How Many Times Do I Have to Tell You Yes?
April 25th, 2012
I knew that a child whining for something they can’t have was one of the most annoying sounds in the history of mankind. Little did I realize — until I became the mother of a three-year-old — that a child whining for something they can have is actually even worse.
Miss Mouse struggles with the word “yes.” At least when the yes involves waiting. While she can demonstrate admirable delayed gratification skills when they’re on her own terms, when someone else is mandating the delay, it’s less easy. The conversations tend to go like this.
Miss Mouse (5pm): “Can I have a cookie?”
Mom: “Not right now. You may have a cookie after dinner.”
Miss Mouse (5:15pm) : “Can I have a cookie?”
Mom: “I said you could have one after dinner.”
Miss Mouse (5:16pm): “Can I have a cookie?”
Mom: “Miss Mouse, when did I say that you could have a cookie?”
Miss Mouse: “After dinner.”
Miss Mouse (5:17pm) : “Can I have a cookie after dinner?”
We’ve resorted to the threat of “if you ask me one more time, the answer is changing to no” on multiple occasions. Sometimes it helps her reign it in. Sometimes not. And it’s not just food. Promises of story-reading, game-playing, and trips to the park all involve the same repetitive conversations. After. We’ve. Said. Yes.
That’s the part that frustrates me. I understand whining when you’ve been told no. I don’t like it, but I get it. But haranguing when the ruling was in your favor? That baffles me.