Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Oh No!

No is Lucy's new favorite word.

I've read that shit is the most versatile word in the English language, but I think Lucy would beg to differ. She finds a multitude of uses for the word "No."

First, it obviously can mean "No." As in "NONONONONONONONONO!" when asked to do anything she doesn't want to do. We experience this version of No about 127 times an hour.

But then it can also mean Yes. "Lucy, would you like some juice?" "NO!" But cue a temper tantrum when I put the juice away.

She also uses No to inform us of impending disaster. Whether it's a diaper blowout or a plate of spaghetti about to hit the wall, I know that I need to jump quickly when I hear "Oh! No!"

She uses No to express her disappointment in us. If I try to put a shirt on her that doesn't "match" her pants (take "match" with a grain of salt - she's a toddler after all), I get "Oh no. No, no, no," as she sighs and sadly shakes her head.

When she doesn't know the correct response, No is always a safe fallback. "Lucy, what does the duck say?" "NOOOOoooooo."

And of course, whenever she is hungry, tired, or just plain cranky, I hear lots of short sharp "No!"s. They're frequently accompanied by lots of hand flapping, hitting, kicking, screaming, and a general inability to focus on anything besides the word No.

But I have learned that in the midst of all these No's the best way to get Lucy to comply with my wishes is to make her say Yes, ONCE. "Lucy, I need to change your diaper." "NONONONONONONONO!" "Lucy can you say yes?" "NO!" "Say Yes, Lucy." "Yes." (Said in a very sulky voice). "Great! Yay! Let's change your diaper!" "YEAH!!" Ah, brainwashing. 

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