Good News is Bad News

My kids can’t be happy about anything in the future. 

Crappy Papa and I know this, so we don’t make the mistake of giving them good news too early. 

Grandparents don’t know this. They enjoy delivering good news and bringing joy to their grandchildren.

This is what I mean:

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They announce the good news. Momentarily, it has the desired effect. Grandparents bring joy! Yay!

And then: 

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It backfires.

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And then the grandparents leave and go home

For us though, it continues:

disneyland8

No. Not today. 

disneyland4

No.

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disneyland6

No.

disneyland7

I crush their hope day after day. They whine. They get upset. They get angry at me because today isn’t the day. They ask me how many days before we go. They beg to go early. They don’t sleep at night because they are too excited. They get up extra early because they are too excited.

Everyone is miserable.

Good news too early means waiting. Waiting means pain and suffering.

Good news is actually bad news.

But finally, the day arrives! I get to tell them the news! Actual good news this time, because today is the day! No more waiting!

disneyland9

Only they don’t seem to hear me.

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The topic of going to Disneyland has brought such disappointment for so long that they don’t even know how to react.

So they just kinda shrug and say:

disneyland11

Sigh.

(Don’t worry, they pepped up as soon as we got in the car and they realized it was really happening.) 

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191 Responses to Good News is Bad News

  1. Mommy says:

    This is why my husband and I don’t tell the children ANYTHING before the time arrives…if only I could keep Christmas and their birthdays secrets too.

    • amber says:

      Crappy Boy is already planning for his birthday – 6 months from now!

      • Mommy says:

        Mine started planning their birthdays for next year the day after their birthdays this year.

      • Tracy says:

        Mine too!! His birthday isn’t until September, but a couple nights ago he was going through a birthday supply catalog that had come in the mail, and he was telling me what theme he wants this year, and then what he wants for the following year, and so on…I think he’s now planned his birthday for the next 10 years.

        • Holly says:

          My kids start planning their birthday parties for next year as soon as the other has ended!!

        • Catherine S says:

          Oh My Gawd. My little guy has his next 6 birthday themes lined up already. Stupid birthday catalogs.
          Same also goes for Halloween costumes for the next 6 years.

      • Tasha says:

        Yep! my older son does this too. “Is my birthday tomorrow?” No…. It’s in January…
        That was right before bed last night lol. Gotta love it!

      • Karin says:

        Mine’s birthday is in a month. He’s been planning it since Labor Day weekend when we told him there was no more live racing at the horse track until his birthday.

        • Jill says:

          DD is 4 1/2 years old and she’s been planning her 5th birthday since the day after she turned four including the theme and who she is going to invite. She’s also been planning her parties for when she turns 6, 7, and 8. I’ve got them all written down and plan on sharing them with her as we plan those parties. This is the reason why we are not telling her we have tickets for the Fresh Beat Band in October, because I don’t want to deal with her asking everyday “Is it today?” or “How many more days?”

      • BreezyLou says:

        My son just turned 3 at the end of March and realized that there is a song for birthdays, but he doesn’t know it yet, so every single day he sings “Happy Birthday for me Sullivan Happy Birthday for me Sullivan!” and then asks for his birthday cake.

        • momma says:

          Wow you have a 3 yr old named Sullivan? Our second son was stillborn when I was 9 mos pregnant. His name is Sullivan and his third “birthday” is next month.

      • deneen says:

        mine are planning next years birthdays, halloweens, christmas’ BEFORE this years has even happened! oy vey!!!!

      • Lisa says:

        A couple things have helped. We got the kids a calendar for their room and help them mark things on it and cross off the days. We also made a rule that we won’t talk about birthdays until one month before the day. This gives us time to figure out how to celebrate and what to give them but also stops the planning for the next one when the last one ends. It gets a little better as they get older…

    • Becky says:

      The good thing about Christmas is it’s a whole season. My daughter sings, “It’s Christmas time! It’s Christmas time!” and it is. There is Christmas music, baking, shopping, cards, and decorations the whole time. However, I also don’t give good news too far in advance either. Often, to get them serious about going to sleep, I tell them what a busy exciting day they have tomorrow…”So, you better get a good night of sleep if you want to have fun opening your presents!”

    • Emily says:

      A friend of mine managed to keep her own kids’ birthdays secret from them (until that very morning) until they were at least 6… Her kids would get so excited that they wouldn’t sleep, then by the time the Good Thing happened, they’d be _sick_.

      I keep things secret for as long as I can, which is difficult now that the kids can read the calendar lol!

  2. Marcelle Gautreaux says:

    For the entire 10 hour drive, we told our kids, “We’re going to a giant Wal-mart.” They believed us all the way to the Disney World entrance! Haha!

    • amber says:

      We did this the last time we went to Disneyland! We told them we were “running errands” and they didn’t even ask why it was taking us over an hour to get to the store. They saw the Mickey & other character signs as we pulled into the parking structure. It was perfect! And nobody peed their pants from excitement. Not even me.

      • WK says:

        Yes! So perfect, I’m going to do this next time!

