Even as a career marketer I never really appreciated the true power of spin until I practiced it as a mother.
After an 11-hour day, shifting my uncomfortable second trimester self in a stuffy office conference room I arrived home desperately needing a walk and some fresh air.
However, I would find as I came through the door, the chips were not in favor of a walk.
Though it was sunny outside and perfect walking weather, my daughters ages 5 and 7 at the time, held their father – still dressed in office clothes – in a captive audience trance on the sofa as they began their Native American Princess show with a 30-minute-long Disney tape. As they invited me to the performance, I mentioned the walk idea to him.
“I’d love to” he said. But we’ll never get them dressed and out the door without a struggle and I’m too tired to go through it.” he muttered, as Pocahontas shimmied across the floor for us, having moved all of the furniture out of her path.
“Aren’t we the parents here?” I asked, rhetorically.
He just shrugged and settled in for the performance.
“Guys! Want to take a walk and have the show after dinner? I feebly pleaded.
“No Mama—we’re doing a show”. I could see their enthusiasm for it. They were outfitted in their costumes and enraptured in Disney music that transported them to a time way before computers and corporate conference rooms.
The new thought came in the blink of an eye, and changed the entire dynamic in a flash.
“Hey! How 'bout we do a parade? Like we saw at Epcot?! We can bring the
Yay! They both ran upstairs and decided to pull on pants underneath their costumes – on their own – then each one found a Native American “shawl” (previously a blanket) to drape themselves with.
They were dressed and outside the door before we were.
Papa looked at me in astonishment. A direct order to take a walk with their parents would have met with 30 minutes of arguing.
But a “parade” was very different to them.
As we walked behind them, we called them by their Native American princess names, while we observed nature, the circles of life and our neighbors who looked on with empathetic smiles as the blanket and shawl-covered, costumed, mask-toting "princess parade” walked along the neighborhood sidewalk, while two very tired parents savored the last few minutes of the day’s sunshine, before heading home to a “harvest feast” by candlelight.