Please don’t hate me, you guys, but… I caved!
I gave Choo-choo something he wanted that I’d told him “no” about many times. But before you panic, it wasn’t anything dangerous or damaging. In fact, it was pretty much a non-issue I stood my ground against only because my original answer had been “no.”
Remember when I told you about the water battle Choo-choo and I got into? Well, this didn’t last very long. I was exhausted from constantly saying “no” over and over, even amidst my son’s tantrums about it. I also realized quickly that it really wasn’t a big deal. I mean, he just wanted some water to drink before sleep.
And I know, I know. I never wanted to give him something he had been refused before. I didn’t want to let him think a “no” is just temporary until the “yes” is said.
The thing is, a few days after the awful water wars one, it was time for my sweet boy to take a nap again. Knowing he would ask to take a cup of water upstairs even after drinking some before and after brushing his teeth, I decided to change tactics.
Choo-choo drank some water by the sink before we cleaned his teeth as usual. (We also sang his made-up teeth brushing song.) Then, instead of offering water in the kitchen, I said, “Hey, buddy, would you like wait and drink your water upstairs?”
He was like, “Yeah!”
So I poured a little water into a small bathroom cup and carried it upstairs with us. We went through the rest of our naptime routine. When Choo-choo was about to take a drink, he stopped and looked at me. “I drink my water then go to sleep. That will make me happy.”
This right here, you guys! This is the exact reason why I caved! He didn’t argue with me because of some form of toddler independence. Choo-choo argued because he felt like I was taking away something that made him happy. This realization hit me hard. I asked myself, Would having water upstairs as opposed to downstairs hurt him in any way? The answer was a very clear “No.” He wasn’t going to choke on it. The worst he could do would be spilling the water, but that’s an easy clean up.
Every day now, Choo-choo drinks his water upstairs in bed before both naptime and bedtime.
We might be going through twice as many disposable bathroom cups as before, but this is an insignificant fact, especially when compared with the happiness my kid feels being able to make a decision and not worry that Mommy is going to say no.