Thursday, June 14, 2012

"NO!"

Two year olds have a hard time processing major life changes.
Instead of saying, "Hey, this is weird that you have totally upset everything that I am familiar with and taken me away from the only home I can remember. I am having a hard time adjusting and am feeling sad and anxious," they start scratching anything with skin that gets within their reach.
As a result, there has been a lot of "NO!" going on the last few days.
Thing 1 attempts to lift Old Kitty by the tail while Old Kitty is trying to eat dinner - "NO!"
Thing 1 tips over her sister who is just starting to pull herself up on everything - "NO!"
Thing 1 drinks large gulp of juice, gargles it, grins at me, and let's it dribble all over her shirt - "NO!"
Thing 1 goes in to kiss Tyrant Daddy and instead head butts him on the bridge of his nose - "NO!"
Thing 1 locks herself in the bathroom - "NO!"
Thing 1 drinks a half a cup of coffee - "NO!"
This much negative enforcement (lots of talking down, talking up, bribing, positive reinforcement, and occasional time out included) takes a toll on my brain. I don't want to once again explain to my child that hitting is wrong and we need to be gentle. I want her to remember when I explained it twenty minutes ago.


This morning she looked at me after a very firm "NO!" for deliberately dumping a bag of cheerios on the floor and said,
 "Ooooooh, I make Mama SAD. My fault. It's MY FAULT again!"in completely faked remorseful tones.
Which made me laugh out loud and completely defeated the power of my "NO!"


Then, this afternoon, we had a truly grueling series of "NO!"s:
"Momma! Want a chip!"
"NO!"
"Momma! Want to ride da cow!"
"NO!"
"Momma! NEED a popsicle!! I NEED IT!"
"NO!"
"Momma! I push MIA! It's FUNNY! It IS!"
"NOOOOO!!!"


As we were washing our hands after a diaper change, she looked at me and said,
"Momma! Want to brush my teeth!"
And I naturally replied,
"NO!"
"Momma, PLEASE. My teeth are FUZZY. Please brusha' my teeth?"
"NO!"
Pause.
Did I just tell my child not to practice good dental hygiene? Hmmm....
"Ok. You can brush your teeth.  THIS time."
Nice save.


Sometimes, even in the midst of a tidal wave of negativity, there may just be a good idea. It's important not to get overwhelmed so that I don't automatically say "NO!" and miss out.
After all, maybe tomorrow she will want to pee on the toilet, eat all her healthy food, go down for a nap without complaint, clean the windows, and take a bath on her own.
In which case, I can switch it up with a resounding,
 "YES!!!"



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