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.
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.
M: Yes. I need to pee.
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.