Toddlers are the masters of the Art of No. Little ego-centric balls of cuteness, they yell No across the room at the threat of a diaper change, unwanted snack, or the possibility of having to put clothes on. NO!
Baby Dunk, an 18 month old force of destruction, is a master of NO!
Did you poop?
NO! He runs away, holding the back of his diaper and leaving a distinct aroma behind him.
Time to sit in your high chair.
NO! He assumes the plank position in Yoga, locking his body midair – no amount of bending can force him to sit in his high chair. So you give up, hand him a banana and he runs away.
Do you have something in your mouth?
NO! Cheeks bulging, he runs away, while a parent follows in hot pursuit. Once caught Baby Dunk commences hand-to-hand combat, hitting, punching and biting to keep whatever he’s stuffed into his mouth. No! Mine!
Toddlers have mastered the art of self-preservation. Parents have a harder time saying No.
And it’s not just to their own kids (just ask Hubby about his latest Lego purchase). But the stuff of life.
Work, family, social obligations, medical stuff, pressing to-do stuff, it all adds up.
I will say, in my year of this halfpastnormal life, I’ve mastered the art of No.
No thank you. Something’s just come up, I can’t do it. Sorry, let me get back to you on that. No way, not on your life. No.
Sometimes this little word saves your sanity. We’ve learned there’s only so much you can do, and so little time to do it. And we need to eat and sleep. So we say No. A lot.
And we’re good with that. It gives us the time to focus on what’s important in our world. Time together, time outdoors, not stuck in traffic rushing from one appointment to another.
No stops our family from sliding down the slippery slope to burn-out, where everyone is exhausted and miserable. No is what keeps us sane.
I’ve been saying No a lot lately. At work, at home, in the land of appointments. And we need to. It gives us the breathing space we need to function and actually get stuff done.
Try it. No.
How do you say No to taking on too much?