Just say no.

A few weeks ago, Peter’s favorite color was pink.

Now, pink is for girls, and he, as he has made quite clear, is a boy.

A few weeks ago, the most likely response to any request of Peter would be “no.” Or rather, “NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!”

“Peter, get off the table.” “NOOOOOO!”

“Peter, no throwing food.” “NOOOOO!”

“PETER! PUT DOWN THE KNIFE!” “NOOOOO!”

That, too has changed. I think I actually preferred “no.” Because now we have moved on to…

“Why?”

Peter loves “Why?” It makes him smile. Now, mom and dad aren’t yelling at him, and he’s not yelling back. There’s none of this run fast and hide the contraband game that he could never win either. Now Peter succeeds in irritating his parents with hardly any effort at all.

In fact, he even tries to bait us into asking him things to which he can respond “Why?”

Today at nap time, he stuck his finger in his nose. I was nursing the baby in the rocker and didn’t notice right away. “Tell me to get my finger out of my nose, Mom.”

“Peter, that’s yucky.”

“Tell me to get my finger out of my nose,” he said again.

“Peter, get your finger out of your nose.”

“Why?” And he smiled.

“Because it’s yucky.”

He moves his finger to his mouth. “My finger’s not in my mouth, Mom, it’s in my teeth.”

“Peter!”

“Tell me to get my finger out of my mouth, Mom.”

“Peter, go to sleep!”

“Why?”

Arrgh!

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