Thursday, February 21, 2013


It happened.  I swore that I would be one of those perfect parents who encourages his children to create, explore, and discover.  I swore that I wouldn't let them eat sugar or watch TV.  I swore that I would always stay calm and never use that awful word "no."  And yet I have done all of these things a couple of time.  I am no longer the perfect parent.  I am -- a typical parent.  (Hanging head in defeat.) 

I remember a little while ago I made Jeff cry when I let out such an exasperated grunt as I wrestled with him to get on a diaper.  I started using the word "no" more often over the last few weeks as Aaron and Jeff have decided that my glasses are much more interesting than the 4,821 books and toys we have for them that are strewn all over the apartment.  But Tuesday, February 19th, 2013, is a day that will live in infamy.  It was the first time I shouted the word "No!" out of frustration.

Jeff has discovered our kitchen drawers and cabinets and thinks they are the most wonderful toy in the world.  We have the child safety locks on some of them.  The drawer with the dish towels opens.  We let him explore opening and closing that drawer and throwing all of our towels onto the floor.  He loves it.  I love that it passes five minutes.  Life is good.

Well, he's taller now.  Derek and I know that the boys have grown when they can reach new things.  He had been able to open the third drawer from the bottom for a while but now he was able to reach in and pick out what is inside like a cheese spreader, a mini hand grater (not very sharp at all), a serving spoon, etc.  Nothing incredibly dangerous, but not stuff for babies and not what I want thrown on my floors.  I decided that it was easier to remove the objects and let him play with the drawer than to fight him on opening the drawer.  So my small counter space became covered with small kitchen utensils.

Then he went for the cabinets under the sink.  You know, the place with all of the toxic cleaning products -- I mean totally organic and natural cleaning products that a perfect parent like me would have.  ;-)  One of the safety locks isn't working so he was able to get the left cabinet open.  I closed it and redirected him.  He found the cabinet again.  I closed it and redirected him again.  We played this "game" for a few minutes until I got out the duct tape.  I'll tell you that I didn't know a ten and a half month old infant could be such a challenge to duct tape.  Jeff was determinted to open that cabinet.  He grunted.  He pulled.  He groaned.  He shook the door.  I tried to pick him up and redirect him to a toy but his little hand gripped that cabinet knob so tightly.  It was like Jack from Titanic holding on for dear life when the boat cracked in half. 

I put him down and ran to Aaron who needed my attention for some reason and heard that cabinet door shaking as Jeff continued to try to rip it open like the Hulk. 

"NO!" I yelled as I got overwhelmed with a crying Aaron and tried to break Jeff of his obsession with toxic -- I mean organic cleaning supplies.

And that was the moment I realized I may not be the perfect parent I had hoped.  Don't get me wrong, I'm still 99.9% amazing; I'm just a little bit human, too.  My mind is now fast forwarding to the fights over eating vegetables, not wanting to get out of the pool, doing their homework before watching TV, etc.  I'm going to try to make "no" not a common word in the house, but the reality is that it will slip out and that's OK.  We all heard it when we were kids.  We all still love our parents and grew up to be happy, healthy adults.  And now, as parents ourselves, we realize what a hard job our parents had and what a wonderful job they did. 


  1. I had no idea I wasn't supposed to say no. I was assuming that would be Baxter's first word ;)

    1. LOL@ Kevin!!! I already tell Greyson NO and he can't crawl or walk, LOL!! When the boys turn 2 you will be saying NO a heck of a lot more than you will be saying anything else.. It's for their own good though, as long as you aren't duct taping them to the wall, I say they got it made :-D

  2. ugh, my comment just got eaten twice. so all i can say now is that I say no all of the time and even though it makes S mad and she thinks i say it too much, it is a word he understands compared to asking him to stop doing something in a roundabout way

  3. You are amazing. Kids and dogs are so much more fun when they are well behaved and not dead from toxic or organic cleaners. Yes I just compared kids to dogs. You are doing the hard work now. When you keep redirecting and teach the kids the boundaries are for real when they are young (even with the use of the NO word) they turn out to be such funner kids and your job is nearly done at age four then all you have to do is sit back and enjoy! God I don't miss the baby/toddler days! (I'm a 99.9% perfect parent too if you haven't noticed.) Keep up the good work! The fact that you are even conscious of how you want all this to go down is proof that you are doing great! P.S. I'm a twin. We can test the patience of any human even as grown ups!

  4. I don't think it's possible to raise a child without saying "No", and I don't necessarily think it's a good idea anyway. Kids need boundries to keep them safe and teach them right from wrong. Learning that from Daddy saying "no" is much preferable to learning that from eating marbles, touching the hot stove, or breaking your brother's nose.

    X got so used to us telling him he was in trouble that he started calling himself "Trouble Trouble" and he seems to be turning out OK :)