Yes to Mess

I’ve been reading a lot lately about being a “yes parent.” It doesn’t mean I want to say yes to everything…just ask my kid. She will go through a dramatic series of no’s while showing you her recent crayon marks on the wall.  I’m trying to save all the no-business for food going on the floor, roughing up the cats, and higher stake events like not holding my hand in a busy parking lot. When this Mommo says no — she means it — or at least that’s the idea.

What I want to avoid is saying no to activities or behaviors that are inconvenient, or not interesting to me. I want to honor the curiosity of my toddler, and not worry about grass stains on pants, or paint in her hair. I want to read “Where is My Cat” for the fifteenth time in one day and recite “Way Up High in a Tall Green Tree”.  When I rather drink my coffee and read a magazine, I still want to say yes to finger painting.  I say yes because toddlers are washable creatures. I say yes because coffee can be reheated, and the magazine will be there after she goes to bed. I say yes because tomorrow she will think finger painting is “for babies” and be asking me if she can play with her friends instead of me.

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