Lately, James has been talking up a storm. "Mamá", "Da – deee", "Kittykitty", "Dauggggy" (doggy), "moooo" (cow), "trctor" (tractor), "O Tak" (Go Wolfpack), and my personal favorite "do-wah-do-lu-lu", which is his response when asked what a chicken says (we’ll eventually teach him how to differentiate a chicken and rooster but for now I’ll take it). And while there are a more words that I can’t confirm the meaning of, or aren’t as commonly spoken as those above, I can assure you that the kid knows the word “NO”.
You see, it started so innocently – pretty darn cute if you ask me. Eddie or I would say “No,no…James, please don’t ________” (Insert a combination of the words climb, eat, toilet, trashcan, scream, dog and/or cat food, computer, touch, mama’s pocket book or daddy’s phone into the blank and you get a pretty good picture of the Foy Family Weekends.) When James realized what he was doing was ‘wrong’ he’d furrow his eyebrows then gladly join in, saying, “No Noooo!” If the ‘No-No’ spirit really moved him, James would even sing us a song: “Noooo No Nooooo No No NO NO NOOO!!” Either way James would stop what he was doing then run on to the next task with little no-no’s echoing behind him. Who knew disciplining could be so adorable?
(Side Note: If sound effects were used while telling this story this is the point where I’d insert the record scratch.)
So, every morning one of us is responsible for getting James dressed and every morning James is responsible for running around the house or crawling under tables in order to prolong the Buddha-Belly Show. On one particular morning last week, Eddie left for work early leaving me with the seemingly simple task of putting our son’s head, arms and legs through a few holes. Oh, I chased that boy for what seemed like days. Slowly but surely – one extremity at a time, I dressed James. But it wasn’t over. His feet were still bare (a well-known faux pas throughout the Foy household since the day he was sent home from daycare with a note at the bottom of his daily memo that explained how James had to sit in the wagon and watch while all his friends crawled around on the playground because he didn’t have any shoes. But that’s a whole other story.) I grabbed his socks and shoes sat down in his room and, with a somewhat impatient tone, asked him to come sit down so that I could put his shoes on.
He stopped playing with his train just long enough to look me straight in the eye and say “No NO NNNNNO.” I didn’t have time for the No No game my to-do list was a mile long and we were already running late. “James…come on. Let’s get your shoes on so we can leave.” I went over to put him in my lap so that I could put his shoes on.
“NO NO NO NO!” my cute little Nay-sayer reiterated while pushing away from my lap. – Oh NO HE DIDN’T !! – Flashbacks of my childhood attempts to challenge my parents authority whipped through my mind followed by flash forwards of what my own child would be like during those terrible twos and even his teenage years…what would say when our family wound up on The Dr. Phil Show?
Dangit! My kid just defied me three freaking days before Christmas and now, instead of taking care of my to-do list, I’m going to have to spend the rest of the day flipping through back issues of Parenting Magazine and Babble in order to compile some award-winning parenting speech for the purpose of conveying such a message to my dear son that he may forever more associate challenging his Mama with a lifetime of orange jumpsuits and prison meatloaf. But first, I had to get myself out of this pickle proving that I wasn’t as weak as he thought.
I took the train he had been so enthusiastically playing with and threw it in the toy bucket. Cries erupted. “PLEASE, PUT YOUR SHOES ON!” I yelled. I sat the shoes down in front of him and attempted to explain to my 16 month old child why it was important to wear shoes…he didn’t get it. But, at some point during my lecture, James walked over to a basket full of socks and shoes, pulled out two brown shoes (they didn’t match) and attempted to put them on his feet.
I looked at the pair I had pulled out for him to wear…they were navy. Did James simply decide he wanted to wear brown shoes to daycare that day? I leaned over to help him put on the first shoe then pulled out the matching shoe and put it on. He was good. We packed up, buckled up and we both went on about our day putting the Shoe Showdown behind us…well, kinda.