The joys and foibles of “Yes Day”

The last time we had a Leap Year, amid kids who ask for everything under the sun only to hear “No not right now” from their parents, T and I had the bright idea at some point to create a “Yes Day” – I don’t know that we ever intended to put it into action, but “Yes day” was intended to be a day when parents could not say no to the kid, and a kid could ask whatever they want — within reason. Thank goodness we have pretty straight-laced kiddos who knew in advance that they could not ask their parents to buy Target (thought they did test this request out a few weeks before). But we decided to give them this day — which in a way was also giving us a day, because it feels pretty nice to be able to indulge in an abundance of “Yes” answers to your kiddos.

So after the leap year happened and the kids realized Feb. 29 was not coming back for awhile, they insisted that it become February 28th, and when Feb 28 fell on a school day this year they insisted on the last Saturday of February. Thus, last Saturday was our “yes” day this year.

Every time “Yes day” happens I’m quite curious about what the kids will come up with. What will they want which is possible in February, and are they going to ask for more “Yes days?” which they already do.

Spoiler alert: Yes day inevitably ends in tears.

The minute it ends, the joys of overindulgence of Yes day fall away quickly and suddenly it’s bedtime and stern parents A and B have returned.

That being said, the kids had a field day this year. But they do know a few things; yes days has some guidelines — (1) you still have to do your regular activities for the day, (2) requests have to be reasonable and you can’t stockpile for the rest of the year, and (3) Yes day ends at 8pm (this is the thing that leads to the tears).

#1 on R’s list for teh day was a trip to the Dollar Tree. Turns out she had watched a Youtube video of a girl going on some sort of Dollar Tree shopping spree and R wanted to experience the world’s biggest dollar store in all its glory.

Thus, the first thing she decided to do after having 1 tiny pancake and some chocolate chips and a mint candy for breakfast (bad mom moment 1 of a zillion that day), was to make a jaunt to Dollar Tree after morning dance class. As we entered she joyfully and with poise selected a cart, and slowly pushed it around the aisle. She was a little disappointed that this was not the gargantuan Dollar Tree she had heard of, but she was still pretty excited to mosey her way through. I stood back and watched her ponder over selecting between this and that candy, and choosing a few items to take into class to give to her friends. I kindly reminded her that she needs to choose what she can reasonably eat in the day, so she would pick up a bag of Swedish fish, set it down, pick up something else, and eventually she had a little cart with 10-12 coveted items as well as a gift for her brother. She then wanted to go straight home to watch her TV time.

My son L was similar – wanted to go to the grocery store and was thrilled to buy a bag of cheese curls and a box of goldfish – because usually we let him keep neither, because if we did, he’d only eat those all day long. He also bought some 100th anniversary birthday oreos to give his sister. Who knew they made those?

The rest of the day was a mix of L binging on video games and TV, alternated with their favorite choices – such as pizza and hamburger for L and udon noodle soup for R; I am generally amazed at how quickly they will squander “yes day” on screen time, but there it is.

But we did have some really silly cute moments too – me sewing and doing latch hook with R (like my mom and aunts used to do with me), and a great trip to Barnes and Noble in which R got to pick up not only a lego but a variety of books and of course, a large Archie Comic.

In the end, Yes day did end with big, large, huge tears. Because the request for Yes day to end at 9pm rather than 8pm was nixed – denied – nope sorry ma’am and master! But we reminded them of all the fun choices they had made, and they did remark that they enjoyed Yes day a lot this year! Thank COVID for backing off a little bit so we could go out in masks around town at least a little bit this year! Curious what Yes day will bring for when these kids turn 9 and 12 next year. Given that they are ever smarter and more clever and I grow more senile I can only imagine how much I will be scammed in the process of offering this, and wonder what they will remember of this as they grow up. Till next time!