While I was out yesterday playing cards with friends, my parents arrived earlier than expected from the States. They planned on traveling through Japan for the experience of being on their own, and they coming to Korea via hydrofoil to Busan. They took the train from Busan early yesterday morning and arrived her before I got back. We picked up Glow from daycare, and we played and talked while my wife made an enormous dinner.

The Superbowl being a huge cultural touchstone for them, they’ve decided to crash here for two days so they can get up extra early and watch it with us despite the huge time difference. We went shopping for “party” goods and got them some coffee, since we only had sweetened instant stuff and tea in the morning for them.

After breakfast, we headed to the department store across town. Glow had been told that either her uncle or her grandparents were going to be getting her the doll she asked for by my wife. It’s one of those off handed promises we didn’t think about, but Glow thought was entirely sincere. Since my wife didn’t come with us to the store, and didn’t alert me of this deal, when we tried to leave the toy section without purchasing something, Glow had a huge crying fit because she felt like she had been lied too. I had to take her to the bathroom to let her calm down enough for her to explain the problem to me with the help of my wife on the phone explaining.

It turns out that while adults appreciate cash exchanges of money as gifts, children expect goods and toys to appreciate a holiday. We’ll be rectifying the problem by shopping online, but Glow was seriously disappointed because she thought her grandparents really did fly across the world to buy her a particular doll, which is sweet. If she had been calm enough to explain that to me in the store, I would have been able to avoid a scene, but unfortunately that was not to be.

If that child ever learns the expression “This man is kidnapping me” in Korean, I’m probably never going to be able to go in public with my daughter alone ever again. She really gets people’s attention.