Not right now.
You can’t wear that.
That’s not a breakfast food. Pick again.
Every few months, I count how often my boys say MOM in any given hour. It started as a harmless distraction from juggling two toddlers and working from home. It made the endless repetition amusing instead of frustrating and I would smile as each new MOM was added to the score. I’d call my sister and, over the sounds of my crying niece, boast about the hour’s total. We’d laugh or curse and get on with our days.
My advice, count the MOMs. It’s harmless, distracting and makes a sympathetic Facebook status. Don’t decide, goaded by a four year olds wild accusation that you always say NO (to the sixth bedtime story – mind you), to count the number of times you say NO to your kids in an hour. Unless that hour is during screen time and you have guaranteed their silence through cartoons and candy.
I made this mistake – decided to count the Nos. The final tally horrified me. Twenty-eight times my kids heard some variation of NO in an hour. I get annoyed when my husband tells me NO once in a whole day. No wonder my kids were cranky all the time.
The YES day was born. It’s exactly what it sounds like – I say YES to as many of their requests as possible. It’s also awesome and easy. I can’t say YES to all requests – Disneyland and Lego Land aren’t really in my weekend budget.
I can say YES to ice cream for breakfast, pajamas all day, sleeping on the floor at bedtime, building a pillow fort in the living room, turning my phone off for the day, going to visit Grandma, and reading ten stories before bed because they each want “just one more.”
I’m honest with my boys, YES days are special and can’t happen every day or week or even month. But every YES day shows me that there is likely one thing that I could say YES to all the time. Like, using our Star Wars cookie cutters to make Jedi toast in the morning, painting the bathtub before bath time or adding the words “pee and poop” to our night-time lullaby. I hope that these are the easy, awesome moments that will stick with my boys – and if they don’t, it’s okay, because I’ll remember them.
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