      • Cara says:

        Yeah, that one backfires, too. 🙂 I did that ONCE (with the grocery store, only we “made a wrong turn” and wound up at a theme park) and now everytime we have to really run errands, my son gets his hopes up that we are actually going to a fun surprise place instead. Makes for some awesome grocery shopping right there.

        • Alicia S. says:

          Wow, I can see that sucking really badly and not really having any way to undo it either. Shopping with three kids is already the worst part of being a parent, lol.

    • I just about died laughing. 😀

    • Heather says:

      I am going to have to remember that one! That is awesome!

    • Tasha says:

      Genius! Absolute genius… I’m stealing this tactic for when we go to Disney world, that’s a 13 hr drive… YAY! You dear sweet lady saved me from 13 HOURS (minus sleep time) of are we there yet! THANK YOU!

  3. Liz says:

    OMG yes, we once made the mistake of telling my daughter that we were going on vacation that summer and it was two months of torture before we went complete with early morning wake ups and her asking me when we were leaving several times per day. While I enjoyed her being so excited this year I”m not teling her we’re headed to grammies until the day or so before!

  4. Sesasha says:

    I’ve given up telling my kids anything in advance and we just surprise them on the day of. It makes everything easier. But yes, the grandparents don’t understand this. It’s as though they’ve forgotten what it’s like to have small children with no concept of the future. Why did they tell me that they remember what it was like to be young then?

    • Melissa says:

      Yes! How do the grandparents not remember these things? I trust them to care for the kids on occasion so I know they know how to care for them…but they can’t seem to remember how NOT to set themselves up for meltdowns they cause with things like this. Glad it’s not just me.

      • Kermommy says:

        They know it. They are getting revenge on you for your childhood behaviour, and getting away with it because they CAN.

      • Jean says:

        Ah, you are missing the point. Grandparents do remember! Their parents did this to them and they are just passing along the tradition so you will understand what they went through with you! LOL I am a grandmother and great-grandmother and therefore know of what I speak! My poor daughter (and now my poor granddaughter). Why shouldn’t they go through what I went through? It is fun!

  5. Sara says:

    LOL, today? Today? Yes, so true.

  6. Jessica B. says:

    You speak the truth! This is so my life, where did you hide the camera? My two were told by Grampa over the phone that they are coming for a visit at the end of June. Every day it is excitement and then whining that it isn’t today!

  7. Ashley M says:

    haha, this really made me laugh! I happened to watch America’s Funniest Home Videos for the first time in 10 years (seems like) this morning and it had a little boy and a little girl being told they were going to disneyworld in April and they were so upset that they weren’t going that day. Apparently, that’s the normal reaction for this sort of thing? haha

  8. Kristen says:

    Make a calendar that counts down to the day of the event. Let the kids cross off each day at bedtime. We did a two week countdown to going to Disney world with my 5,2, & 1 yr old. I drew pictures on the days for the lil ones. Like each space had a sun and moon to show what a day meant. Our travel day had a picture of a car. And the days in Disney world had Mickey mouse. Worked out great cause when they asked are we leaving today, I told them to check the calendar

    • amber says:

      We have a calendar too and it does help a tiny, tiny amount. Only Crappy Boy will remove days from the calendar in an attempt to make the special day come sooner. Sneaky, but no, doesn’t work!

      • Robonanny says:

        Love the way Crappy Boy thinks – if only we could speed up real time to exciting events like that…!

        Me, I’d move the calendar forward two weeks so I could move without actually having to finish packing, move everything, unpack etc, just go to the new flat and it would all be there 🙂

    • WK says:

      We’ve tried calendars and it never really helped with the whining. They seemed to be just as upset despite what the calendar said.

    • Savannah says:

      My mom helped us make paper chains, and we got to rip off one link every morning. It was awesome and really helped us visualize time better.
      Then, when I worked for a preschool there was a little girl there who counted days in “sleeps.” On Friday every week she always knew she would be back at school in “three sleeps.”

  9. Brooke says:

    Made this mistake with our son to be 3year old. Told him 2 months ago we were going to Disneyland in June for his birthday. We have suffered what you described daily. Lesson learned.

  10. Megan says:

    I have some friends who are actually surprising their kids TONIGHT that they are going to Disneyland. Their kids are 6 and 11, but still I think I would wait too!

  11. Jill says:

    Yes! Even though I have learned my lesson, I still mess up and tell them too early! Someday I will learn!

  12. This is the same reason I don’t tell my kids about play dates until we are in the car driving to meet our friends.
    Also, it seems grandparents love to set us up for failure. It must be vengence for our teenage years.

    • amber says:

      I think it might be.

    • Robin says:

      Yep, that’s what I do. I tell my daughter in the morning if we’re going for a playdate that day. Even then…sometimes I hold off ’til after the nap b/c she won’t have her nap if she knows that after nap comes the playdate.

    • Amber D says:

      I agree.

      • Cara says:

        I wait till the last minute to tell my kids about playdates. I can’t tell you how many times there have been last minute cancellations from the other party (like on the day of) and my kids are literally crying from something so fun being taken away. Well, they never really had it, but that’s now how kids see things.

