with Lynne and Leslie

No is the New Everything

by SweetMidlife

Lynne here!

My sister Leslie wrote a wonderful post yesterday inspired by Amy Poehler’s new book, “Yes, Please!”, and specifically the thought that we sometimes say “yes” to things that we don’t want to because we are afraid of being though of as not “nice”, and that we compromise out time and real wishes to please other people. And Amy (and Leslie) surmise that saying “no” is often the right thing. Leslie even had a pastor who told her that “no” was holy. It was powerful and very meaningful.

But right now, in my world, “no” is powerful,  but in a different way.

Because I have a 2 year-old.

I am wearing shark pajamas, so heed my "no".

I am wearing shark pajamas, so heed my “no”.

“No” is the soundtrack of my days. Well, when it’s not “truck”. He loves some trucks, y’all.

I know that him saying “no” is part of him asserting his independence. Being able to express his disapproval and will is an important part of his growth, and I respect his “no” at times. It’s okay if he doesn’t want to hug me all of the time, or if he doesn’t want grapes today, even when he inhaled them yesterday. He sometimes says “no” as a joke, but sometimes the brother needs some room, or would rather have an apple, and I want him to know that we listen to him and trust when he’s had enough. And sometimes he says “no” to things that are gonna happen anyway, like bedtime, and me taking the crayons away when he tries to draw on the television. That is a healthy “no”. A futile one, but healthy.

Today we went out to breakfast at Cracker Barrel with a friend of mine, and he said “no” to juice, only to ask for it again 2 seconds later. And he said “no” to me telling him that he could not play the clarinet on the wall. Or the accordion. And he just threw in some “no” a few times just because he could. Because two.

So, I will try to remember, as we get deeper into toddler-dom, that this is all normal. I hear that 3 can be tougher than 2, because then he will REALLY think he knows a little something. I will remember that our days are mostly enjoyable, and I pray that we are dealing with all of this the right way. And in a crazy way, I will enjoy the “no’s”, because they are all a part of him becoming the wonderful dude he will be. Daggone, he already is wonderful. So, bring on the “no”, honey. You still can’t have lollipops for breakfast, but sure, let’s watch that Elmo video again. And sure, you can have another hug.


I’ll say “yes” to that.

4 Responses to “No is the New Everything”

  1. meimeihao03@gmail.com' Meri Chan says:

    This was an interesting read.

    Yeah, that’s how kids are most of the times. They are always trying to do something, even tho it’s prohibited. And they will still try to do it, no matter how many “no”s they will get in return. For them, “no” is the new “yes”.

    Hope he will grow up into an amazing guy. 😀

  2. I think this approach is so healthy and wonderful. 🙂

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