N to the o

The answer is No.

That’s what we hear most on Rhema’s lips these days.

Anytime she says words we understand it’s a big deal. Hard to explain but hearing her speaking voice stops me in my tracks. It’s the sweetest sound, recognizable and unfamiliar to my ears all at once. The sound of her voice never fails to bring a smile to my heart.

Anyway. We’re getting an earful of No’s. And it’s how she says it that’s rather shocking. Not at all like a two year old on the verge of a tantrum. More like a cool teenager snapping the z. “Nnnno.”

“Rhema, will you come over here please?”

“Nnnno.”

“Can I have a hug?”

“Nnnno.”

Hope finds this absolutely hilarious, of course. The two of them have been working on Yes/No questions for some time. Lately she’s been asking Rhema all kinds of questions just to hear her say no. It’s pretty clear that sometimes Rhema wants to answer differently but cannot. She’s stuck on No.

So I gently told Hope that she should not laugh every time Rhema says no. Maybe she wants to say no, or something else or something more, but all that comes out is Nnnno. (And that’s got to be frustrating). Either way we should not laugh.

Hope’s face fell and she looked thoroughly distressed.

Immediately she ran to her sister and hugged her.

“Rhema, I’m so sorry for laughing. Do you forgive me?”

“Nnnno.”

It was like a slap on the face.

Until Rhema smushed her cheek against Hope’s.

Hope grinned. “I’ll take that as a yes.”

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