Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Before Ethan came along, I thought I knew the answer to every potential child related question.

I knew how I would discipline my children, I knew that we would have family dinners, I knew what I would do when they would throw a tantrum, I knew what I would do if they didn't want to nap.

Now that he's here?

I realize I know nothing.

Children are funny little things with minds of their own. They do what they want, when they want. Every stage brings on a new set of challenges (mostly for me).


We are in the "I must explore every thing!" stage. Unfortunately, this stage is not coinciding with the communication stage like childless me would have thought it would.

So, he grabs the remote, the phone, the computer, the cords, anything dangerous or breakable repeatedly while I say "No, no, no".

These are plastic...not glass. It's cool, well, not really. You know what I mean.

I might as well be speaking a foreign language.

And it's not even that he doesn't understand "no", he also hasn't yet figured out my tone.

It's either that or he thinks my angry tone is down right hilarious, because that's the response I receive when I try the "Seriously Ethan, I mean NO!" voice. Complete laughter.

I knew this stage would be challenging. I just expected to have communication on my side.

And I know, I know...just "redirect him".


You come over here and try that.

Be my guest.

My kid has a one track mind (mhmm..he gets that from me). He knows what he wants and no pretty, noisy, shiny, yummy object is going to get in his way of it. He's going to turn right back around and go back for whatever he was after in the first place.

Over, and over, and over again.

I get it though.

I do.

Everything is new. Who can blame him for wanting to experience all of it? To touch it, to see it, to taste it, to figure it out. I'd want to do the same thing.

There have to be boundaries though and boundaries, sadly, are never fun. For anyone.

I hate having to tell him "no" all day long. Not because it's annoying to me (and it is sometimes) but more because no one wants to hear "no" all day.

It's discouraging.

It makes a person feel defeated and that's the last thing I want my child to feel.

I want to be able to tell him "yes" or "go for it". I want to be his cheerleader, not his referee.

Unfortunately, being a parent means I have to be both.

I want to use my words to explain "why" to him, because that's what I do best. We just aren't there yet.

I know it won't be much longer before he picks up on "no" and the tone of my voice, but it's going to be awhile before I can explain things to him.

I'm realizing that these tiniest years are going to be the hardest because there are just so many things I as a parent will have to say "no" to.

Today it's outlets, tomorrow it will be climbing trees, next week it will be telling him not to be a wreckless driver........

On second thought, maybe the tiniest years have some advantages after all.


  1. Yes they sure do think you are joking when we say so...maybe it is b/c we say it so much? one told us that communicating to such a little being would be this hard!

  2. He's so adorable. And I can totally relate. So sorry to have to tell you though that my daughter will be 17 months next week and she still looks at me and laugh when I tell her no. It'll be a while...hopefully boys are different:)

  3. LOL I agree that the "no's" of toddlerhood are much less intimidating than the ones we'll face when they are teenagers. :) And I'll be the first to tell you, this phase? Doesn't change. While the exploration dies down a bit, telling them no 100 times a minute, doesn't. :) But, it sounds like you are doing a great job! Keep it up mama!

  4. Oh girl, I hear you way too well on this one. My early crawler over here is getting herself in so much trouble! She belly crawls EVERYWHERE! Her favorite thing is to chew on cables, and when I say "NO" she things it's the funnies thing EVER!
    I'm really looking forward to the part when she can understand what the heck I'm saying.

  5. Aw. Look at him, getting around! (I know, you're like, "aw?!") I can imagine the frustration. Just last week, Ethan decided he wants to start grabbing the bowl with his food in it while I'm feeding him. I said, "No, no." and he laughed. Yeah...

  6. Just wait until he starts telling you no. Harlan will be climbing on something that she is not supposed to and at the same time saying "get down" because she knows thats what I am about to say!

  7. It is a hard stage. But even worse than laughing at you when you say no is when they argue with you. That is where we are at! UGH!

  8. I have sooo been there! No, really like a few months ago:
    Hang in there, I went ahead and explained why way before he could understand and I feel like it helped, it at least helped me. Good luck, you're doing great!

  9. When I tell my son no he laughs too! When my husband tells him no, he listens immediately! I remember all us kids being that way with my mom too! I guess it's just the way it goes, unfortunately!

  10. I think Eva is going to think that her name is No. That's how often I say it. Right there with you, mama.

  11. I love it! Can totally relate...even with the picture of the dishwasher! I've heard of parenting where they will not use the word "no", even at some day care centers... Sorry, I don't have the patience for that. I learned the word NO and I think I turned out just great!


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