Monday, November 30, 2009

Mr. No Returns

Six months ago I wrote a post about how Jonah had begun to say "No" to every question I asked him. I don't remember how long that phase lasted, but I don't think it was very long before he was generally answering in the affirmative again. Well, the negative responses have returned full force. Now it's not just the matter-of-fact "no" he used to say without much feeling. Now it's the adamant opposition to everything. He opposes everything I suggest, even if it's one of his favorite things. He opposes things I haven't even mentioned, just on the chance that I might be thinking about it.

Here's a typical morning interchange for us: I hear Jonah in his crib calling, "Mommy! Can I get out?" I go into his room and he's ready with a list of things he doesn't want to do. "I don't want to get out. I'm not going to take off my sack. I didn't have sweet dreams. I don't need a new diaper. I don't have tinkles. I don't want to go downstairs, I'm just gonna stay in my room. I'm not gonna have breakfast, I'll just have lunchie." Then we finally make it downstairs and he proceeds to say no to everything I offer him, even though I know he really does want it. He even extends his opposing attitude to Benjamin and lets me know everything his brother doesn't want to do, too. "Baby Benjamin doesn't want a new diaper. Baby Benjamin's not gonna go in his bouncy." Today he even said, "Baby Benjamin's saying no to you, Mommy."

I realize that this is a perfectly normal stage for a 2-year-old, but I've started to really crack down on what I'll allow him to say. I even gave him a little lesson on what it means to argue and how he's not allowed to argue with Mommy. Still, the consistency of his total opposition is almost humorous. Today we tried to go somewhere in the car but the battery was dead so I decided we would walk to the library instead. When I told Jonah that the car was broken and we were going to walk he started shaking his head and repeating as if he was arguing, "We're not going to go in the car. We're not. We're not gonna go." It's also gotten a little embarrassing, too. If anyone happens to ask him if he liked something he'll always say no.

While the "no-ness" of being two is a trying stage, there are also a lot of wonderful aspects of this stage of development. He's very affectionate and still loves to give me hugs and kisses. He even tells me I'm pretty and smart! His attention span is a lot longer now and he has no problem playing by himself in his room or in his highchair while I feed Benjamin. He loves to play pretend and we spend a lot of time as firefighters or ambulance drivers. He likes to be a helper whenever possible so I'm always trying to think of ways for him to do little tasks for me. Putting things in the garbage is one of his favorites.

Here they are playing trains with some boxes from Costco.

He has gotten really into Christmas and likes to listen to Christmas music, read Christmas books, and talk about baby Jesus being born... and about Santa. We don't make a big deal of Santa, but it's really hard to avoid. I just try to put the focus on Jesus more than Santa. I know he's paying attention because he always asks what the Christmas songs are about. I told him that "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" was about the angels telling the shepherds that Jesus had been born and he said, "Not even a bed for baby Jesus." It so incredible to be teaching the Christmas story to him for the very first time. It's 100% fresh and new to him and that helps make it feel fresh to me, too. I'm paying a lot more attention to the words in Christmas carols, too, because I know there will be a quiz at the end! "What's that Christmas song is about, Mommy?"

No comments: