Yes Day - I Really Did It

At the beginning of the summer I wrote about Yes Day.

My sister in law had planned a day for her kids where she'd say "Yes" to everything (within reason).  My sister in law is a planner.  She sat down the night before and made a list of things the kids would like to do the next day that she would say "Yes" to.  At the time, I thought that was crazy.  I thought my kids would go bananas if they knew I'd say "Yes" all day.

Several readers suggested I not tell my kids it's Yes Day and just try to say "Yes" as often as possible in one day.  I thought that sounded better to me.  Ha.

So Friday night after we put the kids to bed, I said to the Hubs:  "FYI, I think tomorrow is Yes Day."

"Oh yeah?  How come?" he asked.

"We don't have any plans and I just thought we could get it out of the way.  It will be fun."

"OK, if you say so," he replied.

The next day the kids woke up and the first thing Adolpha asked me was if she could wear a fancy dress.  Shit.  I never let her wear her "good" clothes on a normal day.

"Uhhh...well, I was thinking maybe you wanted to wear play clothes today.  It's Saturday and I thought we might do something fun today."  That was good.  I didn't say "No" at least.

"Like what?" she asked.

"I don't know.  What do you think sounds fun?" I asked.

"How about Deanna Rose?"

Deanna Rose is a park close by that has animals and playgrounds and exhibits and my kids love to go there.  I have a season pass to Deanna Rose.  I thought, Perfect.  I'm going to get off so cheap today.  We'll spend all day there.

Everyone got up and got dressed and after a very normal breakfast (they didn't know they could ask for ice cream) we headed out to Deanna Rose.

On the way there Gomer asked, "Can we ride the pony?"  My kids never ask to ride the pony.  They know that it costs money and that the only people who pay for them to ride the ponies are grandparents.  Little did he know, though, my season pass gives me 4 free pony rides.  Ha!



"Yep.  Let's do it."

We hit the stables first and the kids rode the ponies.

Getting to watch the pony pee was the highlight of the day.  Now I understand "pee like a racehorse."
"Can I feed the baby goats?" Gomer asked.  There are baby goats that you can feed a bottle.

My season pass card showed a picture of 4 goats and I assumed that meant that I got 4 bottles so I said, "Yes," only to find out that you get a baggy of goat food pellets, not the bottle, but I'd already said "Yes," so I forked over a buck for the bottle (Adolpha didn't want one).

I paid to get in, I paid to feed your baby goats AND I get the pleasure of doing your job too?  You're a diabolical genius, Deanna Rose.
Now Gomer was starting to feel empowered.  Surely he realized something was afoot.  He tried his luck again, "Can we mine?"

Son of a bitch!  The mining is the biggest racket.  It is not part of my season pass.  You pay $4.50 a kid for a bag of sand and "gems" and then they pan for gold in a stream and they get to keep their rare finds.  "Yes," I said through gritted teeth.

"Hey Mom, I'm pretty sure this one is a real emerald!"  It had better be.
After we rode the ponies, fed the baby goat and mined for gold, the kids were bored with Deanna Rose and they were ready to move on.  It wasn't even lunch time.  I had envisioned spending most of the day at the park and now they were done??

"We're hungry," they said in unison.

"Let's go out to lunch.  You can go anywhere you want!" said the Hubs.

"OK!  I want Burger King!" said Adolpha.  Gomer agreed.

I threw up in my mouth a little.  I despise Burger King with every fiber of my being.

"Really guys?  Daddy said anywhere and you say Burger King?  You can do better than that."

They were adamant.  Nothing could sway them...except cash.  "I'll pay you each a dollar to change your mind," I told them.

That worked.  Two bucks bought me a trip to Sonic.

"Can we have a picnic?" asked Adolpha.


We bought our Sonic and headed to a park they'd driven past once, but never got to stop at.  We ate our picnic and they played while I started adding up in my head what I'd spent so far.

I was a bit irritated with myself.  Yes Day was getting out of control.  Yes, the kids were fairly well-behaved and we were having fun, but shit, I was going to be out of money soon.  Plus, they just kept asking for more.  Those greedy little bastards!

As I was mulling this over in my head, Gomer was whining about something stupid and Adolpha was messing around with her grape slushy and ended up spitting a mouthful all over herself and me.  "That's it!" I roared.  "This day is over!"

The kids just looked at me like I had gone crazy.  The Hubs said quietly, "Are you sure?  You started this.  You're really going to end it now?  At lunch time?"

"I'm done," I said. "I'm so annoyed."

