No no no

Posted: November 2nd, 2006 | Author: | Filed under: Friends and Strangers, Miss Kate | 1 Comment »

I remember being at a friend’s baby shower a couple years ago, long before Kate was a twinkle in my uterus. A new mom with her teeny baby was there, talking to the mom of an older kid. New Mom was seeking out all manner of advice, and at one point asked Older Kid Mom, “Do you tell him no?” And I swear I wanted to lean forward and say, “Come again?,” but I was just overhearing a conversation from across the room, so I tried to just tune my ears in more inconspicuously.

Older Kid Mom actually said no. No, that she doesn’t say no to her kid. I felt like screaming across the room, “What the hell are you talking about? Is this seriously some new parenting approach? You’ve GOT to be kidding!” But again, since this was not my conversation, I managed to stifle my incredulous reaction.

Fast forward to the McClusky house a couple years later. As you peer into the windows you see that the woman who’d been babyless at the earlier baby shower has had a child of her own. And wow! What a beauty she is.

But I digress…

So anyway, a few weeks ago Mark and I finally gave into the reality of our need do more–okay, some–babyproofing. Kate’s still not walking, but walking be damned, you can cover some serious ground on all fours it turns out. And everything not intended for infant exploration is of course infinitely enticing, like the fireplace (even sans a blazing set of logs, still not the blest place for play). Also, the stereo, which is perfectly at Kate-level and offers a wonderful variety of knobs and buttons for the pushing and the twisting.

Thanks to his natural house-handiness and some research conducted with other new parents facing the same problem, Mark managed to rig up a Plexiglas shield which he Velcroed to the front of the stereo case. The other night Kate crawled up to the stereo and even though she couldn’t get at it, she looked at it and said evenly, “No no no.” Well, it sounded more like, “Nnnnuh, nuh, nuh,” which as it turns out is exactly what I say to her.

It’s funny in an oh-that’s-what-I-do way having your admonishments tossed back at you. Turns out something you come out with in the heat of the moment is actually making an impression on that little mind! I think it’s why so many people end up freaking out when they hear themselves use the same expressions with their kids that their parents used with them. You just have some weird reflex to say something before the volume on your stereo is turned up to an eardrum-splitting decibel.

Kate has since busted out the “no no no” a couple other times. Reaching for the knob for the drain midway through her bath, she turned to me and said, “Nnnuh nuh nuh.” Crawling along the hallway and stopping to look at the electrical sockets (at long last, covered with childproof plastic plugs), she looked over her shoulder at me: “Nnnnuh nuh nuh.” It’s like she’s stored away every place in the house where I’ve ever said it to her, and says it back to me to show me she’s paying attention.

Well, I guess I’m not that far off from the Mother Who Doesn’t Say No. I guess I’m trying to soft pedal a bit on the stern “No” and heck, it seems like it just might be working.

Seems like it might finally be time to watch all our language around Miss Kate. It’s ultimately cute and funny hearing the no no no mimicry, but I’ll be less charmed hearing her repeat what I scream out when I stub my toe some day.

1 Comment »

One Comment on “No no no”

  1. 1 Ashley Munroe said at 2:42 pm on May 28th, 2007:

    I believe this one applies “Unless each man prodiuses more than he receives, increases his output, there will be less for him than all the others”, doesn’t it?

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