Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Fifty Shades of No

NoThe phrase “rules were meant to be broken” was tailor-made for children. There should be a phrase for parents that goes something like: “rules were made to be repeated".

My toddler has recently morphed into Ms. Independent, so I’m just beginning to get the lay of the land of "no". I’ve noticed that there are many shades to her burgeoning ability to test me. Much to my dismay, she tries each one on for size several times a day:

The Ignorer: I’m going to pretend I’m fully engrossed in this play-doh, while you ask me to pick up the almonds I just threw on the floor.

The Evader: If I run away from you fast enough, I can surely keep this cap-less pen in hand. I’m enjoying this game, anyway. It’s hilarious listening to you repeat “Gimme that, gimme that” over and over, as you chase after me. So go ahead and catch me. Then, we get to do it all over again...

The Defiant One: I hear you saying, “don’t sit in that puddle”, I’m gonna do it anyway. In fact, I’m going to stare directly at you, while I do it. I dare you to try and stop me.

The Equivocator: “I want to carry that!”…”No, Mama, you carry that!”…”I want to carry that!” “Mama, you carry that!”…

Sly as a Fox: If I’m extremely quiet and hide in this corner, there’s no way you’ll notice I’m drawing on myself with magic marker.

The Determinator: I am determined to wear you down by returning repeatedly to the thing you said not to do and/or touch. You will relent. I've got time.

The Terrible Twos: Tantrums are a great way to get my way, no?

The Bully: If I yell my request at the top of my lungs, it will be granted. You just needed to know that I really, really wanted it. Or, maybe, you're hard of hearing.

The Flirt: I know that if I look at you and giggle as I bat my eyes, I can do whatever I want.

Just Plain “NO!”: Self-explanatory and loud, preferably someplace like the library where the sound of my voice can pierce through silence, reverberate against the walls and/or pierce people's eardrums.

As I said, I’m new to the land of "no". I’m sure there are more seasoned moms among you, who have more to add to the list. Please feel free to do so. I would appreciate the heads up about what's in store for Claire and me down the road...

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72 comments:

  1. haha I really enjoyed reading this post! I am feeling that I will enter that land soon too!

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  2. I get "Never" added into the list of ways they can tell me "No!" But seriously, wish they would embrace "Yes" more often now and so tired of the battles we have, too. Totally feel your pain on this one for sure!!

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  3. Oh yes the ballad of "no"! It doesn't get better as they get older, I'm sure you guessed that, but just so you know, the methods that your daughter uses now will be the same ones that she uses as a tween and teen, only except play-doh it will be homework or her ipod!! Thanks for a great post!

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  4. I can relate! My almost 3yo does these same things, especially the Defiant One. He also does the "Didn't Have It" - if I just throw the object you're telling me to put down, it's like I never had it. One of his favorite phrases is "I don't want to do that!" I have some choice words for the family member who taught him how to say that, if I ever figure out who it was...

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  5. I think my 5 year old is still showing some of these "shades"! I love this post-I'm sure every mother who has experienced full on toddlerhood can relate!

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  6. I guess that this could fall under the flirt but my son will do something wrong and will say "Mom, you look beautiful. I think you're pretty in that shirt."...gets me every time.
    Oh and the heartstrings "Mom, you're making my heart sad"
    Kids are so smart.

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  7. Ugh ... I'm pretty sure all toddlers wear these hats! Reagan is especially good at being the defiant one.

    ¤´¨)
    ¸.•*´
    (¸¤ Lanaya | xoxo
    www.raising-reagan.com

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  8. The other night, I watched as my four and a half month old baby screamed and screamed when my husband was trying to give her a bottle. I thought it was because she wanted to nurse and was rejecting the bottle. Just when I was going to rescue her, she grabbed the bottle out of his hands and put in her mouth herself. Apparently he wasn't doing it right. I can't imagine what she will be like when she can walk and talk!

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  9. this is awesome. I may have to print it out and post it on the fridge so my husband can reference it....

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  10. This is brilliant and so true! Mine are definitely "Defiant Ones" who look me right in the eye while they are misbehaving. It does take all my strength not to laugh sometimes.

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  11. Excellent post and so so true! I'm glad it's not just ours that throws food on the floor :)

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  12. My favorite parts were us moms saying “Gimme that, gimme that” over and over again. Illicits giggles rather than compliance every single time when I say it here. And the hiding in the corner drawing on herself with a pen is priceless. I have sharpie on my kitchen cabinet and blue crayon on my sofa. Gotta love it. Great post, Rachel! One thing that Tucker does is when he has something he's not supposed to and realizes we see him, he'll hide it under a blanket and try to divert our attention elsewhere. Something to look forward to perhaps.

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  13. I read a White Girl Problems post where she said yes but phrased it as "Not no" It summed up my son's continuing defiant phase perfectly. I also like "I don't love it." He's 3 so, sorry to say it's not ending any time soon. (He's also laying in bed with his pull-up over his pajama pants)
    You can do it!!!!!

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  14. I have a 10-year old son and though he went through most of these, he's seemed to settle on just two now (Determinator and Defiant), so unfortunately mine hasn't grown out of it.

