I find myself saying "no" a lot. I recently watched a home video of myself at about Mia's age. I was playing and then I climbed on the coffee table. No one told me to get down, they all just watched me. I always tell Mia to get down. I realized I want her to be calm and collected all the time. In reality she is a wild, red haired, stubborn girl. Why would I want to stifle her creativity? To make my day easier? Because I think she needs to act a certain way? I am not really sure. My new goal is to say yes as often as safely possible. That means reading one more bedtime story when asked, going to the park when she says "park, park, park", and letting her have a banana even when I am pretty sure she will only eat 1/2. What is one (or three) more bedtime stories? It is a little more one on one time with my child while she is still young and wants to hang out with me. When she is in high school and leaving with her friends, I will wish that she would sit and listen to me read her a book. Letting her play at the park wears her out and makes her take a longer nap (score!). The other 1/2 a banana can go in the freezer for smoothies. Saying "yes" can make my day better too. I don't like to say "no". It doesn't feel good to say "No don't do that!" So, why do I say it so much. Maybe control.
I urge you to try saying yes in a situation you would normally say no in. I know it's hard sometimes. It is faster to make dinner by yourself, it is easier to hurry through the store without stopping to look at every single fruit, and sometimes it just seems dirty to let them play in puddles. You will cherish the memories of cooking with your children(as long as you can let go of a little perfectionism). You may realize that you wanted some oranges while you stop to name every kind of apple. I always have a change of clothes in the car, so puddle jumping is fun. Mia just did this the other day. She thought it was the most amazing thing ever. It was hard for me to let go at first, but I am glad I did. When she was done I stripped her down and put her in some dry clothes. If I didn't have the clothes, I could have let her ride home naked. You won't regret it. When I do the things Mia wants to do we really have the best days. So, try it. Say "YES".