My 14-year-old daughter, the Fledgling Sparrow, or, as we affectionately call her, "Special Ed," is highly gullible. She has always been this way, and she is very susceptible to suggestion, besides.
Up 'til the age of about 9, it was incredibly easy to go Christmas shopping with her. You would take her to the toy department at the store, ask her opinion on which toy she liked best, and then say, "Look! Over there!" While her head was turned, you would put the toy in the shopping cart, cover it with a jacket, and she was none the wiser. You cannot do this with my toddler son, the Nestling Sparrow. Out of sight is not out of mind, for him. He will harangue you constantly until you have produced whatever it was that you had hidden or put away. I have high hopes for him.
A couple of years ago, my daughter's class planned on going to a local amusement park, Knott's Berry Farm, as their end-of-the-school-year trip. She was very excited, and came home talking all about how she was going to go on various rides, and roller coasters, and have a great time. Now, back in the day, when my mom was a kid, Knott's Berry Farm was actually a berry farm, and in fact they still have their own private-labeled jams and jellies, available at many grocery stores. The Knott family added various rides, etc., in the hope of attracting more people to their farm and restaurant. Soon, there was no more farm, and it was solely an amusement park.
Now my daughter had no idea of the history of the place, as when we try to tell her things, he eyes glaze over, and we get incredibly frustrated. So when she came home all giddy and babbling, with news of the school trip, we told her that the students were wrong, it was not an amusement park, it was an actual berry farm, and school children went there on educational field trips, so that they could pick berries, and see how it was done. I went on, in detail, about the many times that I had been there, on either school trips or with my parents, and of my berry picking experiences. I told her that her grandmother had grown up not far from Knott's, and had picked berries there (which was true). She was slightly skeptical, as the other kids in her class had done an excellent job of hyping her up. But, it was a Friday, and she could not go back to school and talk to any of them about it.
The next day, Saturday, we went grocery shopping, and I showed her the jams and jellies on the store's shelves, which were definitely labeled "Knott's Berry Farm." She was absolutely convinced then, and completely crushed. She sulked all through Sunday.
Of course, Monday afternoon, when she came home from school, she was completely livid, and told us that she hated us. She, with her supposed superior knowledge gained over the weekend, had attempted to convince the other students of the berry picking operation at Knott's. It was only when a teacher intervened, and showed her pictures of the rides at the amusement park, and the other kids made fun of her, that she knew she had been had.
When she told us all this, we laughed so hard that we cried. It took us 30 minutes to finally stop laughing, and even now, years later, I am giggling away as I write this.
Why bother having kids, if you can't fuck with their heads for entertainment?