a newer one »Keep it up, kid

No. No. No. No. No.

No, you can't watch television. No, you can't have the motorcycle bike. No you can't take that home with you. No, you can't stay up. No, I'm not getting up yet, go back to sleep. No, you can't have the Thing punching hands and smashing feet. Stop that. Don't pull on the dog like that. No, you can't have ice cream until you finish your sandwich. Put that down. Don't run at the pool. Don't dive into the pool. Don't step on my tomato plants. Please don't do that. That doesn't go there.

How do we grow up to be (mostly) normal people?

I remember when I was small and received a "No." when I asked to stay the night at a friend's house. Actually, I don't recall if I was staying at my cousin's for Christmas Eve or wanting to stay over at a fellow Brownie's house after a Girl Scout retreat. I do remember calling Mom on the "No," and answering, "You always say no, even when there's no reason."

I caught Mom off guard and she reversed her no into a yes.

Being with Sam these last few days, I have to admit the first word of most of my sentences is "No." Granted, I think some are perfectly legitimate noes: "No, you can't take my dog home with you." But some are either knee-jerk or for my convenience, not because I have any true valid reason to say no.

Are most parents this way?

At one point today, Sam pulled a deck of cards from under the coffee table and asked, "Can I have these?" For the last three days, "Can I have this?" has been a near-constant question from his mouth. If that kid received everything he asked for, he'd be a one-man landfill. I'm completely shocked at how unbelievably effective big media is at getting this small person to desire completely unneeded items.

See above reference to "No." associated with the Fantastic Four's Thing's Smashing Feet™.

So when Sam asked for the deck of cards, and I recalled the other 11 packs sitting in my office closet, well, that one was easy. "Sure!"

But, apparently not for Sam.



"I can have them?"


"To take home?"


"My home?"


Apparently I had said, "No." so many times he couldn't quite believe his ears.