So apparently you’re not supposed to say “no” to toddlers. Did the person who invented this rule ever HAVE toddlers? In an effort to at least get better about saying no, because I do find it flying out of my mouth on a fairly regular basis, we have implemented two critical new rules at our house:
1. Sit Down or Get Down: This rule is in response to the fact that all three children can now climb on anything – the big leather chair, the sofa, the wicker chairs, the outdoor furniture, you name it, they can climb on it and I can’t find anything that will stop it absent removing every stick of furniture from my house. Therefore, we have implemented “sit down or get down” because not only do they climb on furniture but then they proceed to stand up and dance about. Three 16 month olds dancing in one chair together makes for certain disaster. Heck, it can be a disaster even with one – e.g., the eldest fell head first out of Bray’s TV chair Saturday because while I was keeping the other two out of some dangerous activity like eating the diaper pail down he tumbled. I was HORRIFIED. He cried but otherwise seems in tact. So they all now know that if they don’t sit down when we say it, one of us goes to pull them off the item of furniture immediately.
2. Read It, Don’t Eat It: This rule, as you might imagine, is a result of the fact that not only do my children love READING their books but they also have grown fond of INGESTING THEM! We have TONS of books. Tons. The kids love to read. They will read inside of their book bin (yes, that’s right, they climb in it to sit among the books), in the play room, in their high chairs, but most enjoyably in your lap. However, since they’re all cutting one year molars, they also eat these books. Our books are a disaster. I don’t know how any mothers of multiples sell their books in such great shape. I have gone through rolls of packing tape trying to salvage dozens of books due to ripping or eating (note, these are BOARD books). I refuse to put the books away because I love that they read but I also would rather not find Moo, Baa, La La La in tomorrow’s diaper. Hence mother’s gentle remonstration to “read it, don’t eat it” every time a book finds a way into their mouths.
I would not yet characterize my success as even modest at this point. But I’m hopeful. I offer these rules as hope for any of you trying to reduce the use of “no” but I can’t promise it will work……..