First order of business: name the movie from where the title comes.
Second order of business: let's talk about the word no.
Toph has recently started saying no. He will accompany it with a head shake to prove his point. Many times during our day, we will have conversations that go like this:
M: Can mama have a kiss?
(This one is painful. Already saying no to a kiss? I thought I had a few more years.)
M: Eat more green beans, Toph.
M: Come here so mama can put your shoes on.
M: Toph, what sound does a dog make?
M: Let's wash hands, Toph.
M: Time for a diaper change.
M: It's time to nurse, Toph.
(And then he'll proceed to nurse.)
We've got the word no down flat. He tells the cats no too and I learned today that he'll tell dogs no. While I like that he's verbalizing and even using nonverbal cues, such as the head shaking, this no business is driving me nuts.
I got to thinking though; is the word no really that bad? I mean, we're the ones who taught him that word. These days he's into everything and most everything he does while he's exploring warrants the word no.
When he first started saying the word no, I felt extremely guilty. Oh, we must not let him do anything; we're repressing his spirit and being mean.
Then I thought, bull. The kid needs limits. He needs to know what is and is not okay to play with. He needs to know that the dishwasher is not an okay thing to climb on. "No" is the word we use when we tell people something is not okay; a word we use when we are setting boundaries.
While him telling us no will drive me up a tree, I'm glad he's asserting himself. It's the first step in raising a child who can develop his own opinions. While he will not always get his way and while I will have the final say, I've decided him telling me no isn't the worst thing in the world. If we have to have a million conversations on why we ARE going to do something, that's okay.
Don't trip because I know some of you are. He will know that mama and daddy are people to whom you don't speak the word no. He will know that when his teacher tells him to do something, he does it. No in the form of obstinance will not be tolerated.
He will be taught to respect, he will know to listen and he will know that adults are people you normally say yes to. However, no can be a powerful word and we will teach him how to use it correctly.
Yes, my son will explore with the word no. He will learn when he can and cannot say it. I will not raise a yes-man but I will also not raise a no-no. It's a fine line and it's one we will be balancing for years to come.