Am I a innovative parenting genius or as my wife claims, just plain mean? Please let me know in the comments. I'll give you the situation and then you can choose up sides.
Here is the story. We don't take the kids out to eat very often. This is partially due to schedules, money, the fact the kids are picky eaters, and mostly because Mrs. Ipsa is a certified health nut. That's not hyperbole, that has been her profession for 25 years. I agree with her. Most of the food you get when you eat out, at least that our kids like, isn't very healthy.
There are a couple of restaurants that the kids love. The #1 favorite, which I seldom take them to, is Applebees. They LOVE the chicken fingers and french-fries. They get chocolate milk to drink. To top it off we will split the triple chocolate meltdown. This is just about as good as it gets when it comes to my children's culinary desires. It is a great big treat for them to get to go out to eat at Applebees.
My kids, especially the daughter, are at that age where running around saying "April Fools" holds a great deal of fascination. Not just on April 1st, they started with this back in January. I have talked them about not doing/saying April Fools. We've talked about how its not nice to trick people or be mean to each other and then laugh and say it was "April Fools". I've had a degree of success using the "talk about it" method.
About lunch time today the daughter, little miss April fools herself, informed me she was hungry and wanted lunch. I asked her if she wanted to go to Applebees. We talked about her favorite foods. We talked about the triple chocolate meltdown. I never said we were going only "wouldn't it be nice, IF we did". She was ecstatic with joy. She ran to get her brother and the two of them got in the truck and bucked into their car seats. I stayed inside working on my to do list. About 20 mins latter I started fixing grilled cheese for lunch. The kids came back inside to find out why we hadn't left yet, only to see me finishing getting lunch together.
There were tears when they discovered we weren't going to Applebees. Then we had a talk about April Fools. My son asked, "You mean April Fools isn't a nice holiday"? I asked him if he thought it was nice that we weren't going to Applebees. We had a little talk about tricking people. They both said they didn't like getting tricked.
I think the lesson has been learned. We don't trick people because its not nice and we don't like it when people trick us. My wife thinks I'm mean.
I will probably take the kids to Applebees for lunch on Saturday, but I'm not going to tell them that, we will just go.