  13. Heather says:

    A friend won’t tell her daughter they are coming to our house until they are on the way here for the same reason. I guess I should feel honored that this 2.5 yo thinks my house is the greatest place on Earth!

  14. Veronica says:

    This happened to us too, but I came up with a way to curb the constant asking. Whenever we have an exciting event coming up we make a paper chain, however many days away it is that’s how many loops are in the chain. Then before bed we cut one loop off & count down the number of days left.

  15. Angel says:

    Oh this is just priceless!! We are going to Disneyland in May 2013. My mom HAS to talk to my 4yr old about it EVERYTIME she see’s him. Its driving me crazy. We go to the gorcery store and he has to tell everyone he’s going to Disney tomorrow. Only a year to go………

  16. Heather says:

    I also don’t tell ahead of time especially because heaven forbid it gets canceled!! If they don’t know they are non the wiser and your whole day isn’t ruined!

  17. Jamie says:

    We once told our then 4-year old that we were driving four hours to stay in a hotel, planning to surprise him with Disney World. We’d taken him several times and he had been begging to go back. We expected him to flip when he saw that we were driving through the gates at Disney. He was so nonplussed.

  18. Lana says:

    We’ve learned to only tell our kiddo good news either the night before (“go to sleep right now because tomorrow we’re doing X and you need lots of rest, okay?!”) or the day of. Not only for this exact reason, but also because plans sometimes change or fall through and heaven forbid you have to pass that news on :/

  19. Shellie says:

    This is SO TRUE!!! Glad we’re not the only ones 🙂

  20. Lacey says:

    I’m beginning to get the idea that crappy boy’s favorite color is blue 😛 Everyday a different shade, but always blue *lol*

    We’re not here yet – our son is only 14 months. Thanks for the advanced warning! I remember my long-ago childhood and the anticipation of trips to see Grandma and Disneyland and Christmas…. Funny, I’d never before thought of what a pain in the a$$ I was as a little kid 😛 The worst time tho was my parents getting me all hyper to go to Yosemite – for weeks I was obsessed with it, and bugging them constantly. Then the night before we left I had a TERRIBLE nightmare – Yosemite (I’d never been there before) was a viking-themepark with rides that ate ships and killed everyone I knew! I woke up hysterical and they had to DRAG me to the car and I cried and cried no matter how many times they tried to explain it to me 😛 Ended up having a blast but… yah, sometimes building the anticipation can REALLY backfire!!

    • Chris Carter says:

      Now that is hilarious! Great story… Great IRONY! Your POOR parents!!! I could just see them that morning going, “Really? Are you Flippin’ KIDDING ME???”

      Like I said, hilarious!!!

  21. RC says:

    Amen! I’ve tried all three: foolishly telling them in advance (cause we were young and naive), not telling them a thing (because we got older and smarter), and doing a calendar countdown with pictures (because of grandparents, Christmas, birthdays).

    I much prefer the not-telling-them way…although it does make for interesting questions. Why are you putting all the dog food in the car? Why can’t I find any underwear? What’s that bag for? 🙂

  22. Erica says:

    My MIL told the kids 6 MONTHS IN ADVANCE.

  23. That is my kids! We can’t tell them anything until the day of. We do the calendar too, but sometimes it doesn’t work.

  24. Tonya says:

    We took an unplanned trip to Florida last month to visit my dad who was pretty sick. We figured while we were there, we might as well hit up Disneyworld. We didn’t tell Miss P (4-going-on-42) until the morning we were actually going to DW that that was the plan. She didn’t believe us. Even though all she’s been talking about for the last six months has been “when are we going to Disney?” — So we told her and she was all “you’re shitting me…” Up until we pulled into our assigned parking row at the Park. Then she realized that we really, truly weren’t kidding her (honestly, I would NEVER kid about something like that!) and then and only then did she let out a squeal of delight.

  25. I’m not sure how to break this to you, but . . . these pictures aren’t crappy. They’re actually kind of heartbreakingly splendid.

    And I hope you all enjoyed Disneyland!

  26. Joyce says:

    We don’t even speak the words “bye-bye” until we are ready to walk out the door. Otherwise we get endless questioning about when we are leaving and my son strips his clothes off and insists that he takes a shower before we go. We don’t talk about showering much either. LOL.

  27. Dad of 5 says:

    And then … almost as soon as they get into the car … it begins – “Are we there yet?” No. “How about now?” No. The cycle continues until a man in a 7 foot tall mouse costume terrifies them so badly that they’ll have nightmares for years. Parenting is FUN!

    • Angie says:

      I thought for sure mine would be scared of meeting the characters but she went right up to Mickey and hugged him! The rides on the other hand, that is where the tears came.

  28. WK says:

    Man, this is spot on as usual. For us it was a camping trip planned for June that we unfortunately told them in December. Lesson learned!

