28 January 2008

Playing dumb: A conversation with D-

This is the first in our high-minded series of conversations with D-, my three-year-old son.

I'm not new to this strategy, but let's see if you can pick it up:

As we entered a store today, D- saw some random toy displays, and innocently asked "Why do they have all these toys out here?"

Can you see where he's headed with this soft sell?

Me: "They're out for people who want to buy them."

D-: "I want to buy them..."

Me: "I don't think you have enough money to buy them."

D-: "But you have enough money to buy them..."

Me: "Yes, but I don't want to buy them."

D-: "But I want them..."

Me: "Even I don't have enough money to buy all the things you say you want. If I bought all the things you point out and say you want, we wouldn't have any money left over for food or other things we actually need."

D-: "Oh, okay."

And so it ended as simply as it began. He didn't even call my attention to any specific toy, just the whole brightly-colored area right as you walk in (clever bastards).

I think he may have a toy addiction. I wonder what the methadone would be for toy addicts... "educational" toys? Just like the real thing, only lamer.


nonna said...

my step-daughter recently got cable tv. up til then the g-kid had only been watching PBS or a movie. welllll now all i hear all day long is "dat's tool*. i need dat toy" i have tried unsucessfully to explain the difference between need and want, but it is obviously a slow learning curve. i have finally resorted to telling him that i have no money to buy them so he should just tell santa about all the toys he "needs"

*tool = cool in toddler talk
p.s. i hate you (does that count as hate mail?)

LiteralDan said...

The concepts of Need and Want do not fully separate in the human mind until around age 25, give or take some experience with hunger or destitution.

Heck, even I get confused sometimes.

And sure, I'll count that-- that's really tool of you!