So I got my first “I hate you!” from my daughter tonight.
And so it begins.
Of course, she immediately realized what she said and as she stormed out of the room, I heard “I hate Phoebe! I hate Phoebe!” trailing off into the distance.
But she wasn’t fooling me because a few decades ago I pulled that same stunt with my mother. Yeah, I heard what she said. I heard it.
And I knew it was coming one day. I was bracing myself for the day when she would spit those words out at me, but I figured that would be years from now…like, at thirteen. Doesn’t thirteen seem about the right age for a girl to turn against her mother? Or fourteen, maybe? But certainly not at six. Well, technically seven — we’re only six weeks away from seven — but still, I wasn’t expecting it just yet. And she hurt my feelings.
So I marched off to find her standing in front of the TV and I informed her that she was not allowed to speak to me that way, that the TV was being turned off and it was not to be turned back on for the rest of the night. In fact, she was now going to go straight into the tub and then straight into bed.
And then it was game on.
She proceeded to exclaim that not only was I the meanest mommy in the world, she wishes she was never born. But since she was already born, she wishes she could go live with her daddy because Daddy is fun and Daddy takes her to the circus and to Six Flags.
She went there.
Isn’t being a single mom fun? Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t trade being a mom for anything in the world — although if you asked me about a trade, oh, I’d say 20 minutes ago, I might not have had the same response. Yes, there are a lot of warm, fuzzy moments that cause my spirit to soar and make me realize that being a mommy is what I was always meant to be. But then there are times when it feels like I’m constantly fighting with her — fighting to get her to sit down and do her homework…to eat her dinner…to clean up her mess…to not talk back…to get into the bath…to get out of the bath…to go to bed…to do ONE THING I ask her to do without being called the meanest mommy in the world and having her wish she could go live with her daddy.
So I let her say her piece as she washed the day’s dirt off of her, and then I got her out of the tub and told her to go put on her pajamas. When she walked out of my room, I just sat down on my bed — my feelings good and hurt — wondering how I keep screwing up this parent thing over and over and over again. And do you know what she did? She came in my room, and as she was pulling her pajamas on over her head she asked me, “Mommy, do you still love me even when I’m mean to you?”
“Yes, I still love you even when you’re mean to me.”
“Well! That’s in the past now! So if I can’t watch TV, what can I do until it’s time to go to sleep?”
“Okay, Mommy!” So she bounced off to her room, which is where she is now — propped up in bed reading out loud to her stuffed animals. And now I have to wrap up this blog and figure out what I’m going to say to my kid before we put a period on the end of this now sucky day.
I guess I’ll just wing it.