Saturday, May 7, 2011
The Land of No
My youngest is about to turn two and we are headed full steam ahead into the land of No. It is one of John’s favorite things to say, second only to “I want more” a phrase he says on endless repeat until the desire he is seeking is filled. But he takes much more pleasure in uttering the word no, exercising his defiance like only a two year old can. Sometimes it is funny, like when I asked for a bite of his cannoli on Easter and he quickly pulled it away from me with a firm, “No!” Generally open to sharing, the boy is secure in his passion for sweets and will rarely allow anyone else to partake. Sometimes he tries too hard to be funny, saying no simply for the reaction it gets. Sometimes he contradicts himself and will say no to two opposing choices. Desperate to be like his older brother, he will respond in the affirmative when asked if he wants to wear underwear but loudly announce his refusal to use the potty. Even when I try to eliminate the opportunity for choice, he still responds with the favored word. “John, hold my hand when we go into the parking lot.” “No!” Cold hard stare given by mommy. Not too cold or too hard however, or he launches into hysterics. Somehow I don’t remember this with Paul. He exercised his right to an opinion, there is no doubt about that (he was doing so the minute he came out of the womb), but we did not endure the level of tantrum that John has displayed. The giant tears. The flinging of oneself onto the floor. Ah, two. On the plus side, his language has exploded over the past several months. God was definitely thinking of parents when he accompanied the pain of tantrums with the thrill of hearing your child uncover the complexities of language. John repeats everything and has starting to string words together. This morning on the way to school he was pointing out all of the buses we passed. “Bus! More bus! Here come bus!” It is sweet to hear him repeat words, often with complete clarity but sometimes in a mumble of sounds only he understands. Part of me wants to freeze this time in his life; the innocence of his discoveries will never be matched. But then I remember the NO ringing in my ears and I know why we pass through each stage so quickly. When it gets to the point when you can’t take another minute, they move on to something else. Ah, childhood.