Sometimes you have to say no. ‘No’ is a simple one-syllable word. You can change tone and inflection to make your no sound less or more harsh. You can add words around the ‘no’ to strengthen or soften the blow.

“I’m so sorry, but I’m afraid I must say no.”

“Are you kidding me? No!”

But sometimes you don’t have time to cushion the word to deliver your meaning. Sometimes you are in such a state of shock that words for emphasis to strengthen the ‘no’ fail you. This, my friends is the time when you may change the simple one-syllable word ‘no’ into a two-syllable word. Let me demonstrate:

Your child sits quietly on the couch. You are lost in a book. Suddenly looming above you, with his arm stretched dangerously close to your face, you notice a booger on his finger. He wants to show it to you, or wipe it on you. His intentions are not fully clear. This is when the two-syllable ‘no’ is completely appropriate.


In using the two-syllable ‘no’, you give yourself time to dodge the booger-finger. The sudden impact of the harsh two-beat ‘no’ has sent shock waves through the room. Your child retracts his arm in surprise, allowing you to maneuver away from the mucus-based discharge.

These few precious moments of surprise allow you to reach the nearest towel. Utilize the moments well, lest the booger reach your couch. There is nothing worse than cuddling up on your sofa to watch a movie, only to be assaulted by a dried booger that scrapes your face when you lay it on the throw pillow. Be diligent my friends. Break out the two-syllable ‘no’. You’ll thank me for it later.