Those exact words came out of my daughters mouth last week. I sort of expected something like that to happen someday, but not at 6 years old.
I should point out that she didn’t say it to my face. She sort of sang it in a song she was singing in her room after she was sent to time out for head-butting her brother. The only reason I heard it was because the monitor was on in her room.
That’s right folks, I have talked her into thinking that having the monitor in her room helps keep bad dreams at bay. I hope she falls for it until she goes to college. Fingers crossed.
Anyway, so the monitor was on and I heard her softly crying at first. Because I mean why not be so upset that you got in trouble for hurting your brother for NO reason. Jeez. Anywho, then she started sort-of singing her way out of it. I thought, oh how cute…until I heard some of the words. “La la la I hate you and I wish you would die, fa la la.” Ouch! Needless to say, I was crushed and had zero idea how to handle it.
She came out of her room and said she was sorry to her brother and asked what she could do to make it up to him. Suddenly all is well between those two but what about me? I decided to ask her point blank if she said in her room that she hated me and wanted me to die. She hesitated and looked down and then slowly, very slowly shook her head yes. At that moment, any hope I had held onto that I had misheard my baby girl was gone, and I started crying. She ran back to her room. Great. This is one of those moments when I say in my head, #momfail. Ok, so now what – my daughter hates me.
Call my Mom of course. She is shocked! Says I would have never said something like that to her. Ok, that’s not helpful. And I think to myself, well um I did think things like that but I was a teenager and who knows maybe I did say that when I was 6, there was no monitor in my room. Ok so that was a bad plan, now I feel worse. Need a new strategy.
Call my friends? Um maybe not. This is not a phone call you want to make to your friends who have daughters your same age. I mean I sort of don’t want anyone in the world to know what happened and I certainly don’t want to taint her reputation of being super sweet. Ok so that’s out. Too fresh, too painful.
Suddenly DD is back in my room handing me a note that says “I’m sorry I said I hated you and wanted you to die” along with 3 gumballs from her special stash, one of her least favorite Barbie bandaids and a bit of change from her piggy bank. I say “Thank you, baby” but as I read those words in her little misspelled handwriting, I start to cry again and she runs off. Good grief, could I be any worse at this parenting thing right now? ctrl-alt-delete, people!!!
At this point baby brother is sick of all this crying jazz and want to play, so I go out to the playroom with him. A few moments of playing helps me get some perspective and I call DD out to join us.
I scoop her into my lap and say the following:
“I realize that you didn’t say those things to my face and I never really would have heard them and I’m sorry if you feel like I was eavesdropping. (side bar with explaining abut what eavesdropping is) but what you said hurt my feelings so much. That being said, your room is your safe place and I want you to feel like you can go in there and scream into your pillow and holler stuff at the wall that you’d never say to someone’s face. I promise I won’t listen in again when you are in time out.”
“But here is the thing baby, you will feel that way about me again. (she nods her head no, no, no). Yes you will. You’ll feel it and want to say it. But I will always love you. No matter what you do, or say I will always love you. I’ll love you more tomorrow than I do today and today I love you more than anything in the world. But it’s my job to make you into the person people will love and want to be friends with. Make you into the lady that a sweet boy will want to marry, the mommy and friend that folks will want to live next to and so on.”
And then I just stopped. I had more I wanted to say, things I knew we would talk about one day, but I realized that this was probably all her little 6-year-old brain could handle, so instead we just sat there. She sat on my lap with her suddenly extremely long legs wrapped around me, and her sweet heart against mine and it was heaven.
Inside my head the voice from Dumb and Dumber rings through: “just when I think you couldn’t possibly be any dumber…you go and do something like this and totally redeem yourself.”
#momlife folks ain’t for the faint of heart, but I wouldn’t change anything about it and actually those gumballs did make me feel a little bit better.