Pippa has been saying "no" for a long time, but she recently started saying it with a lot more passion and intensity.
Other parents had warned me about the dreaded "No's" making it sound like a death sentence. But so far, it does not bother me. (I reserve the right to amend that statement at any time!)
Yesterday I overheard a toddler saying "No! No! No!" to everything her mother said. Her mother told her that "no" is a negative word and if she kept saying it, people would think she was not nice.
I see her point.
But I politely disagree. (Of course, I kept my disagreement to myself - I'm not in the market for any new enemies this week. But now I'm going to share my disagreement with the world! Muhaha.)
Why does "no" have to be seen as a naughty four-letter word? Why do we discourage our children from using it? The way I see it, "no" is a very important word and I hope that during her life, Pippa uses it regularly and with great intensity. If her junior high school friends offer her a cigarette, I hope she says, "Gross! No!"
If she is at a party and her drunk friend tries to drive home, I hope she says, "No! Give me the keys! You idiot!"
If anyone ever pressures her to do anything she does not want to do, I hope she says "No!"
If anyone ever tries to take advantage of her in any way, I hope she says, "No!"
If anyone ever touches her in a way that she does not want, I hope she screams, "NO!!! NO!!! NO!!!"
If anyone ever tries to hurt her, I hope she shouts, "NO!" and then kicks that person in the ass. (Or flees if that's the better option. Always choose Life over Dignity.)
If anyone pressures her to do something stupid, I hope she says, "NO!"
I could go on.
Instead of hating the word "no," I am celebrating it every time Pippa says it. When Pippa tells me "NO!" because she is feeling defiant, I smile inside and think, "You go girl!" When Pippa says "No!" to make the point that she is an individual, I silently cheer, "Yes! You are!" And when Pippa says "No!" when it's time to brush her teeth, I listen, recognize her feelings, and then make her brush her teeth anyway. I am still the momma, after all.