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.”

Mom: “Right.”

Miss Mouse (5:17pm) : “Can I have a cookie after dinner?

Mom: “AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH”

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.

13 responses to “How Many Times Do I Have to Tell You Yes?”

  1. G'Mom says:

    Have you tried asking Mousie why she’s asking again and again? Or maybe turn the question around and ask her – “Can you have a cookie?” And then see what happens.

  2. Advice from a Non-Parent says:

    I might say something like, “No cookies for you! Two Years! Out of My Kitchen!” or “We gave all of our cookies away to children who don’t drive their mother insane!”

  3. Jaclyn says:

    Sadly, I think you are doomed to this for some time…the boys are five and our conversations still go like this:

    Brisco (4:00): Mom, can I have some milk?
    Mom: Yes, you may have some milk with dinnner. We will have dinner in about an hour. If you are very thirsty, you may have a glass of water now.
    Brisco (4:01): I want milk now. (Attempts to open fridge to remove milk).
    Mom: Brisco, I said you may have the milk WITH DINNER. Here is a glass of water.
    Brisco (4:02): I hate water. It makes me die. I can’t drink it. I’m allergic. (continues to attempt to remove milk from fridge).
    Mom: If you don’t stop doing that right now, you will need to to go time out.
    Brisco (4:03): *Falls to floor and screams* You won’t give me anything to drink. I’m going to DIE if I can’t drink. I can’t go to time out….I’m too thirsty.
    Mom: SENDS BRISCO TO TIMEOUT.
    Brisco (4:04): Mom. Can I come out now?
    Brisco (4:04): Mom, Can I come out now?
    Brisco (4:05): Mom, Can I come out now?
    Brisco (4:05): Mom, because you didn’t give me anything to drink, I am going to die of dehydration in time out. Mom, can I come out now?
    ETC. ETC. ETC.
    AAAAAACCCCCKKKKKKKK!

  4. G'Mom says:

    J – are they both like that? K- be thankful you have only one 3 year old Mouse!

  5. Jenny Tomkins says:

    I can see Jaclyn is going to have to start a blog too;-) Thanks to both for an early morning laugh — I know, I know, no laughing matter….. But I am sure it beats crying or screaming, even if you are a victim of the “can’t take yes for an answer” syndrome.

    Have you tried falling about laughing when they pull these stunts???

  6. Jaclyn says:

    Kath: yes, they are both like this. Sometimes, when we put them in time out together (different rooms) they chant together, “Let us out. Let us out. Let us out.” We ignore it, of course, but it makes my hair gray.

  7. Jaclyn says:

    Kath: yes, they are both like this. Sometimes, when we put them in time out together (different rooms) they chant together, “Let us out. Let us out. Let us out.” We ignore it, of course, but it makes my hair gray.

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