Thursday, March 8, 2012
The Power of Yes Mom
Maure (like everyone else on my blog, this is not actually her name. Obviously) is my very dear friend who has three kids of her own, Soulmate, G-man, and Super E. Soulmate is six and Princess Particular's soulmate; in so many ways they act like a couple that has been married for 50 years. We joke that if they did get married, their wedding menu would be buttered noodles and chicken fingers. G-man is four and the best superhero I know. This kid has more energy than anyone I have ever met, and on top of that he's an adventurer and the funniest kid as well. For example, he loves to try my Thai food, and he is known to wear full football pads on a Tuesday morning. And Wednesday. And Thursday. Super E is one and a half and a miracle baby if I have ever seen one, and perhaps Maure will do a guest spot and write the Story of Super E on Moms Are People Too, because I could never do it justice. She is a bright ray of sunshine, and best friends with Squeakers. She makes you believe in puppies and rainbows and smiles and all the happy things in the world. Maure and I are friends because she seems like kind of a bitch when you first meet her, and I like that. She is fancy and drinks champagne. Also she's always up for an adventure, even with all of our kids, and she allows me to be all crazy and overwhelmed without telling me I probably need to be on medication.
Me and Maure, when all of our kids finally grow up and move out.
Maure has inadvertently taught me an excellent parenting skill, which I will now pass on to you. There is a point in each mother's day, from the time your children can talk, that you think you may just lose your mind if you hear the following words; Mom, But, Why, Can I have, and _____ (insert your particular favorite here). You have told them "no" more times than you care to admit, and the persistent little buggers just will.not.stop. Previously, this would be the point in which I would feel myself floating above my body, doing my best crazy mom face, and scream until they forgot what they actually wanted in the first place. The other option would be to give in to their demands, and I don't negotiate with terrorists. After meeting Maure, I stumbled upon a glorious tactic that I take joy in employing on a daily basis. The YES MOM.
The Yes Mom is the only acceptable response in order to save me from losing my mind, and it gives me great pleasure each time Princess Particular says it, mainly because it kills her to say it, and she knows that I've won. For example:
Princess Particular: "Can I have ______" (Doesn't matter, it could be anything from a snack to a pony)
Me: "No, it's almost time to________"
PP: " But MOOOOoooOOOOMMMM, I really want_____"
Me: "I said no. And did you brush your teeth today? And where did your sister go?"
(this can go on from five minutes up to the better part of an hour, but now I know I just have to say..)
Me: "YES MOM"
PP: (grumbling) "Yes Mom" (staring hateful daggers)
And that's it. The argument is over. I don't know why it works, it just does. No need to say, "Because I said so", no need to scream. No more hours of mental warfare, until your little darlings have worn you down to the point you are happily willing to give them ice cream for breakfast every day until forever if they will just stop talking. So cheers to you Maure, you are an upstanding citizen and have taught me well.