The lecture in Wacky’s Class today was about using the word “NO.” Wacky said that our babies are entering a stage where they will begin to “test” us and that through repetition, will begin to understand consequences. She said that by saying “no” all the time we’ll sort of stifle their curiosity and exploration and that we should use the word “no” sparingly; it should be saved for 2 or 3 things and instances in your house that are dangerous….like the fireplace, or the stove, or daddy’s gun collection…

Wacky said that if you use the word “no” too often, it becomes unimportant and has no meaning and can lead to inconsistent parenting (kind of like when Baby-Ko wants to play with my iPod and I say “No” and then T-Ko uses his blackberry as a teether). Wacky said that instead of saying “no,” you narrate the situation for them and then use redirection as a tool to get them to stop doing whatever it is that they shouldn’t be doing. So for example, if Baby-Ko reaches down for his poop while I’m changing his diaper, I should say, “Wow, Baby-Ko. You’ve found your poop. Poop comes out of your tush and is pretty messy. Why don’t you play with mommy’s bangle instead…. ” Or something like that.

I don’t know. It’s all very fluffy and lovely sounding…. The idea that we’ll always have this free-flowing line of communication with Baby-Ko sounds fantastic… The idea that I’ll always have the time to redirect his attention when he’s playing with the phone, for example, and has accidentally dialed 911… or the patience to tell him to stop playing with the trash in the waste basket (actually, NOT say “stop” but instead, “Wow, Baby-Ko. You’ve found the trash. Did you know that Americans generate about 4.6 pounds of trash per person, per day? Why don’t you help me by carrying the garbage to the back yard where we will start a compost heap instead.”

I don’t know. Things were different when I was a kid. My mom said “no” all the time and I think I turned out okay… and she certainly didn’t rely on a Wacky to tell her what to do. Unless of course my Grandmother counts…

FILED UNDER: A Little Life

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