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Lately I’ve been finding that my sentences are a loop of nos,”don’t do that” and “STOP”. The vast majority of these exclamations are entirely justified. I’ve read numerous bits of parenting advice that suggest you don’t say No continuously to children instead you tell them what they should be doing. This advice goes straight out the window when Ewan “helps” me with the shopping by grabbing a packet of sausages and making a break for it. In seconds he has eaten through the cling film to get at the raw meat underneath. As I run after him I don’t have the presence of mind to think of saying ” Ewan remove the raw meat from your mouth and put the sausages in the fridge please” and instead “NNOOOO, Ewan stop it, for the love of god come back. Arrgghhh how did you eat cling film, Ewan they’re raw, yuck,Ewan come back, SSSTTTOOPP”.

I will admit that at other times there’s no risk to him and sometimes saying no is just a habit. A No often often involves less effort than a yes. But saying no constantly gets irritating for everyone, including myself. Last weekend we took a little holiday to West Clare and I tried to let some things slide and tried really really hard to say yes a little more often.

It’s not easy. There is always a whole host of things he wants to do and a whole list of things I determine we need to do instead. He wants to get out of the car, “Sorry but No we have to get there”. He wants to watch more cartoons, “No you have to go outside and exhaust yourself because we are going for another trip in the car”. He wants to eat everything, all of the time, “No because you might actually explode”.So my plan to say yes a little more often was beginning to seem a bit lofty.

We were staying in Quilty and had an awesome view of the sea. As soon as we drove into the village Ewan shrieked “bbbbeeeeaaacchh” and pleaded to go.  I said no and we went in to meet my friend and her family who were putting us up. Over the next day and half there was a whole list of reasons we couldn’t go to the beach. With places to go and people to see it added up to no beach. One afternoon we were coming back from another long drive and he squealed “bbeeeaacch” again. I replied with “Sorry we can’t go it’s raining but maybe later”. I knew once we were in there would be little to no hope of me leaving again. I had dreams of wine, chats and sitting but then I thought again. He was strapped into the car seat more often than not and wanted to go to the beach. It really wasn’t that unreasonable a request. So I zipped him into his rain suit/ mechanics outfit, hoisted on his wellies and off we went. I sat in my rain coat on a blown out tyre someone had dumped on the beach and he had the time of his life.

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Saying yes to the beach in the wind and the rain might not be sensible option but despite the fact that I was still thinking about the wine in the fridge I loved every second of it.

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