  29. Siobhan says:

    This is going on right now in my house, grandpa got a new boat so he calls my 3year old son and tells him about the boat and how grandpa,daddy and him will be going fishing in June. Now every time we get in the car he ask if we are going to grandpas to go fishing when I say not today he cries. And to make matters worst my husband comes home and tells me we have to push are trip to July 20th. It’s going to be a long few months

  30. Rachel says:

    I love this! The expressions on their disappointed faces are priceless!

  31. Jean Russell says:

    Grandparents ! (I am one and really have to bite my tongue sometimes) if someone slips & tells..we rely on the old standby of how many sleeps. Counting your finger as the day the dip between fingers as the sleep.. helps a little bit.

  32. Valerie says:

    We literally got back from Disneyland last night. To combat this problem, we had made a paper chain for each day until Disneyland. So our daughter knew, as soon as the paper chain was gone, we were going to Disneyland and it helped a ton! Otherwise, the grandparents spill the beans and then this scenario is exactly what happens. We did the same thing for when their brother was supposed to be born. Great post!

    • Hallie says:

      We did something similar for my mother’s vacation. She lives with us and the kids are obviously really attached. She went to Florida for 6 weeks recently. So we let my 4 yr old draw a picture on the day my mother was coming home and every morning she would mark off another day on the calendar. It gave her and idea that there were several more days before Grandma came home. Of course all my 2yr old understood was that we were letting him draw lines on the calendar.

  33. Desiree says:

    We’re learned not to tell grandma until we tell the kids 😛

    • Angie says:

      Now THAT is brilliant!

    • Carrie R. says:

      We’re doing this right now. We’re taking my son to Disney for his 5th birthday in a week and a half. We haven’t told him and we haven’t told my dad. Because my dad WILL slip and say something. Now the problem is I just found out my dad is moving on that same day. I’m really hoping he doesn’t ask us for help, because I’ll have to break it to him that we won’t be available.

  34. Chrissy says:

    I thought you meant the kids actually interpreted good news as bad news. That’s what my boys do. This is what my kids said when we told our kids we were going to Disneyworld “NO! No go! Stay here!” LOL they were only 4 and 2 at the time and we hadn’t ever really said much about Disneyworld before that so they didn’t get it.. .. . . although this happens a lot. They did enjoy themselves tremendously when we were there though.

  35. Robonanny says:

    I used to be the world’s most indiscreet blabber of information like this – “I’m so excited we’re going to do X”, but 20 years of nannying and 6 of parenting has finally taught me to keep my lip zipped… most of the time.

    My son knows we’re spending Christmas with all of my family in New Zealand (I live in England) but as I had to get permission to take him out of school for a week to do so, there wasn’t too much point hiding it. Besides, he’s old enough now to have a pretty good grasp on the fact it’s _months_ away so he just tells people how cool he thinks it is that he’s going, but isn’t asking every day about it. Yet.

  36. Misty H says:

    Yup…totally nailed it. We are going to Disney World in December and our almost 6 and 3 year old won’t know until we are in the car heading to the airport!

  37. Jordan McBride says:

    This is why I can’t even say we have to go to the store later. My son gets all excited about going SOMEWHERE… and if plans to pick up milk and eggs gets postponed, his whole world comes crashing down.

  38. Rebecca says:

    Something similar happened to us last night… my DH went to the store to pick up some prenatal vitamins for me. Our son (who is 3 yo) asked what Daddy bought. My DH replies: Vitamins to help make a baby. So now every five minutes my son is asking me if I have a baby in my tummy YET?! “Mama, do you have a baby in your tummy, yet?” “Mama?” “Mama?” “I want a sister!” MORAL OF THE STORY? Don’t leak it to your toddler that you are TTC! Oy!

    • Hallie says:

      We’re expecting our 3rd in August. I tried to keep it from the kids until it was obvious. Everyday my 2 yr lifts my shirt and asks if the baby is still in there. My 4 yr old keeps asking “Is it summer yet”, b/c she knows the baby will come when summer is over. And I thought the waiting was hard for ME to deal with. LOL.

    • Jo says:

      We made that mistake too…hope you don’t also find your son peeing on your ovulation sticks as well.

      (Luckily, he wasn’t ovulating!)

  39. Amy D says:

    Thanks for the great lesson Amber, very funny too! I will definitely keep this in mind as my son approaches 2 and older. I honestly hadn’t even thought about it.

  40. Carrie says:

    This SO just happened to us. My son would pray every night “God thank you that we’re going to Disneyland tomorrow”. For a month. Of course now we’re back and he’s still praying that, in the hopes we’ll take him back soon 🙂

  41. It is a special kind of torture. I’ve gotten to the point where I find myself in the bathroom, with water running, whispering to plan trips/visits. Last year we made the ENORMOUS mistake of telling the kids in March that we were going to California in June. Rookie mistake. So. Bad.

  42. Diane says:

    This was absolutely PRICELESS!!! There is definitely a fine line as to when/when not to tell them news. My son is 17, has autism and is extremely good at “reminding” us of things that are of interest to him. 🙂

    Great pics!!!

