No, we don’t play with our food. And please face the table while you are eating.
Stop, please, don’t yell into your brother’s ear.
Don’t stand on the bed. Don’t jump on the bed. Don’t do flips on the bed.
What does it mean when your brother’s crying? That he doesn’t like that. Stop.
Stop hitting me, kicking me, head butt-ing me when you are angry. Use your words instead.
Please use your inside voice. I’m right next to you, you don’t have to screech.
Is that a safe decision? I don’t think so. Stop. Please. I don’t want you to get hurt.
It seems like every other sentence out of my mouth to the kiddo, who will be 4 in less than a month, includes the word no in one form or another. I’m stuck in an endless loop, asking him to stop doing something, to think about his actions, to stop whinging already.
Please, oh please, just stop the whining.
Yea, sure, it’s my job to set limitations for him. To give him boundaries and keep him safe. To make sure that he knows that I’m looking out for him. But let’s face it, it’s flipping exhausting to do that and I hate always feeling like the bad guy.
One day last week, when the weather turned warm, the kiddo and I grabbed boots and jackets. I strapped the baby to my chest (I’m a baby-wearing sort of mom) and we set off down the street to buy a soda and strawberry milk. It was warm. The sun was shining. The snow was melting.
There were puddles. Everywhere. Big, deep puddles that you just couldn’t help but walk through.
I felt the words form at the back of my throat: Don’t walk through the puddles. Don’t get your boots wet. Don’t even think about jumping in them!
But I choose to ignore those words. I stuffed them way deep down, along with the visions of soaking wet boots, socks and pants; muddy floors; endless cleaning.
I shouted, with glee: Jump in the puddles!
And he did.
Over and over and over again.
He jumped and ran. We laughed. We both ended up soaking wet.
It felt so good to just let go and let him be a little boy. For both of us. You may only get to be a kid once, but you get to relive it through your kids.
Let go. Have fun. And splash in some puddles along the way.