Saturday, July 10, 2010

My son has a experiment in saying yes

My son has wanted a Mohawk haircut for a few years now. The closest we got before was sides trimmed shorter than the top. Those were meant to be a spiky hair, but he wold always style the spikes in a Mohawk-like stripe down the middle of his head.

Little Boy Blue turned 8 last Saturday. I decided to do something different. Many parent magazines lately have been publishing articles on parents saying yes instead of no all the time.  It's often easy to say No. Which inevitably turns to "But Wh-yy-hy", and then "Because I am mom and I said no".  I figured since it was his birthday and we weren't having a party this year (partly because his birthday falls on a holiday weekend and we live near the beach so traffic is a nightmare, partly because most of his friends are now busier and most likely wouldn't be able to attend due to other commitments). So I decided to give my son the gift of "Yes" (within reasons--no chance of him getting a yes to things like driving the car, sitting in the front, no seat belt, or no helmet when on bike,scooter or skateboard).

It started on Friday night. Even though I knew he was exhausted I agreed that we could go out to dinner with my mom. I didn't realize that he ate 5 mini cupcakes just before we left but it didn't hurt anyone so I would have said yes anyway. We went to Red Lobster (I wanted to go somewhere else but it was the start of "yes" so we went to his choice). Normally he gets a non-soda beverage. I said yes to the Red Rockin' Shirley T (Sprite & grenadine with maraschino cherries). He usually orders popcorn shrimp and a baked potato. He wanted French Fries (guess what the answer was?)  He wanted me to order his food (normally he has to verbally ask the server to improve his linguistic skills) and it was yes again. Since he was full from the cupcakes, he wanted to take his food home for "later". I didn't get upset that he really didn't eat much, yet wanted a refill on soda. But I said "yes", and it was tough to do.

On Saturday morning he wanted to sit around watching TV for a while. (Yes again--especially since this is a rare request). Blue wanted to go to Wawa for breakfast except he wanted a cookie, a brownie & a chocolate shake for breakfast. Yes, yes and yes again. He wanted to get a haircut....I said yes...then he told me he wanted a Mohawk. Yes. He wanted to go to Big League Barbers (his new favorite place). We compromised by getting it very closely buzzed on the sides. The stylist even colored the spikes green.

I think it looks rather cute. It turns out to be a very sensory haircut. He likes the feel of the buzzed sides, he likes the flop of the longer hair. He can now wear his goggles for swim class as there is no longer hair to get caught in the band.  He is actually thinking about buzzing the back and then the top off later. He likes that there is no hair in his eyes or on his ears...
I almost think he likes the flop of the top the most. It does look really cute. Besides who did it hurt by saying yes? He is happy. He'll have a memory (and now photos) that he can show his cousins & future children about the year his mom said yes to a Mohawk haircut.
Of course after the haircut, we had to go show my mother. We caught her in the parking lot. I think she nearly fainted when she saw him. I told her about the day of yes. Her response? Good luck with that, it's not an easy thing to do.

Next we went to the mall. We stopped at Old Navy. We needed to get some short sleeved and tank tops and perhaps another pair of shorts.  He wanted flip flops (he's been wearing Crocs lately). I said yes. I mean really who cares if he has two different flip flops, besides it seems that's the style. While I searched for his size, he found the giant gumball-like machines. Excitedly he asked for a quarter. Normally I say no, seriously we don't need more crap in our car or home. So this one time I said yes. He got a funny rubber Frisbee and of course asked for another quarter.  My son has always been obsessed with all things balls. He wanted ANOTHER bouncy ball. I said yes. Fortunately I had no more quarters for a third round. I needed to run a couple of other errands. We passed by the Picture People.

There was a new associate asking if he wanted to get a free picture. He looked at me questioningly...and I said yes.  I must say the photos came out pretty cool. Fortunately I asked him to change his clothing and his bright blue skateboard shirt matched his bright blue crocs. Even with a zillion Silly Bandz on his wrist (another yes--normally he's limited to 3 on each arm because he will obsess about having them in the right order & position on his arm), he looked like such a big boy in the photos. I even bought a sheet or two.

