I hereby declare Month 21 of your life to be "The Month of No." or "Don't." or "Stop." It's not exactly that you learned to say no for the first time this month. But it seems you have suddenly grasped that no is a word you can use in your interactions with the world and to reiterate your strong personal opinion on whatever subject is at hand. According to the child development books you are a bit overdue on this and for that, I thank you. But I was not so foolish as to think that it would never happen. These books declare that this grasp of the word "no" helps you to defend and strengthen your sense of self by opposing others.
Ha. Hahahahaha. Ha. They are not even kidding. Obviously, I knew the day would come when you would learn this word, but the most surprising thing to me about it is how many different ways you say it depending on the situation and how emphatically you can let me know your opposition at the most inopportune moments. There's the cut tiny shake of the head business-like no, which you use when I ask you if you want more water. No, definitely not more water. Next question. There is your funny no, which you use when I ask if you will give me a kiss or do some other thing that you actually like to do. You always smile after you say no in that context, to show that you are teasing. Then there's faker-faker whiny moaning "no", which you use when I'm making you do something you really hate, such as have your diaper changed, your face wiped, or get out of the car seat, all of which are activities you are strenuously opposing these days. "Noooooo! Nooooo!".
This "Letting Go" thing is HUGE for me. I'm learning through being your parent this month that parenting is a lot about letting go. I'm sure the parents of young adults would tell me I don't know the first thing about real letting go, but I'm trying to start small in the hopes that one day when you're a grownup I'll have some practice in standing back and letting you be who you are. I am learning that if it isn't hurting you, or inconveniencing others it isn't worth fighting over. However, for the record, when mommy says "no", mommy means "no". I am just making sure that I take a moment and be sure that I really mean "no" before I head down that path and all it entails. The following was a moment I just "let it go"...but not before taking pictures...
Ball Bath Apple Bubble Bye-bye Bird Ice
Wow Whoa! Uh-oh What's that?
Trick or Treat (sort of - see previous post)
Cheese Agua Dos Go Duck Box Bite Book
Oh, wow! Radley (sounds like raw-eee) Hi No
Stop Don't Shoe Hola
Ta-da!!! - (cutest thing ever!!!)
Balloon (more like boon)
I do! (which you say over and over and over)
Rock,rock (as in rocking chair or horse)
All done/all gone (sound very much alike)
Up and down (usually used together)
Battery (strange I know)
Stuck (which you frequently get)
I love you so much,