  43. Terri says:

    As a parent of 5 boys VERY close in age, you’d think I would have remembered this basic fact. To relay “good news” too early was to create dissension in the ranks, calamitous behavior, disappointment, and various other annoying and irritating responses in my children. We had our 5 kids within 4 years so we had to be very careful so as to not create a riot that we could not control. Our parents had no such hesitation. I’m glad I read this today to remind me to not do this to my grandchildren so my own kids won’t have to deal with….wait a sec….I feel a twinge of ‘revenge’ coming on….

  44. Maureen says:

    This is why I keep my kids AND my husband on a “need to know basis”. I say my husband too because he can’t keep a secret. He tells them as soon as I leave the room.

    • Hallie says:

      LOL. I do the same thing. My husband wakes up on Saturday and asks “So what are we doing today?” Cause he knows if I’ve planned something exciting, I won’t tell him beforehand. Blabbermouth!!

  45. Tim says:

    You’re supposed to be teaching your children how to deal with life….this would include anticipation and disappointment. Sounds like all your parents taught you was how to take the easy way out. What a shame…another generation of ‘it’s all about me’ coming along.

    • Hallie says:

      A 2 year old has no concept of time. Some five year olds do. My 4 year old doesn’t. If I tell her an hour from now, I might as well tell her 3 years. It’d be cruel to knowingly give her a time frame that she can’t possibly understand. If I tell her “after your nap today” she understands that. She knows she has to take her nap, and then we’ll go. If I tell her “in the morning when the sun come up”, she understands night time has to come first. If I tell her three weeks from now she has no clue. I can show her the calender, but she still doesn’t grasp it. She understands “today, tomorrow, and yesterday”. It has nothing to do with the “easy way”. It’s the comprehendable way.

      And besides that. You’re really getting petty over something as simple as outings and timeframes???? How about you find a blog discussing leaving your children in front of TV for hours and throwing McDonald’s at them once a day. Here we are about sharing in the joy and humor in children and parenting. And right now you’re are definately taking the joy out of it.

    • Terri says:

      That’s funny, I raised our 5 boys the same way…not telling them ahead of time, etc…and now as adults they ARE dealing with life and all its twists and turns. Anticipating with joy the birth of their next child. Coping with the disappointment that life has changed immeasurably since getting blown up in Iraq. They have stepped up to the plate more times than once and have proven they are mature, responsible adults willing to make whatever sacrifices they see necessary for themselves and for others. Definitely none of this “its all about me” twaddle. Why not read the blog and enjoy. What she observes and writes is very funny because its very true. I’m sure her children will also grow up to be mature, responsible adults, with a sense of humor to boot.

    • Angie says:

      People find a way to judge other people’s parenting no matter what, huh?

      PS – this has absolutely nothing to do with the post. So maybe you are just trying to stir shit.

  46. Shannon says:

    This is good advice for a first time mom-to-be, though I doubt I’ll be able to get my DH to comply until he tries it out at least once and sees the consequences for himself! And the grandparents? I already know they will be impossible! My MIL cannot keep her mouth shut with the other grandkids, so I know there’s no hope for me. And since the trips to Disney will be planned and largely paid for through her timeshare, I won’t be in much of a position to hide it from her as well. :-/

    • Terri says:

      There are some very good suggestions on how to deal with that type of situation. The paper rings is a great one that works well. It gives them something tangible to see and participate in.

  47. Sara says:

    When I was little, we went to visit my grandparents in the Bay Area. After the visit, instead of driving north toward home, we drove south toward Disneyland. My brother and I didn’t notice we weren’t heading toward home, even though the landscape was obviously different. In fact, we didn’t suspect anything until I (who could read) saw a billboard… Disneyland, X Miles! My brother told me not to tease him. My parent still say that was one of their crowning moments of parenthood!

  48. Jill says:

    Uh, Tim, I think you’re making something out of this that it’s not. Letting your kids win every single game = not teaching about disappointment and finding good in a frustrating situation. That is not the same as not telling your kids (esp young ones) too far in advance of a trip, which simply = mom and dad keep their sanity.

  49. Kim says:

    When my daughter was about 5, I got her a calendar and we used it as a lesson in time, planning, and numbers… We crossed off every day before our trip, and counted the days until it was time to go. It made it fun, getting ready. We added to the calendar days we needed to pack, to shop, and other things we needed to do to get ready…

  50. shellaven says:

    Tim, before you judge, remember, the key to being able to “teach” how to deal with anticipation and disappointment is to introduce it in measure with the child’s maturity and capacity to process. A child with no concept of time cannot be taught to patiently anticipate an event two weeks into the future–it is simply out of their capacity. A smart parent knows that waiting until the time is closer will allow their child to process the information on a less emotional level and on a more intellectual level–this is key to teaching a child to adapt.

    PS. I find the same effect with “bad” news (vaccinations, dentist, baby sitters, etc.) as good news. It’s all in the timing…!

  51. Ingrid says:

    I love these pics! Today? No. Today? No. Their eyes are little blobs with utter disappointment. NICE!

