A Beautiful Word

As a mother with four children who have all gone through (or are almost done going through) the toddler phase, I never thought I’d be happy to hear any of them utter the word “no.” As a matter of fact, it’s a word I hear far too much of in various contexts from various children at various points throughout each and every day.

Yeah, I never thought I’d want to hear “no.”

It’s funny how life surprises you sometimes.

Moose never had the typical toddler “no” phase. Since he wasn’t talking at the age most children start testing boundaries with that word, he couldn’t say it, and since he’s also a very easy-going guy (in some respects, anyway), he never really seemed to miss saying it.

But, lately, he’s learned to answer our questions with “yes” or “no.” (Never throw an open-ended question at him, though–heaven only knows what response you’ll get!) At first, they were just normal, brief answers, but he’s growing more emphatic, especially with his “nos.” When he doesn’t want something, doesn’t want to go somewhere, doesn’t want to do something, he *really* lets you know. Sometimes in quality (the louder the better!), sometimes in quantity (he actually has a very cute way of stringing together several no-no-nos!), but always with gusto.

And, as frustrating as it can be to hear even more “nos” in my my day, it’s also wonderful, because it means that Moose is taking one more step towards doing normal “kid stuff.” And that’s really all I want for him, even if it means a bit more contrariness!

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