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Perhaps we say No too often.
As Lincoln walked out of his room trying to belt on his Link The Knight shirt I started to sigh in exasperation. I’d only asked him 5 times in the last hour to please get dressed so we can go to the store. “Why can’t I go in this?” was met with “We don’t go shopping in our pajamas, it’s not appropriate attire.”
I was about to beg him to please go change one more time, when I thought to myself, why? Why not let my 5-year-old enjoy his day feeling like a knight. He’s only little for a little while.
So I caved.
Choose your battles – a phrase I hear quite often and have even said myself. This morning I wondered to myself how many battles were started by me. Do I really need to say no? This was no battle, it was just a little boy wanting to dress up like Link the Knight and go grocery shopping with his Zelda – aka Momma.
As I walked through Kroger something happened. We were met with not only smiles and good mornings by all the staff we encountered, but I also saw smiles fleet across the faces of customers. Moms in a hurry out alone for the few minutes they could escape, grandparents reminiscing about their own children, the young adult perhaps thinking about a time in their future and the parent they hope to be.
Lincoln spent a good amount of our time crying because I wouldn’t buy him every toy on the shelf. Sorry bud, they’re just not in the budget today. The Easter Bunny/Santa/Birthday is coming, let’s see what he brings before we buy more toys.
Nope to the batman.
Nope to the overpriced toy cars.
Nope to the random toys hanging in the food aisles.
As he cried over each toy I put back on the shelf, I realized I was so glad I had chosen to say Yes to his outfit of choice. It made no difference to my day. No one was harmed by his choice of clothes, and he was still fully dressed. I would, however, probably say no to underwear on the outside in public.
Is it possible then, that we say No too often when there’s nothing wrong with a Yes?
I think for me it is. My kids deserve more Yes days.
They also deserve to know why I say No when I do. Even if that answer is just “Because I feel strongly about it” or “Because I’m Mom”. I better have an answer for when the answer is No. Because if I don’t have an answer – then the answer could just as easily be Yes.
We got home from the store and the Link the Knight shirt was replaced quickly with a glow in the dark skeleton shirt – the same one he wore yesterday.
And I didn’t care. I just smiled and told him he looked awesome.