  52. Lisa Lutes says:

    I also don’t make the mistake of offering food to my daughter until it’s in my hand- made that mistake once with a granola bar and found out my husband had eaten the entire 48 pack from costco in a middle of the night fit of gluttony. Oh the tears!!!
    I think it’s funny that these nut jobs come on here making snide comments about parenting skills when this blog is supposed to be FUNNY, not a textbook parenting manual. They either don’t have kids or their kids are going to need a lot of therapy some day….

    • Lacey says:

      I did that… at a little over a year old my little guy doesn’t understand much, but when I say “cookie” there better darn well be a cookie!!

    • Rebecca says:

      Oh man, although this is officially my favourite FUNNY parenting blog, I am actually learning stuff.
      V. happy I’m learning this ahead of time, and the “don’t talk about food until it’s in my hand” *foreheadslap*, now THAT one could have occurred to my all by myself. But it didn’t. Thanks, Lisa. 🙂
      And thanks Amber for the big fat heads-up on not telling about faraway things.
      And thanks everyone else (except Tim, get a sense of humour) for your lovely comments and real life stories. Those are at least as valuable as the blog itself. Makes me feel much better about my “normal” parenting. 😉

  53. Justine says:

    I made the same mistake but I made a big poster board calendar and let the kids mark an X until the day we were leaving they were very excited about making their X and when it got really close they would say 4 more days 3 more days!

  54. Mejia Mamma says:

    LOL – SOOOO true!!! I’ve been experiencing this with my almost 3 yr old lately….cannot tell her about birthday parties or family dinners out too early – more so just before we’re about to leave the house!

  55. Krista says:

    HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!! I have a very similar problem. If we’re getting ready to leave somewhere and I tell them too early, pain and suffering begins. What happens is I tell them where we’re going so that they will listen to me when I tell them to come get their clothes on. Then every time I walk in a direction that is not the door they cry and freak out. I’ll be like “I’m just getting the keys!” So I’ve learned that I have to get everything ready so that we leave the minute after I put their clothes on! haha!

  56. Claire says:

    Hilarious! A countdown calendar helps with stuff like this. Let them take turns crossing off the days. The visual helps them conceptualize the days. That is, if grandparents slip again.

  57. Mercy says:

    Yes, never tell them what fun thing you are doing until just before you are going to do it. Even then, they will ask how long until it actually happens.

  58. Schoggicat says:

    This is great! I told my 4 year old that he would have his last day of daycare the end of June (kindergarten starts in August for him). Next day he told everyone it was his last day! He was so excited and not a little disappointed when I pointed out his error.

  59. John says:

    I fall for this EVERY TIME!

    “We’re going swimming next weekend!”
    “today?”
    “No…”
    And then realizing I screwed up, yet again!

    I get excited just as much as they do though, can’t keep my mouth shut.

  60. This is great information for a first time mom – hopefully I will remember this when the time comes! It’s gotta be hard to keep the news to yourself when you know they’ll be excited to hear it!

  61. kim says:

    we make paper chains for everything coming in the future. the kids get to take one chain off every day before bed. this at least saves me from having to be the one to say ‘no’ and disappoint them. i think they feel some what in control of the wait this way too. anytime they want to know how much longer they look, and not ask (annoy) me. everyone wins! this doesnt stop the sleeping thing though

  62. Deirdre Bowles says:

    My 4 year old daughter was told by my parents that they would be opening their pool once it is warm out. Every single warm day since she has insisted on going to Mimi and Papa’s to swim. Then they changed their answer to “The pool will be opened in May.” and yes, this morning (May 1st) my daughter has already begun to insist on going to swim after preschool since it is May now……ugh! In reality, they do not plan on opening the pool until May 26th…. 26 days of the same torture…. thanks mom and dad!

  63. elizabeth longtin says:

    Tears rolling down my face! Too funny…and true! Thanks for the laugh~ 😀

  64. Helloheather says:

    Enough experiences like this, and now I don’t even tell my kids people are coming over until they show up in the driveway. It’s just not worth it!

  65. Beth Reinhart says:

    This is hilarious and oh so true!!!!

  66. Sara says:

    My MIL tells my daughter things in advance, and then will say offhand comments like: “they have a place where you can swim with the dolphins!!” (neglecting to add the disclaimer: “BUT YOU CAN’T DO THAT PART BECAUSE YOU’RE TOO YOUNG” or “BUT THEY STOPPED DOING THAT 18 YEARS AGO” or “BUT WE WON’T BE DOING THAT BECAUSE IT’S CLOSED FOR RENOVATIONS SO I’M IN ESSENCE CRUSHING YOUR SOUL”).

    Good times.

  67. Woolies says:

    They are probably damaged forever. They will tell their psychiatrists one day about this torture inflicted upon them.

  68. Woolies says:

    PS I’m sure ‘Tim’ discusses this with his therapist.

  69. Jodi says:

    We are going to Disney in 4 weeks. I plan to tell the kids in 3 weeks and 6 days from now. 🙂

  70. When I was little, I remember MY parents never telling us about our summer vacations until a couple of days before we left. They must have learned their lesson the hard way a couple of times!

