26 July 2010

A Minnesota Goodbye

Here in Minnesota we have something known as, "The Minnesota Goodbye."  Approximately an hour before you actually leave you announce that you're leaving, proceed to say goodbye to everyone in the room; individually, chat for a few minutes, gather your belongings and then, finally depart.  It's annoying, expected and a hard trap not to fall into.

Parents of toddlers have a similar dance that they play, every time they are about to leave some place; especially if the location is particularly fun.

"Five more minutes Sally, five more minutes and then we're leaving."

The amount of time is really quite arbitrary.  Sally doesn't know what five minutes is and thus it is really up to the parent to decide how much longer they're going to stay.  But without that initial warning all hell can go loose in an instant.

"Two more minutes Sally.  Yes, I know you don't want to leave, but everyone is leaving too."

The parent talks a bit more, gathers the pile of things necessary for a successful outing with a toddler; diaper bag, sippy cup, shoes, and begins their own Minnesota goodbye.  Usually after the inital five minute warning the actual time that has elapsed is closer to twenty minutes.  At least it is if you're me.

"Alright Sally, it's time to go.  Yes, it's hard to leave, but we'll come back again soon."

Cue tantrum.  If you're name is Little Lady this is your favorite course of action.  No amount of prepping, Minnesota goodbye-ing or bribing can stave off this beast.  It kind of makes me wonder:  

Is the sign of a successful outing/play date a tantrum?  If so, are they really worth it?

The answer if yes, of course, a tantrum among friends is much better than a tantrum at home.


  1. The Minnesota goodbye sounds like the Irish goodbye. It just seems to take forever, even without kids to consider.



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