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The unicorn debate

As a parent, I have found myself saying - and arguing - things that I never imagined I would.   
We don't pet puppy bottoms.  
Food does not go in the potty.  
I've just answered your same question fifteen times, 
so why don't you tell me what you think the real answer is.
Yet, there seems to always be an argument that Murphy gets involved in and I simply cannot winLately, this is the unicorn debate.

The unicorn debate began when my daughter was approaching her fifth birthday.  She watched a Dora episode in which there is a magical unicorn who can fly the children around the sky.  It was such a happy unicorn and so, obviously, my daughter wanted one.  When I told her that unicorns are not real, the debate began.

The debate started as a simple statement of, "Mommy, I want a real unicorn for my birthday.  One with magical powers that can fly."  The response that unicorns are not real was not understood.  "No, Mommy, I want a real unicorn.  This is the only thing I want for my birthday."  I responded that we might be able to find a stuffed unicorn or we could dress our dog up as a unicorn.  Apparently, that response was incorrect as a dog with a unicorn horn is "simply a dog dressed up as a unicorn - it's not real."  Which led to the discussion about what is real versus not real.  

The comprehension of real versus imaginary or fake is not an easily understood concept for a young child.  In their minds, it is all real.  They see pictures of make-believe creatures.  They watch them on cartoons or in games.  They hear other children talking about them.  So, to them, they are all real.  But, to try and argue this point that there are things that are not real is not as easy as it would sound.  Logic is not an innate characteristic - imagination is.

So, how do you argue in a debate that can never really be won?  Me, I like to use my magical powers of diversion.  Sometimes this comes in the form of a bribe.  Cookies work wonders.  Other times, it comes in the form of simply yelling "Squirrel!" (Which could potentially bring up the possibility of having our house float away with balloons, thus bringing you back to a very similar debate).  But, lately, I've begun simply redirecting the topic of the reality of unicorns into the topic of what would you do with a unicorn and where would it stay?  Thankfully, our house and yard aren't quite big enough to hold a unicorn - especially one that flies.

Now, can anyone help me win the debate of magical powers like Elsa's so that she can turn things into snow and ice?


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