Using Subliminal Messages On My Toddler Son

20 months.

I lied.

A few days ago I said I wouldn’t be eating at Chick-fil-A because I’m a vegetarian. But after the past week of seeing a sporadic flow of sarcastic eCards dissing “waffle fries cooked in hate and bigotry” there was a particular part of that phrase that just got stuck in my head:

Waffle fries.

So yesterday I totally went to Chick-fil-A and got some large waffle fries. When I was there I saw a poster advertising their new peach milkshake and now I can’t stop thinking about that.

Yeah, I know today is the official “Chick-fil-A Appreciate Day” (AKA “Support Free Speech Day”) endorsed by Mike Huckabee. I’m not going there today because of the political movement that is happening.

I am going there because I want a peach milkshake. I want the milkshake because of the sarcastic eCards about waffle fries that made me start thinking about waffle fries.

In other words, despite certain Facebook friends’ efforts to get me to think that Chick-fil-A supports hate groups, I have now not only found myself not caring what the CEO of their company said (or didn’t say) but even more ironic, buying Chick-fil-A when normally, I would have never thought to go there.

(When you’re a vegetarian, going to a fast food joint is basically pointless. Until you start thinking about waffle fries and peach milkshakes.)

I have been intrigued by the concept of subliminal messages ever since I saw that episode of Saved By The Bell where Zack Morris gets all the girls in his school, as well as A.C. Slater, to fall in love with him after playing a subliminal message-laced song over the school’s PA system.

As much time as my wife and I spend deliberately teaching our son to do certain things, I give little thought to the lessons we teach him by accident.

The boy loves to vacuum.

Sure, he’s using the extension nozzle and it’s not actually attached to the vacuum cleaner. But hey, it’s no different than how musicians in music videos play their electric guitars which are not plugged in to an amp.

He also enjoys helping Mommy make dinner. Yes, he thinks it’s fun to mix the ingredients together.

But I also do my part to intentionally plant subliminal messages in his head. Last night we were trying to introduce him to some organic, blueberry-flavored applesauce. I could tell he was weirded out by it being a different color than normal.

“More? More?” I said into his ear as my wife drove the spoon to this mouth.

Yes, I gave him the idea that he would want more of it before he even tried it. And it worked.

But now he’s learning to use subliminal messages in his favor, too. He has picked up on the fact that when I ask him if he wants to do something, like read a book, and he says yes, I immediately respond with “okay.”

Here recently, he will ask me for something, like to have a snack right before dinner.

“Snack? Tay.” He asks for a before-dinner snack, then immediately attempts to say “okay” which comes out as “tay.”

Yes, he is pre-approving the question for me. How thoughtful of him.

Add a Comment
Back To The Dadabase
  1. by Doug

    On August 6, 2012 at 12:07 am

    You’re a dick.

  2. by Susan

    On August 7, 2012 at 10:55 am

    Hi Nick, just found your website, I am enjoying your articles. My son (22 months) totally has the art of subliminal messages down pat. (It’s not working as well for me.) He will suggest something, “Outside?” and then nod his head emphatically like it’s the best idea he’s ever heard. I must admit, it’s hard to argue. Your son’s “Tay” reminded me of that little trick :)

  3. by Nick Shell

    On August 7, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    That’s funny. Your son is totally using the ole subliminal message trick too!

  4. [...] var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(ga, s); })(); Using Subliminal Messages On My Toddler Son .broken_link, a.broken_link { text-decoration: line-through; [...]