    PS- I'm a new fan of your blog and been enjoying it very much!

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  15. Why is this so hilarious and entertaining when you write it, and so frustrating when I LIVE it? SO much more amusing in print! Yes, a thousand times yes, to all of these!

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  16. The Drama Queen / King: if I pull the saddest, most full of despair face I possibly can and repeat "no, no, no, no, no, no, no" while shaking my head and my hand you'll surely sympathize with my suffering and let me run naked all around the flat for as long as I wish... Or else!

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  17. My favorite lately is "Sorry, sweetie." Apparently I've told him "sorry, sweetie but you can't . . ." too many times. Now when I ask him something he repeats it back to me. Grrr!

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  18. Hahaha awesome list! Oh I remember those I think my boy did tried most of them :D but mostly he was the ignorer.

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  19. Bwahahaha! LOVED this post! I laughed through the whole thing! You've covered most of them but I can add one. My granddaughter, when asked to do something, will simply fall over, full length. Her attitude says it all. "I . . . would rather . . . die!"
    Thank you for this marvelous post!

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  20. I think it's better if you don't know. I am currently dealing with some serious sass. It's just the 7yo version of what you've got going on, including laughing in your face and then screaming in your face when that doesn't work. I am constantly surprised that he thinks screaming directly into my face will get him what he wants. Then he fake cries. Love that.

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  21. They're excellent - I especially love 'sitting in the corner drawing on myself with magic marker' - my youngest did that with a blue Sharpie a couple of months ago. All over his hands, arms and neck. It took 6 days before it wasn't ridiculously obvious....:D

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  22. Super post, love the characterisation. I see all of those daily with my mischievous 20 months old!

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  23. HA HA! I'm right there with you running after a strong-willed almost 18-month-old. No happens to be her favorite word right now. ;-)

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  24. Glad to know my kiddos aren't the only ones who've tried on these hats at one time or another. ;)

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  25. This made me smile and laugh at the same time. My son has yet to reach the toddler age but "no" is the word I've been using lately! He's only 8 months so I know I have a long time of saying no! The defiant/determinator ia clearly my son! Love this list! I'm pretry sure you will add more as she gets older!

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  26. Haha! This was so funny! Right now, my daughter is most definitely the Determinator. And oh yes, she has worn me down on so many things. I am a lot more careful with choosing my battles with her. I think, "Do I really want to spend the next 20-30 minutes telling her she cannot play with my jar of buttons?"

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  27. Enjoyed the read. My Lil Man turned 2 in March. I know EXACTLY what you mean.

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  28. Crumbs, we had all this with Isla and now we're going into it all again with Noah and he seems a lot more headstrong than she was. His thing at the moment is "I not like ". I'm having to second guess his every move and word at the moment, it's a fun game :)

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  29. HA! Great list. Spot on, mama. I have SO BEEN THERE. ;-)

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  30. can't offer much advice since my lo is starting this no business!

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  31. Great list! My son has done every single one of those. I am not sure which drives me more crazy though the no's or the why's?
    www.adventureswithcaptaindestructo.com

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  32. Hang in there!!!! My kids are 19, 16 an 9... One thing I've learned is to make NO less of an option.

    When they throw things on the floor, etc. use that serious mommy voice with the eagle eye and make a command. If they say no, literally move them into action. Make them do what they should (not painfully, just exercise control).

    When you feel compelled to ask their opinion, keep it narrow. Not "What veggie should we have with dinner?" Of course kids will say no. Ask broccoli or beans? OR cleaning the bedroom, "Not it's time to clean your room..." but "Should we start with the stuffed animals or the legos?" Make it hard to say no. :)

    Hang in there -- This is the foundational time!

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  33. I learned to stop even tying to use the word no. It got pointless. Finding other words makes it easier until they click then you have to find yet another one.

    Distraction works well at that age, but it's hard to be calm enough to do it if kids are yanking your chain.

    Good luck, mine are at teen age now and for us, it just got harder, but some children just get with it quite quickly.

    Scottish Mum
    http://scottishmum.com

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  34. My daughter just enter in this "area"...no is the most common word for her now. The funny think is that sometimes keeps saying no even thought you reverse the question for negative to positive! hahaha

    Zina

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  35. ha ha. Great post. Going through all of this with my 2.5 year old at the moment.
    I did manage to get my own back on my daughter when she was 3 and started saying "Why". A few clever questions thrown back to her and the tables were turned and I kept saying "Why" until she stropped off. She soon stopped that.

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  36. As "No" was my middle-child's first word (I'm not even joking!) I am very used to hearing it and dealing with it. Great post!

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  37. Toddlers...a law unto themselves!This is a fab list,I may email it to my friend who has a toddler,I think she would appreciate it! #POCOLO

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  38. Yep, we have entered this No-stage too, everything starts with No.

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  39. Bless! the joys of childhood! I intend to behave in the same way when I get old, to get revenge on my children!

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  40. You will never be out of the land of no! They always want something! My six year old complains that I'm always saying no. But of course never remembers when I say yes.