  71. Mama_Twinkie says:

    This is the EXACT reason my 3 yr old has no idea we’re taking her to see Sesame Street Live this weekend. 🙂

  72. Amanda says:

    What is wrong with grandparents? My in-laws told my kids, as they left, that they’s see them again “very soon.” It’s an 8 hour drive. They’ll see them again in a few months. That is NOT very soon to a three- or one-year-old! There were tears within the hour. Oi. I try to tell them just long enough in advance for tiny bit of excitement, but not long enough for repeated “when”s. 🙂

  73. For crappy illustrations you sure captured that look of crushing disappointment perfectly.

  74. Melissa says:

    Haha I’m going through this right now. At the end of the month we are flying out to see grandparents and every time they call and talk to my almost three year old they talk about coming to visit so now my son wakes me up at 6 every morning and asks “see mimi?”

  75. Colleen says:

    I haven’t read all the comments but maybe try a paper chain? You can count the days together each day and then remove a link every night before bed. We do it every Christmas and it works great. You could even write an activity on each link for them to do that helps prepare them for whatever they are waiting on. Then attach the who thing to a piece of paper that is decorated with the activity. 🙂

  76. Sarah says:

    We have a paper chain going for Disney and it the best! Anticipation is half the fun for me do I made a chain with a rainbow pattern of 7 colors- every Saturday is purple in case we get off track. Some of the days have the countdown inside the link. Sons have Disney stickers, facts, or questions about Disney did the kids to andwer(favorite princess, most looking forward to, etc.). The kids pull a link off each night and get to read the words inside the link. They are 4 and 8 so they are older but they live how the chain is getting shorter. It used to be the length if the hallway, now it is halfway!

  77. Nikki says:

    Ugh, you are so right with this. I don’t tell my children ANYTHING until we are in the car on the way just to avoid the drama that comes along with “good news”.

  78. Marlene says:

    Our Disneyland vacation is a 20 hour long flight away plus a couple months of careful prep and planning, visa applications, leave applications, luggage packing etc. I am living this nightmare all the way til June!

  79. Anjali says:

    Your sponsors are “full of awesome”? Excellent. Am hoping this is a Pigtail Pals shoutout as I’m a recent convert and want the world to know about it. If it’s not, you should definitely check out their site: it’s full of awesome too! P.S Brilliant post as always, I love how you get their little eyes to convey so much emotion!

  80. Mayor Gia says:

    Hahahhah it’s like the scene in family guy where stewie finds out he’s going to disney world…

  81. devann hoffman says:

    You are just so clever and funny

  82. Jen says:

    Yes! Thank you!!! My IL’s wanted to tell the kids about a trip to Disney World six months before we left. Um. No.

  83. Marta says:

    Yeah I never tell my kids anything too far ahead of time at all because it is EXACTLY like that. Even sometimes if its too good I don’t even tell them day of because then its all “is it afternoon yet?” “well have you had lunch?” “No” “Well then its not the afternoon.”

  84. Kara says:

    We talk in code around here, which gets more and more complicated since our oldest can now spell and read. Hand gestures and funny faces seem effective.

  85. My kid is the opposite. She needs a LOT of advance warning for a change in routine. It took her SIX MONTHS to stop asking me to have the doctor tear the baby out of my tummy and throw it away (not quite her exact words. But pretty close.) We can’t change her bed sheets without a week of sulking.

  86. Linda says:

    Unfortunately, my mother practices the last minute surprise now that I’m 25. “I’m here, surprise! Let’s drive to Florida!” That quit working when she started taking me to Paris when I had school and waking me up at 6 to tell me we were going, even though midterms were that week. I do have to train DH however for baby that’s due in aug, he shares all his ideas of what we’re going to do daily and then forgets or changes them constantly! I do not want Zoé to give me the no face.

  87. shannon says:

    So true! Experienced this immediately after reading this article. Me to 4-yr old: You will have a dentist appt soon too (I have a dentist appt). 4-yr old: Today? Me: No, soon. 4-yr old: Tomorrow? Me: no, I have to make the appt. 4-yr old: Saturday? …

  88. Melanie says:

    My parents do this to me ALL the time. Just the other night, right before my little one was about to go to bed, Grandma called to say good night. And then she promised to get DD donuts…on SATURDAY. It’s Tuesday. Yeah. My toddler had a donut meltdown until 10pm. Thanks, Grandma.

  89. Cindy says:

    What she said.

  90. tabrizia says:

    I just did this and am regretting it now. There is an Imagination Movers concert in 9 days that I told DS and DD about 2 days ago. So every day now I hear from DD, “Hooray I am going to the Imagination Movers today!”

    Oh and my 5 year old is already planning his 6th birthday party which will happen in 11 months.

  91. Rebecca says:

    There are 163 comments as I write this, and I don’t think I’m going to read all of them, so forgive me if this has been posted.

    A great trick to get thru the excitement/disappointment spiral of good news given too soon, is to use what we do for Christmas. Have them make a paper chain with one loop for each day until the event. Then each night before bed they remove one loop, showing them one day closer till happy happy fun time. This way, they have that necessary visual reference to help with the waiting!

    Hope this helps!

