Thursday 9 June 2011


I bet you have no memory of the first time you heard the word no. Of course you don’t, as most likely one of the first times you heard it you were crawling across the floor with a spoon in your hand about to stick it in the light socket – or something along those lines. Whether it was trying to dive off your parents bed or shove spaghetti in your father's shoes, I’m sure you were out to do something dangerous and/or forbidden and one of your parents stepped in and laid down the most prodigious of two letter words in the English language.

Little did you know then that you would be hearing this word repeatedly in your life and hence spending a lifetime either grimacing in disdain or finally surrendering to it. Ah conformity, such a boring bitch. Then again, for some over the years the word no simply breeds flat out rebellion. "No, really; I'll tell you just what you can do with your big fat boring NO."

This is another one of those moments when child rearing is interesting (and maddening) from a sociological standpoint. Did I mention maddening? The King, at the ripe old age of eleven months (almost, why not round up), is quickly learning that the word no kind of sucks. Sorry, I can’t always be eloquent. He has realized that this little word suggests boundaries and limits and at the moment, he has turned defiance into an all out sport. So our day is filled with the dance of him testing me, and me being forced to lay down the big fat two-letter word when the situation demands it.

At the moment, he finds the mention of the word hysterical. Not exactly the reaction I am looking for to be honest. He looks at me, does exactly what I’ve told him not to do – at the moment it is either standing in the bath waving his arms or trying to pull out the viewing card from the cable box - and then starts laughing. Or he starts heading for the danger in question with one eye on said forbidden fruit, and the other on me; it’s like a Mexican standoff, my brow is furrowed, my lips pursed about to utter, just as he is giving me that look that says, please woman, like some word is going to keep me from going where I need to go.

Don’t get me wrong, I hated the word growing up and I’m sure my mother will happily – or tiredly – tell you that I ignored it whenever I could [or that I found an ingenious way to circumvent it without flat out defying it...yes, I'm still justifying myself after all these years]. In fact, it is boring in its mere restriction especially as it seems to encompass all the good things in life. NO smoking, NO drinking, NO fatty foods, NO sex in public places (heeee). But, as I will be forced to explain to the King, sometimes 'no' is simply there to protect us. [Oh, god did I really say that, I've turned into one of the Mother pod people!] Or I could just whip out the answer my mother always used (and mothers all over the world) – “it’s no because I said so, and that's final.” 
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