No matter how you say it whether it’s “non” in French, “nein” in German, and “baw” in Laotian, that nasty word “No” is usually accompanied with a just-as-nasty tone in parenting. I strive to do everything in my power to provide a safe environment for my child to play and live without having to say, “No.” Instead of “No, I can’t pick you up right now,” I actually can and yes, pick him up. Other than yell “NO! Don’t touch garbage from the trash,” I give him something else that, yes, he can play with. If he wants to eat that old blueberry from the corner of the kitchen floor, I say, yes, eat it if you want to try it. That’s my choice of parenting – try saying “yes” more and provide an environment accordingly. Dangerous events do conjure up a spur-of-the-moment lapse in gentle discipline and I have to live with my shittiest mommy moment so far.
Long story short, Gym Hottie came home early and we took Humnoy to the emergency room. He has burns from a hair straightener that off the bathroom counter. All this guilt, all this agony over an incident that happened in 5 seconds and could possibly scar my child’s face forever. If I could replace those 5 seconds where I screamed “Oh NO!” to make sure it was out of his reach, I so would.
If I provided a place where, yes, he can join Mama in the bathroom and safely play while she gets ready, he wouldn’t have those burns. Usual bathroom convos are “No, don’t play with the toilet” (the lid should’ve been down), “No, don’t touch Mommy’s makeup (I should put it away if I was not using it), and “No, I’m almost done! I’ll pick you up then (My hair can wait; my child doesn’t have to). So what he got funny looks at Fred Meyer? So what we have to goop on Neosporin on his face 1-3 times daily? It could always be worse and I have to let go of this shitty-mom guilt.
At this point, Humnoy is happy and pain-free and we are still thankful the burns didn’t get to his eyes or in his mouth. He’s his happy and beautiful self, maybe-scars and all. Our new task is to closely monitor his wounds when he, yes, can do this, that, or the other.
What do you try to do to say, “Yes” rather than “No?” How do you treat burns?