It started out as such a cute thing. I would hold whatever offensive piece of food G-Man didn't want to eat up to his mouth and say"Try it for Mommy?"
Those sweet little lips would purse up in a pucker, his expressive eyes would squint shut, and just before he would turn his head away from the spoon, the pucker would turn into a grin as he said. "NOooooooo." I would dutifully try all of the games from making the spoon an airplane to making exaggerated 'mmmmmm' noises while I sampled food from his plate. No go.
His no was sweet and simple. He simply did not want that particular meal (his tune would change considerably had I offered a banana!). Little was I aware that the sweet little no would soon grow into a monster.
"G-Man, let's get a toy."
"We are going to have a bath and go Night Night."
"Let's put on your shoes so we can go in the car."
I get it. All the parenting gurus and the been there done that parents (the REAL gurus) say that at this age, children are trying to exert their will and authority. It is one of many steps of my children demonstrating their independence. And, let's face it. It is a giant pain in the butt.
I still get my sweet hugs and kisses, and there is no one better than Mommy to fix boo-boos and chase away the bad dreams. Their little faces still light up brightly when I pick them up after work, or get them from their cribs in the morning. They still think Mommy is the most awesome person on the planet. I am not complaining a bit.
Well...maybe a little.
There is a little twinge you feel when your child discovers the many uses of the word no. Not like you are preparing for battle, but a full out war. One where you know some day, you are going to break out the words you swore you would never say. "Because I said so." or "I am your mother and you will do as I say!"
I can feel them lying dormant...ready to spring from my unsuspecting lips.
But not today. Today, when I pick up my little G-Man my nostrils are greeted with a familiar and unpleasant odor emitting from his diaper. Surprised that he hasn't announced the arrival of his toxic waste, I ask him. "G-Man...do you have poops?"
He hesitates for a second and turns his precious little head to the right. Looking at me from the corners of his eyes he answers: "Nooooooooooooooo."