I was ready to call off Yes Day.  I was ready to throw in the towel and tell my kids how much they'd pissed me off.  I was just about to ruin their day when the people who had been eating next to us stopped by our table.

"Hi.  Would you like some water?  We're going around to parks today to pass out cold water to people who look like they could use some."  I looked up to see a lady standing in front of me holding a poster board with a picture of a baby on it.

"Why?" I asked.

"Well, today is The Great Kindness Challenge and we've decided that we'd like to pass out water."

"Who is the baby on the poster?"

"That was our friend, Lucy.  She died of cancer and we're honoring her memory today."

I tell you what.  Nothing gets to me more than a sick or dying or dead child.  Nothing makes me sadder than that.  Looking at that picture of Lucy all I could think was, I just yelled at my kids and Lucy's gone. I bet Lucy's mom wishes to God she could have one more day with Lucy.  I bet she wishes that she could have a Yes Day.  I bet Lucy's mom wouldn't care about what she's spent or if Lucy messed around.

I felt like an asshole.  Completely and totally.

"It's still on," I told the Hubs.  He nodded in agreement.

We called the kids back and asked them what they'd like to do next.

They decided they'd like to roller skate.  They've never been and they're always begging me to take them.  "Yes," I said.

We headed to the rink and they strapped on skates.  Holy shit, my offspring is uncoordinated!  I was sure Gomer was going to break his arm and Adolpha came close to breaking hers again.  The roller rink luckily had these crazy roller/walker things they'd made out of PVC pipe and they worked magic on my accident-prone kids.

Gomer doing his bad ass "jump" moves...with his walker.
During roller skating I did say "No" several times to Adolpha's repeated begging for slushies.  She'd just had one with her lunch and there was no way I was letting her have another one.  I tried diverting her several times, but finally I had to bring down the "No" hammer.  It had to be done.

After roller skating they were hot and tired and, of course, hungry.  I had to say "No" a few more times to random snacks and vending machines on the way to the car.

As we were walking back to the car, I asked them "Did you guys notice anything different about today?"

", not really," Gomer said.  Seriously??

"We were really busy today," Adolpha said.  Yes!

"Yes, we were.  Daddy and I decided last night that today we'd try and say 'Yes' as much as possible to you guys.  That's why we did so many fun things.  It was a nice surprise, wasn't it?"

"Ohhh....sooo, is it still going on?" Gomer asked.  "Can I have the Lego Death Star?"

You little shit.


Deanna Rose                        $12   (portion of my pass used)
Goat bottle                             $1
Mining                                   $9
Bribes                                    $2
Sonic                                    $18
Roller skating                       $18
Walker/roller thingies            $4
Taco Bell                             $20    (the Hubs let them pick dinner too)
Movie from the library         free

Total:                                   $84

As Hubs' said, "The cost was high, but the memories are priceless."  Aww, he's such a softie, but we're not doing that again for a long time.

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Chris said...

I think you're supposed to list your bribes under "Consulting" for your itemization. :)

Sounds like a blast.

Mommy2Threekids said...

I love this. I can't wait to have my "Yes" day. Thank you for the great read, and also for the inspiration. What a great reminder not to take your days for granted.

Linda Roy said...

Yikes, it costs us more than that on a regular "non yes" day. What are we doing wrong? LOL I think New Jersey is just expensive!

wy said...

loved this
laughed and eyes leaked on same page

Anonymous said...

Hilarious! and my son is an adult now serving in Marines... please enjoy their youth and say YES! whenever you can. I have not heard from my son in over a week and I would give anything to say YES! I'll make you pancakes! YES! I'll buy you LEGGOs! YES! I'll rub your head while you fall asleep. Thank you for keeping me smiling!!

Anonymous said...

I can't do it now-she's 16-that would be fatal to our finances--Great post! Gomer is pretty dammed smart...

Kelly and Sne said...

So the moral of the story is.... you'd better save up for Yes day. Just think - if Hubs gave you a Yes day too, you'd probably break his bank as well, right? And just think - the weather has been perfect around here for Deanna Rose lately - YESSSSS!!!

re said...

I like this post a lot. Oh, and I'm on to you - all pointy on the outside and gooey in the middle... ;-)

Nicole Leigh Shaw said...

I love this idea. I need to do it. I spend $84 on crap when I drag the kids to Target. Why not spend it on slushies and roller-skating?

Rock on, good momma. Lucy'd be proud.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who despises Burger King. I can eat fast food with the best of them, just never Burger King!

lovetoread600 said...

