Thursday, July 5, 2007

A case of the no's

Early on, my husband and I decided we would ban the word “no” from our vocabulary with Ladybug.

If she looks as if she’s getting too close to the stove, we’ll say, “Hot. Ouch.” Or if she’s readying to dump the contents of my purse, I’ll take it and say, “That’s Mommy’s. Here’s yours.”

We thought that strategy would help teach her boundaries while also letting her know that we have reasons for saying no. She may not understand that now, but we’re thinking down the road to the teenage years. Better to instill the habit of communication early.

In any case, the technique was working well until recently when Ladybug developed an obsession for the trashcan. My mother-in-law’s natural reaction the first time Ladybug lifted the lid and reached in was an emphatic “no, no, no!” combined with a waving of her index finger.

It only took one time. Now Ladybug’s favorite expression is “no, no, no” – coupled with a wagging finger and scrunched-up nose, an act she perfected during the week’s stay at my grandfather’s house.

This time it was my fault.

Since there hasn’t been a baby in the extended family for more than a decade, my grandfather’s house was a long way from being ready for a toddler. So we improvised: A card table blocking the stairs. A hassock blocking the TV’s plugs. A serving tray on a cardboard box as a makeshift mini table.

It also meant Ladybug was getting into trouble faster than I could keep up. She had no sooner stuffed a handful of tissues in her mouth than she was off pulling picture frames from the table and heading into the kitchen for the trashcan.

“No, no, no!”

I blurted it out without thinking.

Ladybug was just as surprised as I was. She stopped in her tracks and laughed. Then she wrinkled her nose, waved her finger and repeated it … just before reaching into the trashcan.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wait until they're 4, and said it to you in the cruelest of ways. You'll wonder, "Whose child is this?" Sounds like Ladybug is having a lot of fun :)

July 7, 2007 at 10:29 AM  
Blogger Michelle Mahfoufi said...

Yeah, though sometimes at my expense. Yesterday I was changing her diaper and said, "Is mommy nice?" She said, "Yes!" Then I asked "Is Mommy pretty?" She said "No!"

July 9, 2007 at 9:23 AM  

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