No? No.

The 18-month-through-3-year phase (the “No NO NO!” era) is getting funnier. Butter has been saying “no” a lot since 9 months, but it’s the most popular choice in his limited vocabulary. (Thank goodness for ASL.) It would be easy to get irritated with our little throw-everything, scream-in-frustration, answer-every-single-statement-or-question-with-NO Butterbean, but it’s just too funny to predict his every answer. Sad, for him, that powerlessness and frustration. But funny for us. (Sorry Butternut. I know it’s wrong to laugh at your tiny personhood, as real and important as it is to you. But if I take everything as seriously as I should, I’d go bloomin’ insane.)


Me: Isn’t this a good lunch, Butter?
B: [shoveling down the food; nods]
Me: Yup, this is lunch. “Lunch” is what we call it when we eat in the middle of the day.
B: NO!

It’s almost as though he’s a member of Congress, albeit a little more straightforward when he just barks “NO!” every time someone talks.


Me: Thanks for peeing in the potty, Butterbug. Now Mommy has to pee.
B: No!
M: Yes. I need to pee.
B: No-o!
M: [proceeding with the necessary steps] Buttercookie, I have to listen to my body, and my body says time to pee.
B: No! NO!
M: Honey, I’m right here. You can see me, you can hug me. I need to pee.
B: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! [throws himself to the floor a few feet from me, intentionally bangs head on tile, twice, and cries a bit harder]

This won’t last. He’ll get more words, he’ll decide that some things should get a “yes,” and he’ll learn that nothing is permanent except our love for him.

Plus, he’ll get to the Age of “No. Wait, Yes! Wait, No! Wait! YES! NOOOOO! [sobs]”

But dang, it’s a laugh-until-you-cry kind of world, life with a toddler. If an intense and highly spirited Three Year Old hadn’t killed my memory, coping skills, and patience reserves, maybe I would have remembered how much fun Two really can be, as long I can spare some respect and empathy for the Two-er.

Which I, thankfully, can. Right Butterbutt?

Wait. Don’t answer that.

12 thoughts on “No.

  1. Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

    And that only me being obstinate.

    I do remember this age with my daughter, now the life sucking age of 3 1/2. We had a song No, no, no, no. yes yes yes yes yes. …it went to some obnoxious tune only a toddler could love.

    • @MadWoman Welcome!
      Oh, the soul-sucking Threes. I bow to you. And weep for you.
      We tend to turn up the Beatles Hello Goodbye for this phase. “You say yes/I say no…”

  2. Ha. No is the go-to word around here too. Except, I’m not laughing. I’m mainly holding my head and trying to keep my brain from melting out of my ears. Kids. Sheesh.

  3. I heard “yes” come out of my child’s mouth for the very first time two days ago. He was standing on the table by the window watching the birds at the bird feeder and narrating the action like so, “Blue? (bluejay) Noooo. Mouse? (tufted titmouse) Nooo. Chickadee? Yessss.”

    Of course, he has yet to answer an actual question with a yes, but at least I have some hope now.

  4. @Fie I know I’m weird but I find it hilarious So does he. Whatever power he can glean from this adult world, I guess.

    @Kristin I *love* that your little guy knows that jay and titmouse and chickadee exist, have names, get No and Yes. Precious.

    @Melissa That line occurred to me ust as I was about to hit “post.” Because any time I assume he’ll agree, he (not-really-surprising-but-still) surprises me with “no.”

  5. Waaaaaaait a sec…is Butter already potty trained? For real? You’re way to good at this parenting gig, Nap. Please get on a plane and fly out here. My four-year-old needs some help at night. I’ve done everything I can and we’ve run out of options. There’s nothing else I can try, right?

    Wait. Don’t answer that.

  6. @ck Night is a whole different issue for potty learning. From what I’ve read and tried, you can’t rush night dryness. She won’t be faster to night dryness in undies vs. diapers. Don’t wake her to pee b/c that hampers her learning to wake as her bladder gets too full. Drink an hour before bed, per before and after stories, and have a gulp of water before sleep.
    Some bodies take until age 6 or 7 to be regularly dry at night. Hang in there.

  7. I just can’t understand why it’s so upsetting to them that we have to pee, even when we are in plain sight of them it’s still universe shattering.

Comments are closed.