And so the dreaded day arrived. I knew it would - it's par for the course in parenting, right? But secretly (arrogantly? hopefully? smugly?) as one by one of my friends fell, wounded by the wicked words of innocent anger, I couldn't really believe my first born baby would turn on me. But now, I too have been shot by the brutal bullet...... 'I hate you'...
She's six. So I suppose I've fared ok so far. I always thought I'd laugh it off - after all - its just frustration, just justifiable anger that I am the boss and she has to do as she's told. It's just a churlish childish chant, something to hurl at me, to lash out with because her little body and bourgeoning mind can't yet cope with the tsunami of feelings and frustrations of life.
I knew all that. And it still stung. Like a winter wasp that hides in the carpet, the sting sliced through skin, shuddering through me, making my eyes water.
And in response to her childish attack, did I behave like an adult? No, I did not. I walked out of the bedroom and couldn't look or speak to her. I was hurt. Like a child. Until she found me out and hugged me.
Now of course, my inner child has gone back to sleep, and the mature mother that I am has re-emerged and laughing about it. Now when we hug, or say goodnight, I laugh and say, "So, do you love me or hate me?"
And she smiles shyly, hugs harder and shouts,"Love you!"
No doubt she'll sting me again. But like good ol' Rod used to sing.... the first cut is the deepest.