I've spent months trying to teach my handsome 19-month-old son how to pick up his toys when he's done playing. We're making progress in that department, but I'll keep you posted.
He's even finally starting to mimic me when I count from 1 to 10 or when I sing the A,B, Cs. But recently my adorable, smiley face, pumpkinhead has begun doing something that made me exclaim, "Where did you learn that?!" The other day I asked him to go put his shoes away. Without hesitation he turned to me, smiled sweetly and uttered emphatically, "No!"
Imagine those Looney Tunes cartoons where the character's eyes bulge out: What?! Who is this child?! Are you talking to me? Are my ears deceiving me? I know I didn't teach him that and neither did my husband. So naturally I wondered whether my 13-year-old has been sneaking behind our backs and teaching our little angel to rebel? Of course, he assured us, he did not. So where did my baby learn this? There's no telling. The point is, he heard this easy, one-syllable word and it stuck like glue. Secretly, I think he likes the reaction he gets when he says it.
I'm a little perturbed because I always imagined getting the "Best Baby In the World" award. But I've been reassured by mothers young and young at heart that this is only the beginning. They say it's a stage and that one day my sweet little angel will return. But his answer to everything for the last four weeks has been "no."
"Do you want milk?"... "No!" "Do you want to play?"..."No!" "Do you want a snack?"..."No!" I am going batty trying to make him understand that telling mommy "no" is not acceptable. But exactly how do you clearly convey that to a baby? My mom says that I should just continue to say "yes" when he says "no". You should hear what that conversation sounds like… Me: "yes, yes, yes"… JP: "NO!... (giggle)" Me: "yes, yes, yes" JP: "NO! (giggle)" I am determined not to lose this battle. It's a little too soon for me to start waving the white flag, after all… I've only just begun.
Miriam is the mom of two boys - a 13-year-old and a 19-month-old - and a producer for WRAL-TV.