“No. Katie. Katie. No. Katie, no! NO!”
That’s what it sounds like at my house right now.
I don’t want to be one of those parents who don’t let their kids touch anything, but I also cannot spend another day doing nothing but chasing her around and moving her away from everything.
It got to where the only thing Jason and I were doing was taking turns following her around and taking things out of her hands, only to have her pick whatever it was back up again two seconds later.
So, out of desperation combined with an attempt at solid parenting, I decided to try to teach her what “no” means.
She’s smart. She picked it up quickly. Little did I know that the tricky part would not be teaching her what it meant, but teaching her to listen.
She has a pretty funny trick.
You tell her no, and she stops what she was doing, almost immediately. Then she gives her most adorable “aren’t I just the cutest thing you’ve ever seen?” look.
Here’s where it gets tricky. You have to tell her “no” again, in a firm voice, and keep a straight look on your face.
If you crack a smile, even just a little, or sound less than firm, she promptly returns to what she was doing, probably because she assumes that you couldn’t possibly have been serious.
It’s really hard not to smile back, or even laugh. She really is quite cute when she does it.
Sometimes, she even brings out the big guns.
She has a “frowny face.” It’s the saddest, most pitiful face that I’ve ever seen, and it only comes out when you won’t let her do something REALLY fun, like make soup with the dog’s food and water bowls. She turns her smile completely upside into a hugely exagerated frown, and then sticks her bottom lip out far as it can possibly go.
It’s enough to instantly break your heart and make you laugh out loud, all at once.
She has tried this one not only on me, but also my mom and dad, all on separate occasions.
My mom almost cried.
My dad laughed so hard he almost hurt himself. According to him, she inherited that trick from her mother. Oops.
I’m sticking to it, though. It’s hard on us both right now, but I know I’ll be grateful later.