#anFword is No
This week, #anFword is no. This includes Toddlers and the Art of Saying No and How to Fix a MacBook for Free when your computer says no. The Idiot's Guide!
No can be negative and it can also be positive - no limits, no regrets, no problem, no worries.
No can be life preserving - No, B, don't eat that [insert all manner of bizarre things that toddlers seem to like to find and chew].
No can be empowering - No, I'm not going to stand for that. Sorry, no, I can't right now, I'm busy looking after me and mine.
No can be really sodding inconvenient - Computer says no.
No can be the mark of a toddler's displeasure; the sign that they've dropped/broken/spilled something; the general answer to every question.
No can be the realisation that oh, [an F Word] no, sorry, I forgot!
I've been having a lot of all of them this week.
Toddlers and the art of saying no
I find myself saying no alarmingly often at the moment and sometimes it makes me feel sad. But, it's mainly to stop B from killing or maiming himself. No matter how much I feel I've prepared for toddler-proof play, he will find something to get into, that throws a curve ball. And usually involves me launching myself in that slow mo "nooooo" way that you only see in comedies. And parenthood.
It's also one of B's favourite words. No. Or "oh no000!" to almost everything. Often to the food we put in front of him. Gordon Ramsay has nothing on the exacting culinary standards of a toddler. One minute, B loves kiwi and blueberries, then (literally) the next it's no - with a resolute turn of the head. It's generally very even, and incredibly pleasant-toned and far less shouty than Ramsay. But, there is sometimes an almost a resigned sigh as he looks at us imploring us to understand the fanciful whims of a toddler: "haven't we been through this? I just don't like that today. Tomorrow might be different. Come on guys - keep up!".
Leaps and bounders
We're in the middle of a developmental leap, according to my Wonder Weeks app and, of course, I know and am grateful for the fact that it's all about him learning to express himself. Luckily, we find there is always something that he will approve enthusiastically, and in many cases, that is whatever is on my plate. Even if it's the same as what's on his!
But, it really is fun seeing him play with his new vocabulary and his development never ceases to amaze and enthral. And, even though, when it comes to toddlers, no can mean a whole raft of things (not least them just enjoying making a grown-up sound that evokes a response), I don't think it's too bad to hope that an enthusiastic, parental soul-affirming 'yes' comes next!