Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Answer Is....

Well, folks, we have 3 entries into the "I Was a Twit or I Know Someone Who Was" contest. So far, I think Donny's entry is hard to top, but if you think you can beat it, twit-wise, please leave a comment below.

Not much new to report. I managed not to break the car for the rest of the week, so that was a plus. Friday morning, however, Yaakov managed to come down with what was either a 6 hour virus, or strep that we killed freakishly quickly with an antibiotic; since we don't yet have the results of the diseased stick, the verdict is still out. (I think the lab in Modi'in could build a replica of the Leaning Tower of Pisa with all of the Roses' diseased sticks, and even have enough leftover to make little Diseased Stick Tourists.) So anyway, the point is that we did not get to do anything very exciting on Friday, due to the illness. I did, however, take a nap in the afternoon, which, come to think of it, is pretty exciting.

Let me digress for a moment to discuss a chapter in my book on child-rearing ("Leave Me Alone So I Can Read the Paper.") Actually, since not so much has happened recently, it's not as much a digression as, well, the point.

Chapter 323: Sometimes the Answer is No
To fully appreciate this chapter, you need to learn the theme song.
(To the tune of "Hey Dum Diddly Dum")
Sometimes the answer is no
Sometimes the answer is no
Sometimes the answer is, sometimes the answer is
Sometimes the answer is no.

The point of this chapter being, of course, that sometimes, the answer is, in fact, no. We, as parents, do not need to give a reason every time we forbid (or command) something. (We are somewhat God-like in that way; witness this past week's parsha and the para adumah. What, you're shocked that I knew what last week's parsha was about? It's only because Ariella came home from gan and told me.)

The reasons we don't give reasons can differ from child to child. For example, with a three year old boy, let's say, you try to explain, "No, Yaakov, we don't put our fork in the electrical socket because you can get severely electrocuted and fly across the room and bang your head and lose consciousness." Now, the only word the three year old boy heard in this tirade was "fly," and as a consequence, is more eager than ever to try it out.

Let's say you want to have a similar argument with a six year old girl. "No, Ariella, you cannot sit in the middle instead of in your car seat because if we get into a car accident, God forbid, you could go flying through the windshield and get really, really hurt." Instead of greeting this gory vision with a look of terror, followed by immediate acquiescence, the six year old bombards me with questions:
"What would I hurt? How bad would it hurt? Would I have to go to the hospital? How long would I be there for? What would they do? Would it get better? Who would stay with me in the hospital? Would I have to miss school? For how long?"

So, you see, in both instances, it's easier just to say, "NO," and if challenged by the youngsters, burst into song:
"Sometimes the answer is no...." (See the lyrics above if you forgot them already.)

In fact, so well-known are we for this that the following conversation occurred with my nephew Tani:
Leezy: Tani, you cannot eat another cookie/popsicle/bar of soap.
Tani: Why not?
Leezy: Because you can't.
Tani [solemnly]: Because Uncle Donny says sometimes the answer is no?

Folks, we hereby give you permission to tell your children that "Uncle Donny says, 'Sometimes the answer is no.'"

Now, sometimes you have the opposite problem; the answer is yes, and that's all there is to it. (Yes, you have to wash your hair, yes, you have to put your plate in the sink, yes, you have to brush your teeth, yes, you have to sit in your car seat - that one is a double-sided argument - and of course, my personal favorite, yes, it is TIME TO GO TO BED.)

Luckily, the song works equally well if you replace the "no" with a "yes." Just be careful to choose the correct song for the occasion, or you'll have kids with dirty hair sticking forks into electrical sockets.

4 comments:

MOMZWIFEOFDADZ said...

Yes, Gila you must write a blog every day. No, there are no excuses.
Love, momz

Ahava said...

Momz, can you email me the chronological order of the blog please?

Cheryl said...

I agree with Momz. I've been checking for updates as I'm bored at work and I had nothing to read!

Risa said...

Thanks for posting this most insightful blog! I will take your advice and the song to heart! My only question is: why do they call it the "terrible twos" when it starts at 18 months and lasts for at least 2 years?