The (very long) post you are about to read contains scenes of unimaginable horror but also valuable information for parents everywhere. If this story can help just one parent avoid the pain and expense of a Yes Day, then this will not be published in vain. If you have children that can read, you are advised not open this post in their presence.
During a car ride, the Little One casually mentions a book he had seen at school called Yes Day. It is about a little boy whose parents answer “yes!” to everything for an entire day. Sighing wistfully, the Little One looked out the window and said sadly, “I sure wish I could have a Yes Day.”
Aware that we were being manipulated, Mr. Jenners took control: “Tell you what, if you never talk about it again and don’t keep asking about it, you can have Yes Day on April 14th. Just tell us on April 14th and that will be Yes Day.” The Little One eagerly agreed, and Mr. Jenners and I snickered to ourselves that we had pulled a fast one. I mean, what are the chances that he would remember Yes Day a full three months away!!!!???
Three months passes…
During these three months, not one word was said about Yes Day. Naturally, both Mr. Jenners and I forgot all about it. But, of course, you know what happened on April 14th, don’t you? Of course you do! But let me tell you about it anyway.
April 14th, 7:00 a.m.The Little One (TLO): Mommy!!! Get up! It is 7:00 o’clock! Me (slightly dazed … I was dreaming darn it!): Mmm…what. Oh yeah. OK. I’m up. TLO: Mommy, is it April 14th? Me (still struggling to wake up): Um, yeah. That sounds right. Yes. It is April 14th. Why? Are those Easter eggs due for school today? TLO: No, silly. Not the eggs. April 14th … don’t you remember? Me (confused): Remember what? TLO: April 14th is Yes Day! Remember you told me if I reminded you on April 14th that it would be Yes Day? Well, it is and I remembered!!!!!
Digging deep into the recesses of my cobwebby brain, I realized that this indeed sounded familiar. It was coming back to me now—coming back like a bad dinner that you shouldn’t have eaten, or a dead body you didn’t quite check to make sure was dead, or a rake you left on the lawn and then stepped on and it hit your head, or a … well, I think you get the picture.Me (stalling for time and feigning confusion): Yes Day? What? What are you talking about? TLO: Remember back in January when we were riding in the car and I asked if I could have a Yes Day and then Daddy said that if I remembered and asked you about it on April 14th that I could have a Yes Day? And now it is April 14th and I remembered so it is Yes Day!! Woo hoo! I’m so excited!! I want to go to the zoo! Me (beginning to panic): Let’s talk to Daddy!
Once Mr. Jenners confirmed that it was Yes Day—damn it all to hell!—we had to think quickly. Realizing we were backed into a corner and in over our heads—the Little One was chanting “I want to go to the zoo! I want a dog! I want new toys! I want a sleepover!”—Mr. Jenners quickly pointed out that it was a school day and that perhaps it would be better if we had Yes Day on Saturday. (In retrospect, we should have just stuck it out on the 14th when the Little One would have been trapped in school for most of the day. But it was early and we were caught off guard. Mistakes were made.)
The Little One—a bit quicker on the uptake than either one of us and seeing that a weekend day would be better for him than a school day—quickly agreed. Mr. Jenners retreated to think more (he is the one who has to match wits with the Little One as I’ve proved myself woefully unable to do so once the Little One began thinking independently and outfoxed me multiple times.)
A series of tense negotiations was held. The Little One was told he could not ask for anything completely outrageous (a dog) or that we could not control (going to his friend’s house for a sleepover) or that was too expensive (in other words, no shopping spree at Toys R Us). Otherwise, everything else was fair game. Then Mr. Jenners dreamed up a brilliant loophole: The Little One would be limited to 10 questions. The Little One agreed, but I went to bed full of worry, wondering what Yes Day had in store.
As we went to bed that night, Mr. Jenners said: “I sure hope he doesn’t figure out that one of his questions could be to ask for more questions. If he does, we’re screwed.”
YES DAY, 6:30 a.m.
A Side Note: As part of our marriage contract, Mr. Jenners and I cut a deal that I get up with the Little One on weekends while Mr. Jenners gets to sleep. Then, when Mr. Jenners gets up, I get to go back to bed. Of course, this resulted in me being on the front lines in the initial Yes Day skirmishes without back-up. Consequences would prove severe.
