I have been a parent for more than 19 years. I have endured sleepless nights, countless diaper changes, birthday parties, hurt feelings, school assignments and broken hearts. Somehow, I managed to parent three children without dealing with a child who tells me they “hate me”, at least not on a regular basis…but number 4 has made it his mission to get this message across to me every day. If he’s not saying he hates me, it is one of these many variations on a theme…
You are mean.
You’re the worst Mom.
You’re a bad cooker.
I don’t love you anymore.
You’re not my Mom anymore.
I like to think that I have fairly thick skin, but he’s giving me a run for my money. After hearing these things every day for months, it’s getting old. Admittedly, it’s not reserved just for me. He says the same things to his Dad, and he’s even been known to express disdain for Chuck E Cheese, Subway and the dog when he’s in a really foul mood, but I spend the most time with him so I am the most frequent target. I’ve done the “That’s too bad because I love you.” and I’ve ignored it, and most recently I tend to finish his sentences for him and say “yes, I know, you hate me.” but none of it matters to him. He will switch to “I love you” with a bat of the eye when he’s sent to time out or consequenced in any way, but if he isn’t immediately given reprieve, he’s right back to hating me.
Three year olds are difficult little creatures, and I know that “this too will pass” (yes Mom, I learned that from you), but it can’t pass fast enough for me. He’s four in less than a month. Four is old enough for military school, right?