Archive for the ‘saying yes’ Category

LP’s favorite thing in our wee garden this year has been the carrots.

Unfortunately, most days she does not want to eat the carrots (and does not want anyone else to eat the carrots).  I’m really not sure why because this girl will eat anything that she can pick herself — tomatoes and peas, of course but also radishes, kale, and okra.  For whatever reason, she’s decided that the carrots are to play with and not to eat. There has been more than one meltdown when I wanted take a carrot or two to use for dinner. Our friend T who was visiting for a few days had coaxed her into eating a carrot and there was much added pleasure in the carrot experience.

Until she picked this one.

I was excited about it. Look at it!  It is totally cool! I was all ready to jump into exploring the way the five carrots had grown together. LP pretty much shrugged and was ready to move on to something else all together.

I was puzzled.  I watched her play with other things while T and I marveled at it and took a bunch of photos.  She did make her way over to us and then took the carrot off for her own exploration…and eventual snack.

I wonder what her thought process was. My best guess is that she had an expectation of what was going to come out of the ground and when that expectation was not correct, she needed a little time to regroup and let the expectation go. She needed time to be able to say “yes” to the unusual carrot.

When I think about the experience in that frame, I feel so empathetic because even at my best, I have trouble switching gears when I have strong expectations.  Even when I really, really, really want to say “yes” because the new, unexpected thing looks fun or delicious or intriguing, I need time to make an internal shift.

It was a great reminder for me to not push too hard or fast when I think something is “interesting.”  The wacky carrots were still wacky and wonderful 15 minutes later.

This post is part of the Moms’ 30 Minute Blog Challenge over at SteadyMom.


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LP has taken up grunting a sound that is close to “yeah” instead of saying “yes.”

It bugs me.

So I started paying attention to what I actually say when I mean “yes.”

I say a lot of things — ok, sure, uh huh, yeah, in a minute and soon. I nod. I do what she asks without saying anything at all.

Yes is a beautiful word. It is a pleasure to hear. Truly, I find it a pleasure to say. And I had let it slip out of my vocabulary.

So that is my improv practice for the week.

To say “yes.” Literally.

This post is part of the Moms’ 30 Minute Blog Challenge over at SteadyMom.

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We three are  adjusting back to life at home (complete with post-vacation/travel tantrums). It was a wonderful trip to visit Grandma and Auntie K and then travel together to Orcas Island to visit with family there too. Lots of delicious time to play and explore tidepools and meet animals (such a highlight for LP! Chickens and horses and alpacas! Crabs and limpets and barnacles!)

All that open play time, gave us lots of time for low-key improv. Something I love about vacation is the slower (and mostly un-plugged) pace which makes so much more room for “yes.”

One of the most special moments was at a rest stop of all places. After lunch, LP wanted to play so I started to teach her “Red light, Green light.”  She very quickly put her own spin on it AND enticed ImprovDad and Grandma into joining us.

This is one of those moments that I like to look at from an improv perspective.  It would be so easy to tell her that this game has “rules” and we have to follow them.  AND it is so much more joyful to follow her lead, to say “yes” and create a different version that springs from LP’s spontaneity. Something in the moment triggered her imagination and I certainly had more fun playing her version which has continued to evolve.  Currently “red light” means stop, “green light” means go, “orange light” means move in slow motion, “purple light” means hop like a bunny and “brown light” means run around flapping like a chicken. (Also there isn’t one caller in LP’s game…anyone can call out the color light and everyone moves.)

We followed up with ring-around-the-rosie…and I wish I had a photo of the four of us, holding hands, going around together in the sun.

Taking in that experience reminds me how delicious improvising with little people can be;  when a small thing captures their imagination, you get a lot of mileage (and delight) out of it!

LP explores Orcas Island.

This post is part of the Moms’ 30 Minute Blog Challenge over at SteadyMom.

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Saying “yes” can be glorious, freeing and full of enjoyment.

At best, “yes, but” is an attempt to woo the other person with the promise of the joy of “yes.” At worst, it is a bait and switch. Yet even if you get what you want and the little people get what they want, the end result can be unsatisfying to both sides. Certainly as a parent, I find that I miss the joyful moment of “yes” because I am still in negotiation mode. I imagine on the little person end of thing it is frustrating to hear “yes” and then have it not really be the case.

So I am working to keep my “yes” a true “YES!” and any but-ing to be worked out before there’s a “yes.”

A small example:
At dinner, LP shouts out, “I want dessert!”

Now there are 2 things I want to have happen. One is I want her to eat more of her dinner. Two is that I want her to ask politely. To avoid the “yes, but” of “Yes you can have dessert after you eat your last two broccoli trees,” I skip the “yes” until I’m ready to actually say it.

So I say, “LP, I’d like you to finish your broccoli first.”

Which she does. And then shouts out, “I want dessert!”

And I say, “Please ask politely.”

Which she does, “May I have dessert please?”

And then I can say “yes!” with no strings attached.

To which she responds with a big smile and whispers to herself “Dessert! Desssertttt!”

More important than the words is a little bit of inner attitude shift on my part. In life in general, I want to say “yes” ~ to my family and friends, to work opportunities and so on. Yet I often probably say “yes, but…” because I’m not fully ready or able to say that “yes.” I’m curious to see if trying to shift my inner process to one of getting clear on what I need/want to make the “yes” happen will prevent that auto-“but” from showing up.

This post is part of the Moms’ 30-Minute Blog Challenge over at SteadyMom.

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