Light saber battling ensued, ending only when someone (and it ALWAYS ends this way) ended up in tears. But, drunk with power and possiblity, the Little One was ready with more questions.TLO: I know what my next Yes Day question is. Me (wary): What? TLO: Can we got to the zoo today? Me (starting to answer): Yyyyyeeeee…. TLO (panicking): Wait!! I want to expand that question. Can we go to the zoo today, eat pizza in the snack stand there and get me something from the gift shop? Me (impressed despite myself): Yes. But it is supposed to rain really hard today so we might have to do that another day if the weather is really bad. TLO: Oh. Yeah … OK. I guess that is OK. Hey mommy, I have another Yes Day question. Me (feeling confident that we were down to just 8 questions already): What is it? TLO: Can I have 50 more Yes Day questions? Me (internally): S*#$, f(*$, D#^#!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Once Mr. Jenners woke up, the Little One hit us with the big question: “Can I have a pet?” He knew that a dog and cat was out of the question (allergies, years of a total flat-out “No ways!” from Mr. Jenners) so he set his sights lower and asked for a hamster. Mr. Jenners and the Little One compromised and decided on a betta fish who would be named Blueberry.
When we went to the pet store to get Blueberry and his supplies, we convinced the Little One to stop at Home Depot. You might think he would deny this request, but he was thrilled. There is tons of stuff he likes to do at home improvement stores and this was the day that he could not be denied.Mommy, can I sit on all the tractors? YES! Mommy, can I open up all the refrigerators? YES! Mommy, can I feel all the rugs? YES! Mommy, can I open up the cabinets in the model kitchens? YES! Mommy, can I climb on the step ladders? YES! Mommy, can I play with the tape measures? YES! Mommy, can I sit on all the outdoor furniture chairs and sofas? YES! Mommy, can I scan the items we’re buying in the self-checkout lane? YES!
It was like a carnival…only it didn’t cost a cent. I was beginning to think that maybe Yes Day wasn’t going to be so bad after all. (Stop chuckling. I know I’m naive. How do you think I got into this situation to begin with?)
On our way home with Blueberry, he said “Since we’re not going to the zoo today because of rain, I want to go to a movie. And I want to get popcorn AND Sno-Caps at the movie. And then I want to go to the toy store. And I want to eat dinner at Friendlys. And I want to stay up late tonight.”
(Insert sounds of brakes screeching here. Yes Day was going to turn out to be long AND expensive after all.)
One of the benefits of having only one child is that you can practice tag team parenting. Since I had never gotten to go back to sleep that morning, Mr. Jenners took the Little One to see Hop. (And yes … he did get popcorn AND Sno-Caps. And managed to convince Mr. Jenners to let him play a claw game at the theater.)
When they got home, Mr. Jenners had “bad kid movie headache” and passed out on the couch. After a rousing light saber battle (which I HATE playing but couldn’t say no to on this day), the Little One and I left for Toys R Us in search of a “Fire Horse” Webkinz he had seen at some point.
It was a nightmare as soon as we stepped in the store. (As I knew it would be.) Although he had been told not to go “crazy,” the Little One was going to push things to the limit to see what he could score.Can I have a Pillow Pet?
Can I have a Lego set?
Can I have this Rio monkey with the long tail?
Can I have this Club Penguin animal?
Can I have this Angry Birds toy?
Can I have a video game?
Can I have this 25 inch rubber T-Rex?
Can I have a robot claw?
Can I have a Star Wars ship?
Can I have Matchbox cars?
Can I have a swing set?
Can I have new bike?
Can I have a skateboard?
Can I have this puzzle?
In the end, I bargained him down to four items, which ended up costing only $23.16, which I thought was quite good. But we still hadn’t found the Webkinz so I made a really stupid mistake: I told him we could go to the mall to look for it.Can I ride the escalator?
Can I sit on those ride-on cars?
Can I get a cookie?
Can I get a chocolate-covered apple?
Can we go to Build-A-Bear?
Can I go in the Disney store?
Can I ride on the mall train?
Can I smell the candles?
Can I get a Pillow Pet?
Can I get this rhino Webkinz?
Can I go see the Easter Bunny?
For the record, I gave in to the escalator, the cookie, the Easter Bunny and the Webkinz … but not the rhino Webkinz because they wanted $32 for it!!!! (Insane, yes?)
When we finally got home, Mr. Jenners gave me grief for what I’d bought him, but I told him he had no idea what I was up against and I thought I’d done pretty darn good all things considered.
Then we were off to Friendly’s for dinner, where, of course, he got the three scoop “build your own” sundae and played the claw machine in the lobby.
Fortunately, by the time we got home, it was almost 9:00—his negotiated late bedtime.
And, that, my friends, was Yes Day.
In the end, Yes Day cost about $200 (movie, food, toys, fish, fish equipment, snacks, games, Easter Bunny photo).
Seeing that your child is a master manipulator, has a mind like a steel trap, and could hold his own making a deal with Donald Trump: priceless.