chores. Worked. By age five they could work the remote. I got to relax in peace and avoid the joys of teletubbies, pokemon and all those horrific commercials.

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