No No No No No No

May 7, 2017

Dear Baby,

People often talk about the “terrible twos” which seems to me to be a bit of a cop out name for “your kid is now developing language and thoughts and will have moments of opposition or frustration as a result.” I think a better name for this stage would be “getting older and developing a sense of self and independence,” but what the fuck do I know?

Well, I know this. You, my Baby, are officially running in the races of this next stage. By running I mean awkwardly stumbling as your skill set does not include gracefulness at this point but boy oh boy are you stumbling right in. Baby, your language is ridiculous. There is nothing you don’t say at this point and you speak so much and with so much enthusiasm that it’s pretty hard to not understand you. It has been one of the most amazing parts of watching you grow – our ability to actually communicate together.

You remember things that we do and talk about them, you can ask for what you want and you can overall express yourself which, I hope, is going to make you asserting yourself a little more tolerable for us as your parents. I think a big part of the terrible twos stems from kids wanting to speak but not yet having all the words and then feeling frustrated in not being understood.

Rest assured Baby, we understand everything you say. You couldn’t be more clear. Seriously.

But one thing to address is this newfound (or is it even newfound – who knows…) love of the word “NO.” Baby, want to come downstairs? NO. Baby, want to eat? NO. Baby, want to go play outside? NO. no no no no no. I hear that word 4 zillion times a day.

So a normal person might ask why I give you the option to even answer. Like, just don’t ask the questions and then you can’t hear no. I don’t like that. I think you deserve the right to have some autonomy over what you do and how you do it (for the most part) and I think you also deserve to see consequences. Like this am, you woke up and didn’t want to come downstairs when I asked so I walked down the stairs (I can still see you upstairs – I’m not just leaving you alone unsupervised) and played with the dog and turned on music. You saw the fun you were missing and of course, as expected, came hurrying down the stairs to join in. Consequences and reactions in full effect.

And I hesitate to tell you to say yes to everything too. No one likes a yes-woman and you have more than your rights to say no. In fact, it’s great to learn how to say no to things that you don’t want to do. Saying yes to shit you don’t want is a nasty habit I picked up somewhere in my own childhood and now I a in the very long process of learning how to just say NO instead of secretly hating doing things that I should have just not said yes to in the first place. Asserting you wishes is a good thing and setting personal boundaries is a great thing.

I guess the thing I would encourage you when you think about yes and no is to have an open mind and heart. That doesn’t mean saying yes always but it means being open to the idea of yes if it makes you happy or suits your needs. Allowing the possibilities of “yes and…” to lead you to new and exciting places and discoveries and being someone who is amicable and easy going without being a doormat.

It’s funny because I started this whole post off to say how much I dislike your no’s but as I conclude I feel the opposite. I respect your no. I respect your right to say no and I hope that you always feel like you can. The same goes for yes, as mentioned above but I think I will try to be a bit more open-ended to the no moving forward.

See, I don’t always teach you shit, sometimes you teach me something too!



No No No No No No

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