Just say “no”. Not as in “say no” to sex. Nope, I’m not talking about a middle school DARE program… “Say NO to drugs”. I’m certainly not talking about saying no to terrorist organizations or gangs. I’m talking about “saying no” to your toddler. That little object that moves around your house and occasionally will remain in one place. That thing that makes a lot of noise and weighs so little you can literally pick it up and snap it in half. The toddler. Just “say no” to it. Can’t be THAT difficult…
When it demands a new banana because the one you offered is dirty, say “no”.
When it yells at you because you don’t turn the tv on, say “no”.
When it refuses to eat the dinner you made and requires another choice, say “fuck no”.
When it wants to stay up past it’s bedtime, say “no.”
When it wants to cut in line at the park for the slide, say “no.”
When it wants to throw itself on the floor in public, say…actually, who the fuck cares. Just let them do it.
When it wants to buy every toy in the grocery story before exiting, say “no”.
Yet, saying “no” is so flippin’ difficult. Not the act of air moving through your vocal cords that produces the word “no”. It’s the fear, the anxiety, the panic, the pit in your stomach filled with butterflies, all from what the little moving object known as “The Toddler” will do to you once it hears the word “no.”
I wake up every morning and crave coffee. My husband has been trained to just let me drink my coffee. Leave me be. Brownie points if he makes me a cup of coffee and brings it to me when he sees I can only make it from the bedroom to the living room, since the kitchen is just too far away for a body with no coffee in it to travel. I’m usually a go-getter and like to get stuff done, but not before I get my coffee. So when the toddler keeps coming up to me with some ridiculous request before I finish cup #1, I gotta say “no”. BUT IT’S SO FREAKIN’ DIFFICULT. The world war that is created upon speaking this two-letter word is simply agonizing. It’s sometimes so traumatizing that I have to get up (leaving my coffee behind) and discipline him. IT’S HARD. It would be so much easier for me to just give him what he wanted in the first place. It’s usually something as simple as he wants mac and cheese at 7:30 in the morning. #nothappening #makehimwaituntil8
As a mom, I’m always “on.” I always need to be ready to fight a battle, tackle a toddler (not literally, figuratively. Sometimes). I need to be ready to say “no” with every ounce of my being, since it requires that much physical and mental stamina to reinforce good behavior and qualities in a child. But it has to be done or else my kid will be on Jerry Springer one day, or in my basement refusing to lift a finger, or even just a straight up biatch that no one wants to be around. At least this is what I keep telling myself every time I say “no”, hoping and praying that one day, I will say the dreadful word and hear “okay” in response. #nothappening
So just keep saying “no”.
And when you have reached your 5th breaking point in a day, and every ounce of your being is now just a reallllly tiny speck of energy that is dwindling away every dragon-fire breath you take, you say “yes.” You say “yes” for you.
When it wants to watch tv for the 6th hour of the day, you say “yes”.
When it wants goldfish…again, you say “yes”.
When it wants to leave the library without cleaning up its mess, you say “yes”.
Just for today, just for right now. Because you need to say “yes” for YOU. No one else. And when that tiny speck of energy has grown (most likely after a few glasses of wine and a solid 4 hours of sleep), you go back to saying “no” again. The word won’t ever go away, so sometimes, you just need to take a break.