Next we stopped at Children's Place. He picked a couple of crazy shirts, including a dark purple Hawaiian-style shirt. Yes again. This was an easy yes as they were having a monster sale, he needed the extras and it cost so little.

Of course next he was starving. He asked if we could go to Auntie Anne's.  They had samples of their pepperoni pizza pretzel. It's a premium pretzel that costs a bit more, but I said "Yes". He was THRILLED.  He wanted to stop at the Disney Store. He is now fascinated by the Muppets (more so by the fact that I know ALL their names and can mimic some of the voices). He found a Muppet tote bag and t-shirt. And guess what....Yes again.  Though some of the requests were tough, it's actually kind of fun to saying yes.

Next door was Build A Bear workshop. He wanted 4 stuffed dogs, a stuffed baseball, and 4 Zhu Zhu pets. I didn't say no but I told him he had to ask Grandma (who I knew would say no) because they'd have to stay at her house since Roxie likes to 'play' with the toy hamsters & stuffed animals. (By play I mean eat)

We had to run into Bath & Body Works. The semi-annual sale was in full swing. He wanted not one but two "hanitizer" (hand sanitizer) holders and three new hand sanitizers. Especially with the high value coupon we were given upon arrival, I said yes. Once we paid, he immediately assembled the silicone holders and hooked them onto his shorts.  Quite the sight I must say. Little boy with Mohawk hair cut with a tie-dyed silicone hand sanitizer on each hip, bright blue Tony Hawk t-shirt and bright blue Crocs.

One aside comment, I was rather impressed that every time someone said "Happy Birthday" to him he graciously said thank you with no prompting. He even voluntarily told those who inquired how old he was.

Our next stop was Target. He helped me find our needed items, then requested a small orange soft side cooler (since it could hold more ice packs). I did say yes, mostly because he was right--it would be good for baseball camp in the heat.

His only birthday request was for oil pastels (NOT chalk pastels) and paper.  So next we stopped at the craft store. Crayola makes a set of 24 oil pastels, he was sold on this set because it included silver & gold metallic pastels. Even though there was another set with more colors for the same price, the required silver & gold were not present. So I said yes...

His final request was to go to the boardwalk for dinner and ride the amusements.  Guess what I said...

Between the Mohawk haircut and the day of "yes" I think my son will remember his 8th birthday for years to come...

Thanks for stopping by.


  1. Absolutely awesome! I think I will definitely have a day of YES with my daughter. How do you start it? It seems like he just made a request for something and you said yes and then just kept saying yes for the day? I think with my 5yo Aspie I would be absolutely exhausted... AND broke. I guess I might have to put some limits on my yes's?

  2. It started because of his birthday (that made it easier to go back to no's). Since my mom was working on Saturday, I let him get his first yes about a "birthday dinner" on the 2nd.

    Set ground rules up front (such as no requests for lax on safety such as helmets on bikes or seat belts, booster seats/car seats).

    A yes day can be done at home (I remember my mom doing them with my siblings when I was 7 or 8, youngest was 3). Things like filling a kiddie pool with bubbles, eating ice cream for lunch, getting to be the judge as to which art projects get to be displayed on the fridge, having our favorite meal for dinner and getting to cook it with mom, special 1 child only bedtime stories (normally all of us were together for the stories).

    Since he doesn't make many requests it was kind of easy. Simple requests like cookies for breakfast can be done in or out of home.

    I definitely plan on doing this again as a reward...

  3. Oh, wow! What a nice story! I love the mohawk. I had a fauxhawk cut into my hair after bleaching it blond - it was longer on the top and bangs (I enjoy the sensation of my hair in my eyes a little), and I agree, the buzz-cut sides do WONDERS for sensory. I've freaked out so many friends before not being able to stop touching their heads after they get their hair buzz-cut... ugh!

    Maybe I'll ask my roomie for a day of yes... ha!