Although it may not be evident because of my a) $0 salary, b) lack of an office with bookshelves containing books that don’t all rhyme, and c) business cards that include the word “mommy,” I have an MBA. One of the things you learn in business school is the art of negotiation, and one of the books we b-school types read is called “Getting to Yes.” Tonight, my local mom’s group is hosting a speaker night called “Turning No Into Yes.”
Right now, I could give a crap about YES.
All day long, I say no. No playing in the dog dish. No climbing the bookshelves. No putting your hands in the fish tank. No turning on the faucet. No eating mud. No licking. (That last one is usually, but not always, directed at the dog.) Nope. Uh uh. Please stop. No thank you. No! My pleas fall on deaf ears.
I think my son understands no, but he simply doesn’t feel the need to listen to me. He has autism. And he’s three. And there is nothing about that combination that makes him want to behave. Even when Moe does listen, by say, getting down off the bookshelf/toy bin/filing cabinet, he doesn’t seem to understand that he shouldn’t do it again. So I sound like very negative broken record.
I don’t like to have to say no all the time. I’d love to do what the books say: be positive, redirect to a preferred activity. But Moe is very driven to do what he wants to do, and right now his number one preferred activity is climbing the furniture, followed closely by getting into trouble some other way. Even my neurotypical 16 month ol daughter, who is very verbal, likes to taunt me. She’ll go up to the dog dish, say (and sign!) “no!” and then proceed to throw the dog food onto the floor. Good times.
So getting to yes might be fine for some people. Right now, I just need my kids to get to no.
You can read more about Moe, his sister, and our obsessive compulsive dog, at my personal blog, Anybody Want A Peanut?