Here at Chez Arbo, learning to say no has become the thing du jour, both for Kale and for me.
Kale has hit the toddler ground running these days, and aside from an extremely challenging few days of total civic unrest (which, knock wood, appears to have passed today), has continued to be happy go lucky and cheerful. Except now he is quite decisive, and when faced with choices such as “Kale would you like chicken or tofu for your lunch?” the most common answer is “NO.”
Sorry, dude, that was not really a yes or no sort of question, that was a question in which you are presented with two things and you need to select one of them.
Kale, would you like to play with a puzzle or read this book? NO
Kale would you like to sit in the stroller or walk beside Mommy holding my hand? NO.
He’s kinda funny the way he says no – it’s not angrily or curtly, it’s drawn out and soft like “nuuuuuu-ohhhh”. He’s also started rolling his eyes, being sneaky, and being evasive. Yesterday, he tested my ability to follow through on a threat, when, after his third warning about running away from me at the park, he was unceremoniously scooped up and strapped into the stroller on our way home. I was kind of enjoying the park, too. But, an empty threat is permission, so I had little choice.
I’m also learning to say no.
I’ve hit a bit of a wall lately, and feel spread too thin. Maybe it’s because the market work is starting to heat up, maybe it’s because my evening data entry job feels more and more of a chore as the days get longer and I find myself missing out on sunshine filled family hours, or maybe it’s just because I keep forgetting that I work, literally, 70 hours a week, and some of those hours are overlapping in ways I dislike. Kale has thrown out a few 3 hour naps lately and also a 90 minute nap day, and I was so unbelievably exasperated that he would DARE TO AWAKEN DURING MOMMY’S OFFICE HOURS that I barked at him. It took me a few minutes to remind myself that hey, that’s just what he does. He doesn’t get the idea of “Office Hours” and so well, I just need to remind myself of that once in a while. How do women work jobs from home with kids who don’t nap? My friend Clara was telling me at the park today that her oldest doesn’t nap, and her youngest has recently started cutting naps down to 40 minutes. I’m freaking out about that – as there simply isn’t enough Kale free hours in the day for me to do my various jobs as it is.
Right now, I’m going to start saying no to social outings a bit more. I’m following through on the commitments I have as of right now, but when my schedule is:
- Sunday – work 4-10
- Monday – Bonnie all day, work 7-10
- Tuesday – starting in May Bonnie will be coming all day
- Wednesday – work 7-10
- Thursday – Bonnie all day, and in June will be market day, and right now I usually have a meeting of some sort for the market in the evening
- Friday – I generally don’t schedule anything, but I do have a girls get-together once a month and it’s on Fridays
- Saturdays – seems to be family day, or random girl party (candles, pampered chef etc)
And then throw 15-20 hours a week right now, increasing to 30 hours a week for the market, grabbed randomly whenever I can.
So, this household is a whole lotta “NO” these days.