This morning, I was at my tri-weekly —
Wait, is that a phrase? Thrice-weekly? I’m there Monday/Wednesday/Friday to have my ever-so-fickle back, neck and shoulders put back where they belong. I think I see my chiropractor more than my husband.
I think this is a new record for getting sidetracked so early in a post.
This morning, I was at my second home/chiropractor’s office and managed to read five or six sentences from a waiting room magazine while Blair caught up on a back issue of Rolling Stone.
“I was 40 before I learned that ‘no’ was a complete sentence.”
Oh my goodness. YES.
Yes, yes, yes.
I have no idea who this woman or why she is in a magazine but this quote spoke to me.
I realize that she’s probably referring to the point that as women, we’re taught to say yes. Be helpful, be polite, be social, be hospitable. And if we have to say no, then we’re expected to have a darn good reason. And to share that reason for others’ approval.
And that’s spot on.
But then I looked down at my sweet child who was then trying to lick a picture of Jon Hamm’s face (wouldn’t we all like to?) and I said, no.
I took the magazine away. She let out a shriek and tried to grab it from my hands (girl loves some Don Draper) and asked, “why, momma?”
I replied, “because I said ‘no.'”
Never mind that it’s a magazine from a doctor’s waiting room, or that there are germs, or that we don’t lick things, or that we’re in public or any of the other reasons 50 reasons I may say no. They are good reasons but that doesn’t mean they need validated.
I really do try to make most situations learning experiences for the girls. I explain the rational behind my decisions so that they can eventually (hopefully) make their own good decisions. You know, like not like not licking a well-handled magazine or accepting an invitation to a frat party luau.
Other times, ‘no’ or “no.” or “no!” or “I SAID NO!” is a complete sentence and all the explanation needed. I will not go through the science behind communicable diseases to a 2-year-old (or 18-year-old, so be it). As a parent, my children need to respect my rules regardless if they understand or agree.
Oh my gosh, I’ve become my mother.
But it’s true.
“No” has a negative connotation (duh) and is considered mean, stubborn, pessimistic and selfish. And yet every single time I shout “No!” as my child tries to run across a busy parking lot, it comes from a place of love and my intent to keep my children alive long enough to wipe their own noses.
So, say no. Mean it and don’t feel bad. Don’t apologize, whether it’s when declining an invitation or stopping your child from melting off their face with a hot glue gun.