When I have a "yes" day I tell the kids we have to stay home. So their questions are more like "Will you jump on the trampoline with us? Can we build a fort in the dining room and leave it up all day? Can we have candy after breakfast?" All free but all stuff I won't normally do.

Unknown said...

can i explain how much the lego death star link pissed me off? all i wanted for my kid was a little tikes tire swing and i couldn't buy that damn thing anywhere. you know, at least lego threatens you with "hard to find" at the top of the page but then lets you buy the death star anyway. you think i could find that stupid tire swing anywhere? nooo. i almost gave up and put a real tire on the swing set - now that we finally have the tire swing, he's deathly afraid of it, but i'm sure he would have loved the real tire! i'd say yes to the lego death star now, before it's too late!!

MinerMishap said...

Wow! You got out of "YES" day only spending $84?!? I am still pregnant and this little thing gets me to spend more money than that. Ex: baby wants some prime rib, new pair of pants, a pedicure... Sounds like you are much more fiscally responsible that I am :)

Anonymous said...

Oh I LOVE Burger King, especially their new fries. YUmm... also, my kids will never know they've had a "yes" day. I will not ask them about it, even for my own gratification because I know they'll turn on me. LOL

Unknown said...

I think I need to try out a "yes" day. Although I get the feeling my son will ask to sit in front of the television all day.

Jennifer MacLeod said...

This was perfect! Loved the idea and the execution. Especially loved finding out my 6 year old isn't the only boy whose ultimate "ifI won the lottery I'd buy" answer is the Lego Death Star. When he was 4 we told him the only way he'd get it was if he had enough money to buy it himself. The little bigger saved tooth fairy, birthday, Christmas, end of year, allowance and grandparent no reason money for 2 years and just bought the damn thing. I won't see my dining room for the next year now!

Heimes said...

OMG-how do you spend more $ at Taco Bell than Sonic???

Padraic Ryan said...

Whoa, if I ever did this I'd wind up owning a fleet of construction vehicles and at least one farm animal. You got off cheap! Great idea though, I may just try it - with a $$ cap!

Jenny Sprague said...

LOL!~A little trivia for you, "Piss Like A Racehorse" origin: Racehorses are often trained, so they can be led into a special stall, and whistled a 'special' tune- to which they will pee prior to a race, so they focus on winning, not stopping and peeing when it is not 'convenient'! ;) Or so I have been told! xoxo~Jenny

Wackichick said...

I'm with you on the Burger King thing. Blech!

BreeBree said...

$84 on saying YES to your two children all day? That is NOT expensive. Damn, you are a pro!

Anonymous said...

I love that. A Yes day at home is a great idea.

SanH said...

I wish I had the nerve to have a YES day with my son, I am too scare of how much it would cost me, because he for sure would ask to go play arcade games, ice cream and pizza
He usually asks all those every single weekend

TheJerseyShoreMom said...

Dude you got off SO cheap! BTW I did a PIWTPITT post today... about the ass that left my 11 yo son sitting alone at Six Flags for an hour while they waited on line for a ride.

Lauren said...

I have to agree with the 'group' on this one. You made out like a bandit at $84. If I asked my daughter to pick where she'd like to go to lunch, she would pick Red Lobster. And she's only 5! Knowing her, she would want to see the wine menu as well! Sounded like a fun day for the kiddos! Lauren

Jenn @ Something Clever 2.0 said...

Oh, man, the thought of Lucy made my eyes a little damp. I'm totally going to keep her in mind the next time my kid is being a dick, and I'm tempted to be a dick back.

And I am now on board with Yes Day. Just have to make sure that my husband isn't surfing that day. I am not buying a working R2D2.

~*~MizTink~*~ said...

What a terrific (and definitely $$ saving) idea!! I will definitely be implementing this one of the weekends that all the kiddos are gathered at our house :)

~*~MizTink~*~ said...

I was kind of wondering that myself....LoL Glad to know I wasn't the only one :D

Anonymous said...

That's a great story. I like the idea of the kindness day. What a great way for Lucy's family to remember their daughter.

Also, I guess it's been a while since I've been to Deanna Rose Park. It used to be free... including the mining.

Unknown said...

"I'll pay you each a dollar to change your mind..." <--- Haha! I love this; sounds like something I would do.

I'm glad you enjoyed your 'yes' day! You may have convinced me to do one of my own...sometime soon.

Anonymous said...

Ugh... my kids always beg me for Burger King and I just can't do it. That shit is like Colon Cleanse on steroids!

