Two-Letter Word for Frustration

It’s only two letters long, but I would be perfectly content to never be forced to utter it again. I’ve lost count how many times the word “no” has slipped out of my mouth in the past few days. Sometimes it’s an amused no, gently breathed, and sometimes it’s a forceful near-yell. In fact, it’s been closer to a yell much more often than not.

I wish I could be blessed with a perfectly obedient child who grins at me when I ask him to do something and understands what I’m saying and acts immediately, even if he is only just over a year old. I wish our puppy was the same way.

It would be wonderful if both would understand a gentle no and never repeat the action that made me say it. Unfortunately we were blessed with a strong-willed child and puppy. Both seem intent to test the limits, to see if I really mean no when I say it. It doesn’t matter how forcefully I say the word or what other consequences accompany it, a swat on the diaper or nose (for the puppy, of course); any action seems to only encourage the disobedience.

It would be one thing if these were matters of preference, if I had to say no to avoid minor messes or something. Then I would just ignore the behavior, hoping that when it didn’t receive the intended reaction, it would be abandoned. Of course, that’s not the case, though. When PJ hears a strong no, it’s because I can envision the results of his current action–another bump on the head, electrocution, burns, broken glass everywhere, something involving a trip to the ER. It doesn’t matter how well I baby-proof this house; PJ will still find some way to cause trouble and end up hurt.

I’m desperate for some time away from both Boy and Puppy, some time when the only no’s said are to myself: No, it won’t hurt to spend five more minutes in bed; or No, don’t rush through dinner or whatever else you’re doing; or No, you really don’t have to hold it in until naptime but can go pee now!

Maybe I just got spoiled over Christmas break having grandmas around to give me more personal time. I may have still been the primary disciplinarian, but at least it was only for PJ and there were more eyes to keep him away from dangers, even if I was still the one to punish him for going there anyway.

It’s naptime now. I have about an hour break until the string of no’s is forced to tumble out of my mouth yet again. Here’s to embracing my “free” time!

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