N-O is a Four-Letter Word




That is the new normal in my house. I hear the word “no” at least 5,000 times a day, and sometimes not even in response to a question.

“Audrey, the sky is blue!”

“NOOOOOOO issssss orange!” :::stomps feet:::

Variations on the “no” theme include:

  • I do it myself!
  • You not nice.
  • I want Daddy.
  • Go ‘way.

Are there days when it’s enough to have me pulling out my own hair? You bet. I try to reason with her, I try to comfort her on and sometimes I just throw my hands up and sing loudly so I don’t hear the noise.


But it’s also kind of a nice right of passage. My little baby, who once counted on me for everything, is finding her independence. She’s using her voice (at full volume, but still…) and she’s establishing boundaries. I see a lot of myself in her, for better or for worse.


And as much as I hear no, I hear the most amazing phrase:

“Mommy, I love you!”

That’s a sentence that heals a lot of wounds and eases a lot of the stress.