Monday, September 23, 2013

No means No! Unless you haven't learned to say Yes yet.

A few months ago, Terza learned a very important word, some might argue THE most important word in the English language.

"No!" she replied when we asked if she wanted more soup.

After that initial foray into negativity, there has been no stopping her.

It's "No!" when you tell her to sit down on the couch and
"No!" when you ask if she wants some milk and
"No!" when you tell her she can't bite her sister's leg and
"No! No! No! No!" when you try to change her diaper.

This is not surprising. What is surprising is when she says "No!" when you ask if she wants a bit of your ice cream.

"Really?" I'll ask, "You don't want any?"

I put the spoonful on offer into my own mouth and she scowls and emits a high pitched howl.

"What?" I ask.

She reaches for the ice cream.

"The ice cream?" I ask, extending the spoon out o her again, You want some/"

"No!" she insists, grabbing the spoon out of my hand and shoving it in her mouth before any more semantic misunderstandings occur.

"You mean 'yes'" I tell her, "The word you are looking for is 'yes.'"

"No!" she insists.

"Yes!" I correct.

"No no no no no!" she argues.

"I want to respect her words, but she contradicts herself," I tell David, "Plus, I feel like she's giving women a bad name, saying no but meaning yes."

"'No' is the toddler's 'Aloha,'" observes David, "It's one word that means everything."

"No!" Terza disputed.

"OK," he said, "I stand corrected."