So just when I finally agree to Disney, Sophie ups the ante.
I walk into her nursery school and one of the aides comes up to me:
“I heard the exciting news!”
“Pardon me?” What rumors had Sophie spread, now?
“Your trip to Paris. Sophie told us she’s going to France.”
“She what?” The aide is now looking at me like I’m a five-year-old, with a little pity mixed in.
“Oh yes, she told us all about how she’s going to visit the Eiffel Tower. Sounds wonderful.”
“It does sound wonderful—but we aren’t going to Paris. I think this is a little wishful thinking on Sophie’s part.”
“Hmm,” said the aide, looking puzzled. I was puzzled too.
I quizzed Sophia on the way home.
“Sophie, why did you tell everyone at school that we’re going to Paris?”
“Because I want to. Can we? Pleeeeeeease? Pretty please?”
“Soph, maybe one day, but not any time soon. We’re going to Disney World, remember?” You know, that place you’ve been obsessed with for the last two years, I think, but don’t say. Sophie freaks out when I get sarcastic. Rightly so.
“Yeah, but, I want to go to Paris and make new friends. I want to climb the Eiffel Tower with them like you and daddy did before you were married. Hey. Hey! Can I bring some of my own friends? Can we take my friends to Paris with us?” She doesn’t even stop to take a breath.
“Come on, Soph. We can’t afford to take your friends to Paris. And, besides, I don’t think their parents would let us.”
“Yes they would!” I broke cardinal rule number one: NEVER, EVER argue with a five-year-old.
“I’m sorry, Soph, but we’re not going to Paris. That’s final.”
“How about if it’s just us?” she suggested, hopeful that this concession would be the thing to win her a trip abroad. The thought passes through my mind that she might have premeditated this move. In social psychology it’s known as “the door in the face” tactic: one makes a deliberately outlandish request at the outset, so a subsequent, lesser request is more likely to be accepted.
Fortunately, I am familiar with such strategies.
“No can do, Soph. Paris is out. We’re going to Disney.”
Sophie slumps down. “Hmmmph! You never let me do anything fun.”
At least not in the last five minutes.