Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The preparation paradox

With a toddler there is a fine line between too much preparation for a new activity and too little. For example if you tell your toddler that you're going to do something fun, say, in a few hours, you can expect gnashing of teeth and floods of tears that it's not happening RIGHT NOW! But if you DON'T explain the new activity carefully enough before you get there, then you may end up with a very confused and nervous toddler who gnashes his teeth and produces floods of tears.....and the new and fun activity won't end up being quite as fun as you'd hoped. It's a paradox.

Yesterday at 3:15 I told Fintan we were going to a Halloween parade at a nursing home. "Won't that be fun?" I asked. "Yes!" Fintan said, "I want to put my costume on RIGHT NOW!"

So I put his costume on RIGHT NOW and I put Coen's costume on RIGHT NOW and I was patting myself on the back that I was going to make it on time. I shoved my camera in my back pocket and we headed out the door.

We pulled into the parking lot five minutes early and I wrapped Coen onto me and we walked inside along with the other early birds. Fintan looked at the other costumes with appreciation at first and seemed happy enough. More people were showing up. The entrance became quite crowded with little Spidermen and fairy princesses. Then a man walked by, threading his through the crowd in a white jacket. Fintan's eyes widened and I could see his little brain working: "Wait a second, what exactly IS a Halloween parade?"

I'm not sure of the exact conclusion he came to, but it was probably something like this: Halloween parade=white jacket=doctor=shots. Floods of tears immediately made their appearance and it was too late for explanations. The Halloween Parade wasn't happening for us.

We went outside and he gnashed his teeth on a muffin instead.


Christine said...

That is SO true!! Also - he looks ridiculously cute in that costume. Sad dino!

starfitch said...

Gah!! He's so cute!!! It's a tough line to find, that's for sure.

brooke said...

Aren't all things toddler paradoxical?! :) What a nice idea for you to visit a nursing home. I love the dino costume!

SaRaH said...

Dinosaurs can only be expected to do so much, Alina.