Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Update on "No!"

Well, over the last two or three days, Ariel has probably said "No!" a thousand times, minimum. It's definitely her new favorite word. Sometimes I think she asks us for things simply so that she can say "No!" when we give them to her. Many of these no's are accompanied by shoving, kicking, flailing, or throwing. Isn't she a little young for this? We're handling her okay, and she's still a sweetheart the majority of the time, but this is intense! I'm trying to take her seriously, answer her matter-of-factly, tell her I'm sorry when I can't give her her way, restrain her if she tries to hit or kick me, and leave her be when she just throws her tantrums on the floor or attacks inanimate objects. Oftentimes she'll be perfectly happy, and I'll ask her for a kiss, and she'll say "no!" and shove me! Okay... sorry I asked!

Ariel has a new favorite song. Her daddy introduced her to a song called "Do Right," in which the chorus says "What do I do, what do I do, what do I do, what do I do right?" In addition to asking to watch the music video (see below) about 20 times a day, she walks around the house singing "what do what do!" It's SOOOO cute! Totally worth the repetition! She also head bangs! (I taught her that one by demonstrating, after which my neck hurt for 2 days. I'm getting old.)

Ariel and I went on a couple short errands today, so I carried her in my new Maya Wrap. After having threaded it inside-out (since I'm a lefty), it stays on my shoulder a lot better than it did at first, and we were both comfortable and happy. I got 2 compliments on it, and one woman even asked where to get it! That's right, be jealous. My sling is the bomb.

Monday, May 28, 2007


Ariel has learned a new word recently, and I'm feeling a lot better about it than I thought I would. That word is "no." It's usually said more like "doh," but it's accompanied by a serious expression and shaking of the head, so her meaning is very obvious. She says it in all sorts of situations.

Oftentimes, she will come up to one of us and babble away very earnestly about who-knows-what. When her daddy asks her, "Are you serious?!?" she will reply, "no...." and shake her little head. So apparently she's just kidding.

Sometimes she says "no" when she's angry, though it doesn't happen a lot yet. She has wailed "no!!" when I have taken things away from her before, as she pulled on said object and whined. I'm not so into that.

But, just a few minutes ago, we had an experience that really made me thankful for this new word. I was trying to straighten up the living room, and had gathered up a few items of clothing that she had been playing with earlier. As I walked toward the hallway to put them in the hamper, Ariel suddenly stood up straight and said, loudly and firmly, "NO!" I turned around, very surprised. "What?" I said. "These?" I tossed them to her, and she gave me a huge grin and sat down to play with them. How awesome! With this one little word, she told Mommy what she wanted and changed the course of events without any whining or tantrum-throwing. I can't help seeing it as a huge step toward independence and self-expression. I look forward to her continuing to find ways to assert herself constructively to express what she wants or needs.

So that is why, right now, it makes me happy to hear my toddler say, "No."