Amrita woke up with a resolute gleam in her eyes. Raghav immediately sensed that his wife was upto something and asked as he picked up Nik in his arms to wake him up.
“What’s up wifey? You look like you are prepping yourself up for something today.” Amrita grinned and nodded with appreciation at her superbly observant husband. Yes I am on a very important mission today, she thought.
“I’m going to be a YES MOM today.”, announced Amrita inviting a confused frown from Raghav, who was still struggling with a sleepy Nik. “I’ve been reading a lot about negative impacts of saying no to kids. They are all talking a lot about being a YES MOM and how it can be a booster for your kids’ growth and development. So I decided that I too must give this YES MOM thing a shot.” Amrita further explained.
Raghav smirked and whispered something into his son’s ears. Nik immediately jumped up and gave out a loud shout of joy.
“Mom! So I can skate today all day, right. You will have no problems with me not reading or writing, is it?” Amrita was immediately baffled. She stuck her neck out to Raghav asking him through her crowed eye brows about what he just whispered into Nik’s ears.
Raghav chuckled grumpily, “Oh! I just told Nik that mom’s going to be a darling today. She will not say no to anything.” Nik let out another roar of joy jumping on the mattress waving his hands up and down.
“I can have a lot of chips today, and I will play until papa comes back home at night. I can remain awake till late today.” Nik’s joy knew no bounds.
Amrita gave her son a concerned look. Though her resolution to not say NO did not seem so much enticing any more, she still marveled at the inference drawing abilities of her son. Nik knew what her not saying no meant for him. But she braced herself for a tough day ahead. Little Lucky had not even woken up yet. It was going to be a long, long day. Yet she knew that the time until afternoon was going to be easy with Nik in school and Lucky in his grandmother’s custody. Late noon was when her real challenge would begin.
And it did.
“Mamma! I finished my tiffin today.” Nik ran into Amrita’s arms a lot more excited than other days. Amrita found his enthusiasm to be infectious.
“Wow! That’s like my boy. I love you so much.” Amrita chirped back.
“So Mamma! Can I have a packet of chips and the fruit drink for lunch today?” Amrita’s reflex was to immediately say a NO, but checked herself in the nick of time. After all she had been prepping against it all morning and noon.
“Say yes na mamma. Papa said you won’t say no to anything today.” , squabbled Nik. Amrita stared in contemplation. So much so for a five year old kid’s memory. She had to find an answer quickly.
“Ummm! Look, let’s set up a rule. We can have chips and chocolates only once a week. You had them on Sunday and today it’s just Wednesday. So you have to wait till Sunday to have chips.” Amrita patted her back for a response that was devoid of a NO. But Nik wasn’t going to get carried away. The two of them repetitively kept their ground for another 15 minutes, before Amrita lost patience.
“Ok! You must first have lunch, then complete your homework. Then you may have chips in the evening.” Amrita declared. I have just bribed my son. Which one’s worse? Saying a plain No or bribing to avoid saying a No, Amrita wondered. But she had already shot a arrow, which had been caught with absolute precision by Nik.
“OK Mamma!” Nik hopped away to his grandmother asking her to feed him lunch. Half an hour later, having finished his lunch amidst a lot of pampering and coaxing (without using the word NO), Amrita sat besides Nik at his chair and table to do some homework.
“Mamma, I like writing numbers. Can we write only numbers today.” Nik was at his antics again.
Amrita was amazed that at 5 years, when he had just learnt basic numbers and alphabets, this son of two engineers already had his preferences set. He hated writing his alphabets, while he had no qualms about writing numbers. Was it even possible, she wondered? Nevertheless, he couldn’t be given this relaxation. He had to read all his subjects, for another 12 years atleast.
“Yes child, we will start with writing numbers first. We shall then do some reading activity with the alphabets. OK?” Amrita’s enthusiastic statement was meted with Nik’s long face.
An hour later, Amrita was exhausted after convincing and encouraging Nik to write his alphabets. As she thought about the harrowing last one hour, she declared to herself that coaxing definitely would have been a better option. Yet she wasn’t the one to give up on her quest to be a YES MOM yet.
She was disturbed in her reverie when she heard a thud following by her younger son’s loud cry. Amrita’s heart sank. She knew she had let her guards down which probably had resulted in an accident.
Oh God, let him not be hurt. Oh God! Oh God! Oh God. She prayed as she rushed to the direction of Lucky’s cries, and froze as she reached ground zero.
Was leashing out at your kid ok while maintaining that you don’t use the word NO? Amrita was having a hard time controlling her temper.
“What are you two doing?” Amrita rushed towards the two boys.
“Mamma! Bhaiya ne mera paani gira diya!” Lucky wallowed in his broken voice indicating that Nik had tumbled his glass of water spilling water all over the centre table of the living room.
“Mamma! I was only asking him to share his glass of water so that we could both wet the tissue papers and clean the table” Amrita sighed at Nik’s ranting, as her gaze hovered over spotting multiple lumps of wet tissue paper in small pools of water on the table.
“Mamma! Please can I have another glass of water and some tissues please.” Nik’s nonchalant query sent rage seep into Amrita’s core
God please make my day a little unhappening. It seems I chose a wrong day to try out my YES Mom resolution. Amrita bit the inside of her lower lip and set out to clean the mess in front of her. The boys were too enthusiastic to help her. Then again she had to bring into play a lot of patience to not say NO to the duo.
Rest of the evening went quite uneventfully and Amrita’s confidence took the surge thinking that she could get used the idea of being a YES Mom. But just after dinner, Nik threw another tantrum that he wanted to remain awake until daddy was home. This was something that Amrita just could not budge on. Simply because she knew that Raghav would not be home before well past 10 pm and that would be too late for Nik as he had to wake up early for school.
As Nik kept repeating himself with his demand, Amrita took a deep breath and picked up Nik with both her arms. While she signaled her mother-in-law to take charge of the younger boy, she entered the bedroom and put out the lights.
“My dear, that’s something that I cannot allow. So please stop all talk and activity and change into your night suit. We’ll have our bedtime routine of two stories and two special songs vefore we go to sleep.”
And she was. She had done it. She had given in to her day long urge of saying no. But as Amrita helped Nik with his bedtime routine, she did not feel bad or anything. She knew that she had learnt quite few lessons throughout the day and was now in a better position to assess a situation and decide whether it really called for a no or not.