I pride myself on being a good cook. I’m better off being outside next to the grill and one of the things that I have become accustom to grilling is a hot dog. Not for me, but for the Rookie.  He loves them! Can you blame him?

Trust - The Rookie Dad


One night, I was finishing up a pair of pork chops on the grill, and a hot dog for the Rookie . I pulled the hot dog, chops, and potatoes off the grill and brought them to the table. I served up our delicious meal.  I made one slight change to my grilling method,which I’m still perfecting before making it public, and our pork chops were excellent. The Rookie was chowing down on some strawberries and some graham crackers.

I looked down at our dog who was panting from being outside and said, “You are a hot dog aren’t you?” She proceeded to look at me like, “I don’t know what you are talking about but I’m waiting for the kid next to you to drop some food.”

The Rookie looked up from finishing off the crackers, looked at me, then to the hot dog, then to our dog, and back to the hot dog.  The most pathetic whimper was let out when I realized exactly what I had done.  It was that moment that I realized by calling our dog a “hot dog” the Rookie was associating it with the hot dog that he was eating.  He flat-out refused to finish his meal.

I felt awful. I tried to explain that a hot dog is not an actual dog but to no avail.  Seeing the look on his face and knowing that he was thinking, “What are you going to do to Anna dad?”

After deciding that we could break the rules this once, I chose to not let him finish his meal and we let him down to play. I went to clean up the table, but left the hot dog in question on the table. Part of me was wondering if he would forget the entire conversation and come back hungry.

To make the situation up to the Kid, I built a tent. A tent to my son is just a blanket covering up your entire body. When we were both in the tent, we told each other secrets, popped our head out of the blanket looked at Mrs. Rookie and just giggled to some unknown whispers. As we pulled the blanked back over our heads, I asked, “Are you hungry?”  He responded with a big “YES!” and then went to his seat and started chowing down on his hot dog.

This was one of those teachable moments for a father and son. While it might be difficult for a 2-and-half year old’s mind to comprehend that a hot dog is not actually made up of hot dogs, it was probably the first time that he realized that what he eats, sometimes was once a living breathing thing. For me, I found out that I should never EVER compare something we are about to eat to be or was a living breathing thing.  You live and learn!

Have you ever lost your child’s trust only to gain it back again?

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  1. memyselfandkids.com June 10, 2013 at 10:15 PM

    Glad you were ultimately able to help him understand and he did not go to bed hungry.


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