Anonymous said...

Your post gives me idea for a day - how about a "Pay it Forward Day" the kids could do to help with something as a day NEXT summer. Could you imagine the material you may get from them? Better the life lessons you will teach them?

The Dose of Reality said...

You were the inspiration for ours, and I am glad reading it reminded you to still do yours! Sounds like you had fun! :)

SnarkfestBlog said...

You're a much better mom than I am, I say no about 5 times as many times as I say yes. Good for you!


frugalistablog said...

Nicely done cheapskate! That didn't hurt too bad did it? I think that was a steal at $84. Maybe Seattle is more expensive than where you live. I don't think I could do a YES day under $100. And you got off a little easy since you didn't tell them first. They would have played you good!

Anonymous said...

lol my son read the yes day book and then told me he would like a yes day so he can get the lego death star! I told him not to get excited cause that day would never come.

No Fax Payday Loans said...

I like the idea of the kindness day. What a great way for Lucy's family to remember their daughter.

Csnee317 said...

You think $84 is a big amount of money for a whole day out and three meals out as well, for four people? What do you do when you go on vacations? Do you go on vacations? LOL. Like someone else commented, I can drop $84 in Target in 3.2 seconds on stuff I didn't even need.

Kim at Let Me Start By Saying said...

That's a crazy busy, flu-of-yes, really 'together' kind of day that your kids will remember.
And you made me cry. Bitch. I came here to laugh. Not cool, my friend. Not cool.
Also: Please tell me there is a photo of you using a roller skating walker thingy. I need to hang that over my fireplace.

Anonymous said...

OMG Jen, I have never heard of such a thing as YES DAY. What a great idea! I get so fucking tired of saying no all the time. Cost is definitely an issue for me and I just know my kids would figure it out too and start asking for things like a Limo ride and dinner at Benihana. But it would be SO nice to stop saying no all the time. And damn, way to make a sister cry. Bitch.

JD @ Honest Mom said...

Jen, you have inspired me. Today it's a thunderstormy day at the end of summer and I'm out of ideas of what to do with my girls. You know, ideas that don't include letting them watch TV all day long.

Yes Day might be exactly what we need. Wear their pretty Easter dresses? YES! Go to Toys R Us and pick out one toy under $5? YES! Go to McDonald's for lunch? YES!

I like it. :-)

Jen Piwtpitt said...

I did not roller skate. Although I was semi-pro (in my own mind) when I was 8, I know that my hip couldn't take a fall that day, so I sat firmly on the bench.

Jen Piwtpitt said...

My SIL did a really good job of coming up with cost friendly ideas. They did stuff like shaving cream fights in the yard (make sure you wear goggles). You could do b'fast for dinner, baking, etc. Stuff that is normally off limits because it's messy/time consuming/etc. If you come up with the list ahead of time, you can manage your expenses.

Kathy V. said...

This is awesome. I fully intend to never do this, ever.

Cctcassidy said...

I had my very own yes day after reading this and the kids loved it! I didn't tell them it was yes day until the next day - they were bummed they didn't know it at the time as they would have asked for much more. My total cost was about the same. I can't wait to do it again some day. Thanks for sharing the idea!

Anonymous said...

My kids are 10 and 13, but when they were little I always said "yes" to those stupid rides outside of stores. They LOVED those rides and it only cost me a quarter. My friends thought I was a pushover. I cherish those days. My 13 year old wouldn't be caught dead on one now!

Anonymous said...

Thank you. And thank your son too.

Anonymous said...

OMG,to funny!! I love your page it's awesome...

meechla said...

I would love to do a Yes Day but I know my son would just keep asking for more and more screen time in front of the computer. And, they would ask to eat at Old Country Buffet which is almost as gross as Burger King.

Unknown said...

You've inspired me to do a yes day too. And like you, I'm not telling my kids. My oldest would probably come up with Worlds of Fun.

Unknown said...

This was beautiful.

And I also hate Burger King. I call it "Diarrhea King."

LoBentley said...

Holy shit. You are one cheap ass. You had to pay for the goat's bottles? And the mining thing was $5? The goats r so cute I would have just given them a bunch of money. Isn't one meal like $80? And that's for two.

Penelope Sanchez said...

A Yes Day is mostly fun and games, but it requires minor preparation and rules (just a few). Even the most spontaneous activities need some pre-thought. Set up boundaries ahead of time so that everyone stays safe, you don’t spend too much money and the kids eat a few healthy things that day.

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