“no” is a power word

keep up, Pop-pop!

The toddler must say no in order to find out who she is. The adolescent says no to assert who she is not.     

Louise J. Kaplan

What is so terrible about the “Two’s”? Our grandson is almost at the age when, in the car seat, he will be more excited to see where he is going than where he has been.

For a brief day or two, “cooler” weather ( 88 F / 31C), was an opportunity to take Zander to the park. While it has been entertaining for his parents and family sitters to watch YouTube videos of animated yellow, blue, or purple “Wheels on the Bus”, the little guy needed to feel grass and dirt under his feet. And burn energy.


“Zander, do you want to go to the park?” “No.”

“Do you want to get your shoes on?” “No.”

“Do you want to go to the park, and get a cookie?” “No.”

“Do you want to take your Yellow Bus?” “No.”

“No. Blue bus!”

The “Yellow Bus” is a toy that Gramma gave him this week. A week ago, I might have been curious why he removed the bus passengers, replacing them with “Baa”, “Moo”, yellow Duck and blue Seal. Having watched an hour (two?) of the same three minutes of “Wheels on the Bus”, I now understand. The passengers on this favorite segment of video? Farm animals. Gramma gathered him up, got his shoes on, and started out to the car. But he motioned for me to pick up the Yellow bus. And once in the carseat, I had to reassure him I brought Yellow Bus – with Baa and duck.

Pointing out passing “go-go’s” – commercial trucks, vans and big SUVs – to me is great excitement for him. I cannot wait for the time we start playing “I spy”. (“I spy with my little eye, something blue/red/yellow.”) With a brief stop at Kaffee Meister to get a chocolate chip cookie, we arrived at Santee Lakes park.

After thirty minutes of running back and forth with Zander toward the water and ducks, and shepherding him in the other direction with a kick ball, Pop-pop tried to sit in the grass. He took my hand, lifting upward. Not time to rest, Pop-pop. Gramma and I need you to run with me. After another thirty minutes of laughter, little legs jogging, playing catch, an energized Gramma, headed homeward with sleepy, very satisfied boy and his Pop-pop. His thankful Daddy, having time to recharge from his work-day, took charge of toddler and Baa.

It now is Sunday morning. With Gramma off to babysit a sleeping Zander while his parents attend to relative, last week’s outing was fortunate. We will not be going to the park this scalding hot Labor Day weekend. And Gramma may bring him back over here. When he wakes, I imagine he will want his Pop-pop, Yellow Bus, and “Wheels on the Bus”. Or he may say “No”. Which, of course, means “yes”.

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