Back in my pregnancy days, I read something about raising children that sounded good to me in theory. This is actually kind of shocking since I think I mentioned before that I hardly read anything about having children, instead opting to re-read the Twilight series.
Tom is lucky his name isn’t Edward.
Although, I’m more of a Jacob girl if we’re being honest.
Anyway, I read that parents should try to find alternatives to the word “No” when possible. The article said that parents could instead say things like “Yuck” or “Ow” for a lot of situations, therefore not wearing out the “No” and maybe…just maybe…avoiding having your child’s first word be “No.” And it said it would help them respect the “No” when you did use it.
In a separate article (I know! Maybe I read more about babies than I thought…) I read that you shouldn’t even attempt disciplining your child really until they are 9 months old. You should just redirect their attention until then. And probably even after then.
So basically, at Tom’s tender age of 7 months old, I should not be saying “No” and should be re-directing him if he’s doing something that isn’t cool.
Specifically — yanking my hair out by the root.
Now, he’s been yanking on my hair pretty regularly since he was able to pull on anything. It’s his favorite thing.
I no longer wear my coveted dangly earrings out of fear of the yank. I do not wear necklaces after one particular incident where I really thought he’d strangled me and left a mark.
I could hear the police now: “Ma’am, are you being abused?”
“Yes. That cute guy did it. The little one.”
But my hair — well, it’s my hair. There’s not much I can do.
I mean, I could cut it.
But seriously, did you know me in 2000? If so, you’ll know that I chopped my hair off. It was short.
And it was ugly.
So vanity wins and therefore I need to “redirect” Tom to something else every day. And on most days, I don’t redirect him soon enough and out comes my hair.
And sometimes, when I’m really caught off guard, the no sneaks out.
I can’t help it! I will say that I don’t say it in a stern voice, therefore completely defeating the purpose of a no anyway. I say it like, “NoOuchThomasYowzaOuchGeeeeez.” Kinda sing-songy. Like a freak.
But man, it really hurts! I pull my hair back in either a ponytail or a messy bun every day and still — he reaches for it. Or he’ll grab the back of my hair at the nape of my neck. Or — and this is more likely — his Mommy looks like she’s been through the ringer after a long day and my hair — which was once in a neat ponytail — is all flopped to the side of my head with pieces sprouting out.
(Believe me, all of this still looks better than me with short hair. Swear.)
So even though I had grand plans to try to tone down my current and future “No” usage, and even though I no longer wear jewelry, and even though my hair is always rubberbanded onto my head, and even though my child is too young to discipline and I know this…
He still gets No-ed. He probably always will.
Actually, he gets NoOuchThomasYowzaOuchGeeeeez-ed.
Maybe that will be harder for him to repeat.