“Can we got to Wendy’s instead of Ricettas?” He asked.
“Well, I really wanted to have a nice sit down, order from a menu meal with you tonight.” I started.
“But, Mom I want to order at the counter, and push the thing for the ketchup.” He whined.
“OK,” I said. “This is your night. You decide.”
“Can I just have fries instead of…”
“Yes,” I said.
And when he didn’t eat his fries because they were drowned in ketchup and asked if he could get popcorn at the movie theater,
I said YES again.
The only NO was to the Nerf gun with the pellets, but that was followed by a YES to the plug in (insert horrible character based on a yellow sponge’s name here) car racing game thing. This was after all his “graduation” gift, on his night with his mom.
Marcel was home with Uncle on their own inside adventure that I hoped not to hear the details about.
Was it before I shelled out pockets full of would be college funds into the arcade game where we were co-piloting a race car that he said with a wide smiling look; Mom I don’t even know you. Are you really my mom? You are letting me do a whole of things that you usually think are really bad ideas.
The biggest ah-ha in my new unrecognizable glory; I say NO an awful lot. Then when he and I talked about it a bit, we discovered that not listening to my requests is another kind of no. Could we both hang out in Yesland a little more?
Worth a visit we agreed. Then it was back to handfuls of super buttery popcorn (the easiest Yes of the night) fifty thousand over stimulating previews, and a movie about training a dragon. Or was that, a life about retraining a controlling parent with the help of two very astute kids?
The last bit was too funny!
This piece has brought to mind a strategy that a good friend of mine uses with her daughter. If she wants to say “no,” at least for now, for example, she’ll frame it as a “yes” for later, and sometimes put conditions on it. “Yes, you can watch tv once you’ve tidied up your toys.” I think I’ll try that myself; I’m a mama who says no an awful lot too. Wonder what my astute kids (the two oldest ones, anyway) would have to say about that.
YES! I wrote an entire post about “making my way to yes” which is that exact strategy that used to work well…until I stopped using it. Thank you!
Great post… Isaiah’s new favorite phrase is “Isaiah wants [*insert two yr old need here]” and when I offer an alternative, I get his second favorite phrase: “No way.” I am trying this trick-yes business when I get home lol.
Tried to find that post again but couldn’t. Is it here or in the “old” Mama C and the Boys? Do you think you could send the link or the date?
You couldn’t find it here, because it is over at Moms of Hue! (I thought it was here too. )One of my earliest pieces there. Here is the link; http://www.momsofhue.com/2010/01/yes-is-the-new-yes-yes/
Besides adorable and funny–there is something so very deeply touching about this. About you getting to figure something out in that short space of time, about him. What he cares about, or wants to try or likes to do (or, it turns out–what he figured out he didn’t like so much, like a plate of french fries too drowned in ketchup, for dinner). And most of all, how much he wants to bring his mom, sooo close at his side, while he tries all the things he wants to try.