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Old 02-27-2010, 07:52 AM   #1
jnsma
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How you DON’T tell your kids

In January we took a 4night cruise on the Wonder. Here’s a story about how we “told” our kids (boy/girl twins 5 years old)…..

They’ve been on a DCL cruise before, known to them as the Mickey boat, when they were 3 and always talked about going back. As it started to get colder, DW and I were looking at going someplace warm and that’s when the kid’s sail free promotion came up, so we decided to do it. We ended up doing 1 night at the Nick hotel, a 4 night Wonder cruise and 2 nights at Disney.

The original idea was to tell them at Christmas. But they were already so excited with their new toys (only grandchildren on both sides) that we just forgot about it. Just after Christmas we split them up into their own rooms, they were sharing a room up to this point, so they were so excited with that.
Then it became almost a game to see how far we could get without telling them. This was very hard on Dad!! At dinner, we’d talk about where to go on vacation next….. When it was cold I’d complain “I just want to be warm”…. Through it all, I became aware of just how self-involved a 5year old is and oblivious they are to what’s going on around them.

The week before we are leaving, the Christmas stuff goes away while suitcases and summer clothes come down from the attic. DW is asking them to try on shorts and short sleave shirts to see if they still fit.
The night before there are piles of clothes everywhere. DW said the suitcases don’t come in from the garage until they go to sleep but everything else was out.

We needed to get everyone up in the morning to catch the plane, so we decided to have one of those character wake up calls. SpongeBob called at 7 with a generic wake up call. They finally see the suitcases and ask if we are going somewhere. Ariel was supposed to call DD at 7:15 saying have a great trip, but I messed that up. So we said, yes we are going to Florida. SURPRISE!!!!! DS says, “Awww I didn’t want to there….” ARRRGGGG!!!

Anyway off to the airport, it is 15degrees at 10am. Land in Orlando it is “only” 75. Pull up to the Nick hotel, we never said where or what we are doing in Florida but they are very exicted, they love the Nick hotel. The Nick hotel pool is 86 degrees and we are swimming that night.

The next morning we start to pack up. We tell them that tomorrow is Monday, there are things to do and we have to get to the ‘terminal’. We never lied, we were just vauge. DW can not believe that they actually think that we’d fly to Florida just for 1 night, but they seem OK with the idea. Anyway they are in the car, reading and playing with leapsters totally oblivous to the fact that it is taking twice as long to get back to the airport as it did the day before. Finallly DS looks up and says, “Hey, the Micky boat, pretty cool”. We take the exit. It wasn’t until we got in the short line of cars to drop off the bags that they ask, “Are we going on the Mickey boat?” SURPRISE!!! Needless to say they were very happy, so much so it was hard to hear the person trying to explain the dropoff procedure.

Had a great cruise. Had to answer to variety of questions like “what about schoo?”…. “Your teacher knows, we’ll miss the entire week, if that’s ok”
So Wednesday night we are starting pack up. The kids say “but you said we aren’t going home until Saturday”. I was very impressed they knew the days of the week and that it was Wednesday. We tell them that we are back in Florida and they are kicking us off the boat in the morning.

The next morning they assume we are going to the airport. Along the way they ask how long until we get there. Convinently a plane is taking off a short distance away and I point that the airport is right off there, see the plane.
They go back to reading/leapster and we pull up to the Boardwalk but they see Epcot. “Look it is the big ball, can we go there?” SURPRISE!!!!

2 fun filled days at the parks and on Saturday we head for home. Sorry no more suprises.
It started off for no good reason but ended up being a little game. It is really fun to see their expression when it is a surprise. I think it also helped that it was one of those “immediate” surprises that they don’t have to wait for. My kids definitely live in the moment , knowing something is coming up but not really understanding how long a month/week is makes it hard. That said, I’m not sure we’d ever be able to pull it off again.
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Old 02-27-2010, 07:59 AM   #2
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I love this story! I love surprises and we have packed our kids up in the car and just arrived somewhere and said "surprise!" It is so funny to see how long it takes them to recognize their surroundings and for the reality to sink in. Glad to hear you had a great time!
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Old 02-27-2010, 08:46 AM   #3
dwonderz
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Great Story! Thanks for sharing!!
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Old 02-27-2010, 12:01 PM   #4
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That is just awesome! I know it must have killed y'all not to tell! I don't know if I could have held out...
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Old 02-27-2010, 12:54 PM   #5
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Oh man, I have no idea. There is no way I am going to be able to keep this one a secret. I am the worst secret keeper, especially about fun suprises and gifts. I just hope that after the newness of booking wears off, it can drift from my mind until it is closer. My daughter knows we are doing a Mickey cruise, but at only 5, time doesn't mean much to her. So, if I can just keep my mouth shut, she won't know when!
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Old 02-27-2010, 01:52 PM   #6
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We are keeping our summer cruise a secret from our 4 year old DD (and the 2 year old but she has no idea anyway!)

My 4 year old has asked lots of times about going back to "Mickeys Special Boat" and she keeps finding small change lying around the house and giving it to me asking "NOW do we have enough pennies to go back to Mickeys Special Boat?!"

We are cruising from Dover to Barcelona so the port is like two hours from our house so we are going to pack the car the night before and then go out on a "trip" she will think we are going to see relatives or on a day trip and I am hoping as we pull into port in Dover the Magic will be conveniently located for her to see and the penny to drop! That's the plan anyway!!!

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Old 02-27-2010, 02:28 PM   #7
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I was keeping our March 27th cruise a secret, trying to wait until Valentines Day to tell DS 18, DD13, as a surprise. DD thought she had it all figured out, and posted it on Facebook, then sent her brother a text at college saying we were going on a cruise. DS texed me and asked if it were true - trying to keep it a secret still - I said no. He texted back "Good, because I can't go, we have to crew regatta's both Saturdays so I'm glad" That blew the whole surprise out of the water, because now I was forced to tell him. Then he was uspet, and so was the coach, who put ridiculous pressure on him, not to go, and then us. Needless to say we ARE going, but I don't think I'll be planning any surprises soon.
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Old 02-27-2010, 04:38 PM   #8
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Awww...that made me cry with happiness!
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Old 02-28-2010, 11:39 AM   #9
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That was a great story !!!! We are taking our daughter on the Disney Dream them to WDW for the 5th birthday next year and we are planning on keeping it a secret. This is going to be super difficult for me but I can't wait to see her reaction.
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