  92. Oops! I accidently told my little one that we were going to gramma’s soon (my mom lives a few hours away, and we will go there for a week in mid May). He spent the next hour trying to leave, and the hour after that crying. 🙁 Oops.

  93. Emily says:

    We had friends visiting who live 5 hours away, and when they left their 4 year old tells my 2.5 year old “see you next weekend!” (not in the plans for any parents involved). That was two weeks ago and every day since my son has asked “is Max coming to our house today?” Sigh… hopefully they will come back to visit soon, but until then Max is not on my good side.

  94. Jen says:

    My in-laws have been talking constantly about going to Disney World for the last 8 years (since my oldest niece was born). My kids are 5 and 3. Every time we get together with them, we talk about Disney – I mean like planning where we’ll go for dinner each night, etc. The current plan is to go in August of 2013. I don’t even want to go. I just want to stop talking about it!

  95. Katherine Riley says:

    This made my husband and me laugh SO HARD! My in-laws are taking us and our kids (5, 3, and 18 months) to Disney World in October…that’s a LONG way away from now!!

  96. Alicia S. says:

    Haha, I love their sad faces. Cracks me up everytime! (The drawings, not the real things!)

  97. heather burchett says:

    My son and I are going to Disney World pretty much days after school lets out with a friend of mine. Hes 5 by the way and started kindergarten this year and has worked really hard-so was thinking of using the whole this is what you get for working so hard in school but that might backfire on me in the upcoming years when he doesn’t get something even remotely as cool… Anyway, i’ve made a couple of comments to him about going to Disney World and he hasn’t responded much at all much less aknowledge that I said the word… We shall see what happens when it gets closer to time…..

  98. Kathleen says:

    Up until about 5 minutes ago, I thought that my parents were really spontaneous. And I’ve always felt guilty that my last-minute plans never worked as well as theirs did. Hmmm.

  99. Megan says:

    Forget grandparents! My husband does this!!

    I don’t know what he’s thinking! He’s all ready told our 4-year-old that we’re going to the beach this summer (in JULY!!). I was standing right there when he told our son, but it came from out of the blue so I couldn’t even stop him before he said anything. He immediately received the “Are you STUPID?!” look from me, but by then the damage was done.

    Fortunately, I think our son has forgotten that his daddy said anything to him because he hasn’t said much about it since then, but every so often he’ll randomly mention the beach and I have to remind him that it’s still a couple of months away.

  100. Ria says:

    Hm. I guess my parents eliminated this problem by never taking us to Disneyland/theme parks. I never imagined the rigmarole…

  101. Elisabeth says:

    Poor things! My mom did the same only with a worse outcome … she told my poor son he could have a kitty if his allergy test came out ok. Of course it didn’t, he’s severely allergic to cats, always has been. I had told HER I was getting him a cat if his allergies were under control now … you don’t try to get a four year old to understand the complexities of the severity of his allergies to a sweet cuddly kitty … you just say NO and if necessary “because mom is mean!” and let it go at that. She also told him we were going to go to Disneyworld “someday” … same outcome – daily questioning until I broke his little heart and explained the grandma meant that we would go someday, but we had not planned a trip yet, so it may be a long time from now. Poor kid. Come to think of it, grandma does this a lot! hahaha

  102. Monique says:

    We NEVER tell the kids until the day of their event and tell my parents to do the same. lol

  103. This is so true! (even for adults)

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  104. Tonya Bolton says:

    OH MY GOSH!!! How true is this???!!! I wish I could get this point through everyone else’s head so they will stop telling my kids stuff before its time. My youngest drives us NUTSO if he knows things ahead of time…aagghhhh! That’s ok, my brother just had his first child –R-E-V-E-N-G-E!!!! ha ha

  105. Better have the news as a surprise on the exact date of their trip to Disneyland.

  106. I’m lucky I did because now I’ve obtained a whole new view of this.

  107. hrl says:

    Oh my god! Hahaha…
    Thanks for the tip. Good to know, when my little baby girl gets older.

  108. Erin mommy of 3 says:

    Haaa this is the same for us TELL THEM NOHING !!! Even the day of untill were ready to go or I don’t ever hear the end of it !!!

  109. Lahle Wolfe says:

    My two youngest still plan their birthdays at least six months in advance so I have time to “save” up for the long list. But my two oldest have reached an age where they plan for me in advance. I got my Mother’s Day gifts two weeks early because they were so excited about the things they made. Eventually the joy of giving kicks in.

  110. Joy says:

    Sometimes, Grandparents just suck.

  111. elizabeth says:

    In the first today picture Crappy Boy’s hand makes it look like you have a mustache. ;D

  112. Deitra says:

    I don’t have kids I have nieces 5 & 6 and they come during the summer ( parents are divorced so my brother gets them during the summer) last year they were going to go to Disneyland and everyday before they were set to go it was ” Are we going to Disneyland today” and even the day of while strapping them in their carseats the youngest who was four asked ” Is this Disneyland ?” So cute

  113. Pingback: Some great resources for parents (PBS Kids, Education.com) and more. | Frecklebox Blog

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