I have a bone to pick with a dad that was at a park in Chicago on our last visit. He was there with his daughter of about 13 months, his wife, and another couple who were expecting. When it was time for them to leave the park he told his daughter it was time to go. She ignored him. In a rather loud voice he said “When we get home we will have a cupcake. Come on, let’s go. Let’s go get a cupcake.” Let me tell you how many kids got whiplash trying to see the man who was handing out cupcakes. He managed to say that particular word louder than the rest, of course.
Lots of little kids then looked to their own parents with the look of “They are having cupcakes. Do we get to have cupcakes?” Guess whose child paid absolutely no attention to the cupcake comment – you got it, the 13-month-old girl. She didn’t give a hoot about the cupcakes.
So he went on. And on. And on. I was ready to punch the guy in the face. Heck, by then I wanted to know where MY cupcake was. I think certain things should be outlawed at the park. Talking about cupcakes for thirty minutes in an attempt to get a toddler from leaving the park is one of them. Whisper in the child’s ear if you must. Share a special secret. She might have actually cared if he whispered the secret into her ear. But he kept talking about it from across the playground as she ran away. By the fifth time he mentioned it I think the other kids were ready to follow him home. By the tenth time they just wanted his address so they could beat him there and help themselves. What would he care, he would still be wandering around the park asking his daughter if she wanted a cupcake. I’m pretty sure her answer was “no.”