Hearing my kid say that she doesn’t feel like I love her is not really the way that I wanted to start yesterday morning. Actually it’s not how I’ve ever wanted to start any morning but there you go. It’s one of those things that’s said and rocks you to the core but they don’t really realise how their words have affected you.
Almost like that other time “I hate you” escaped one of their lips.
I should probably explain myself. Like, why would she even be at a point where she could say that?
It was a regular morning right, which means that as usual, I was shouting at everyone to get up and get dressed. Unfortunately this has become our new normal. But I get it, I don’t want to get up in the mornings either so it’s like the blind herding the blind. Or the tired waking up the tired.
Nevertheless, once I’m up I get done pretty quickly. My daughter on the other hand? She fusses over everything. I can actually imagine it all going down in her head. “Ugh, my mom is making me get up again. I don’t want to get dressed. I don’t really even want to open my eyes. OK, woman I get it, I need to get up. But just one more minute just lying here OK. Cool. Oh what am I going to do today. Draw some pictures, do that spelling test. *opens eyes* Oh hey Angie, how did you sleep. Your clothes look a little worn, I think I should change you. What’s that? Do you want food too? Sure, I don’t have anything else to do. I can feed you. Oh a butterfly flew past… How does it fly? Why are its wings so many different colours? I wish I could fly.
“I am getting dressed. But not really. I’m just thinking of getting dressed while I sit here and cuddle Angie. I will get dressed. Soon. I’m just thinking about things and stuff.”
I’m pretty sure that’s the just of it. She’s exactly like her father. I’ll never forget how different we were at making bottles of formula. Anyway, the result that the 5 minutes before we need to leave the house are frantic rush around picking up the last things, tying up hair and signing something in the homework book that should have been done yesterday.
Normal. This is normal.
What’s different about yesterday morning is that last week sister was sick and got to stay home for the day with me, because I was also sick with a tummy bug. I think she was jealous. But ever since then her tummy has been sore. Which is totally possible considering that I just had a bug. But there were no other signs – she was eating well, sleeping well, not vomiting and no fever. In the words of How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days, “I call bull….”.
So I told her to suck it up and get ready for school.
She burst into tears and then when I came into the room for the 389726835786th time to ask/shout/scream/beg/plead for her to get ready she told me,
“I feel like you don’t care about me.”
I stopped mid sentence because my precious little poppet, who suddenly looked so small and fragile, just told me something that I never ever wanted her to feel ever. Mostly because it’s obviously not even a little bit true. So I snuggled up to her and told her it’s the opposite. Because I love her I don’t want her to miss out on school when she doesn’t need to. I want her to be able to learn and grow. (What a “Mom” answer hey?!)
She seemed to buy it enough to get out of her bed. But then the next thing she was in my bed. When I rolled my eyes and threatened her with anything I could think of off the top of my head she said,
“I feel like you don’t love me.”
Which might have been brought on by getting a softer reaction out of me from the first time she said something similar. But still. I didn’t think that these kinds of things would be leaving her little lips already. Or ever.
So we chatted it out again and I promised that the moment she was sick at school I would be there to fetch her and take her home. It seemed to calm her down and she ended up going to school and being totally fine the entire day.
But it still shook me a little.
I realise that I am sometimes a bit harsh with her especially as she is the oldest. But it’s definitely been a bit of a warning to make sure that no matter how strict (or just naggy) I get as a mother, I need to just keep reinforcing the reasoning behind my decisions. Just a blanket yes or no or shout actually leaves them wondering about why? And if I can do do or say that, do I even care.
Jeepers, does parenting ever get easier?