Midday today I decided to start saying ‘yes’ to my kids.
Yes, you don’t have to take a nap. Yes, you can have a cracker before dinner. Yes, we can get a bagel. Yes, you can play a game on my phone.
We came home and they asked if they could watch a cartoon. I said yes. Mae said “are you serious?” I said yes. She said “for real?” I said yes. She leaned in for eye contact and said “mama, are you joking?” I said no (that was the one time I said no). Then they both screamed as if I told them they would each be getting their own purple pony. And those ponies would dispense ice cream and dress up clothes at their command. And toot rainbows and seaweed (their favorite snack) and chocolate anything.
The yes’s continued, and I was getting a lot of yes’s back from them. Even Charlotte said “yes, mama, I would be happy to take a nap this afternoon, as I have been sleeping so little all week, and my body needs the rest.” Was this a coincidence? I don’t care. It worked and I don’t know why or how. It probably won’t work the next time I try it, because kids have a way of keeping you on your toes. Every time I think I have something figured out, they prove to me that I know nothing.
That said, I will for sure try this ‘yes’ thing again, and I will absolutely fall flat on my face, get frustrated that it isn’t working, and probably end up yelling ‘no’ again…So, I take this day as a tiny blessing. That my baby napped, and my 2 girls played quietly while I got her to sleep. And that no one screamed and everyone got along for this one afternoon. Am I happy?
Yes, for real.