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  41. Soon you can hear, "huh?" and have to repeat yourself. ;-)

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  42. I know EXACTLY what you're talking about, so this post was hilarious. My little girl's a champion of the "ignorer" trait. She also loves hiding and doing naughty things, like coloring on herself with pens. Loved the way your wrote this. It's sure to make all your readers crack a smile.

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  43. Thank you for the reminder that this will start this ALL over!

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  44. I loved reading this! A quick heads up 'No' is quickly followed by 'why' and then it's not long until its 'really?' accompanied by raised eyebrows :-D

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  45. Lol, my boys fall into many of these categories. They are master negotiators and know exactly what they want at all times. It's partly our fault because we give them so many choices that we didn't have when we were growing up. ;)

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  46. Brilliant! You've described my youngest son.

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  47. ARGH! That thing, where they know they're being naughty but they still look you in the eye whilst being disobedient, I think that is the action that will eventually land me in an institution, it drives me INSANE!

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  48. The getting louder thing is very true and made me laugh. A favourite of my two is "Not!" in response to "Are you going to (insert perfectly reasonable request here)or not?". Popping over from PoCoLo x

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  49. This so totally sums up toddlers in such a perfect way! Thanks for linking up to PoCoLo lovely lady x

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  50. Toddlers are sure a challenge to say the least, My screaming 2 year old grandson just went home... whew! Thanks for joining us at the Let's Get Social Sunday link party. Have a great Memorial Day :) Diane @MamalDiane

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  51. Found you through Mom's Monday Mingle. This made me laugh out loud...why? Because I am in the exact same boat and have experienced every single one. I have a 21 month and 8 month old and it's crazy. Great Post.
    http://thestickymom.com

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  52. Lol, you just described Matthew to a tee!! Gotta love toddler and their way of doing things!

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  53. Very clever post! Got me smiling this morning!

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  54. ohhh Im nervous about this stage myself!! Thanks for the post! Found you via the Collective Blog Hop :)
    Im hosting a new blog hop just for moms called "mom-lovin" an easy spot to find and follow mom blogs! Every Thursday! :) Love to have you join!

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  55. Great post and cleverly done :) hopping over from #magicmoments

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  56. love this post, thanks for linking up with #magicmoments

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  57. These are right on the money! The one where "I'm going to do it anyway and stare directly at you while I'm doing it..." even my dogs do that. ;)

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  58. Great list...don't forget about the "no" screamed at another kid at the library or park who tries to take a toy out of her hand....

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  59. Well I get things going by saying yes... Ah yes sweetheart please continue to rub that stone along the side of my car, to which I get a look of utter bewilderment. Great post, I have suffered from most of these, plus a few more physical ones. The pincher - if you pick me up to change my nappy I will pinch an area of your body you didn't even know was there... love it.

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  60. The shouting Nooo very loudly approach just in case mummy didn't here me is popular here
    ... in fact shouting very loudly full stop is popular :-)

    Thanks so much for sharing at the Friday Baby Shower - Alice x

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  61. love love love this! pinning to my parenting board and featuring it at the parenting party on sunday!

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  62. I would love for you to share and link up at my weekly TGIF Link Party if you haven't already this week. The party is open every Thursday night and closes Wednesday's at midnight. http://apeekintomyparadise.blogspot.com/. AND starting Wednesday June 4th I will be hosting a Wordless Wednesday link party. Hope you will join us! Plus, save 50% off sponsorships on A Peek Into My Paradise on sale until June 7th; use the code Bobby23Bday.
    Have a wonderful week!
    Hugs, Cathy

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  63. Very smitten with this post. I clicked on it based on the title alone, and the content did not disappoint. This is creative and so so true. Great post!

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  64. Yea, let's just cut to the chase, I'm thinking BOOK TITLE! 50 Shades of No: How to Live With a Puddling Stomping, Cookie Stealing, Tantrum Embracing Toddler... or something like that! OK, I'm way past the toddler stage with my son, so now the tables are turned! "Mom, can I..." "No." "Hey, mom, can we..." "No." "Mom, is there..." "No, no, no." (OK, not really, but it sounded funny in my head!)

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  65. Haha! My three year old pulled all this crap today in 7 minutes. Even the tereible two thing, although he us three. Cause three is the new two.

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  66. Loved this x My youngest is 2 and tantrums feature heavily at the moment. I can relate to every one of your points :0) Apparently they grow out of it but I'm still waiting for my 7 year old to "chill" :0) Found you via #S2S2D xx

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  67. Don't be angry with me, but my Noah NEVER went through that phase. Now back to reality, and he's almost 14.

    I wouldn't wish him on ANYONE. I'd trade 14 with 2 tempers any day of the week.

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  68. These sayings remind me of my toddler.

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  69. Great post. You've got toddlers sussed! Thanks for linking up to #S2S2D back in May, and sorry it's taken me so long to comment. xx

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  70. This gave me a laugh after a really long day of plates being thrown to the floor and tantrums. Waiting patiently for the day that I hear "yes"

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