Well no, not really. But…ever notice how quickly your child’s words can hurt you? A quick ka-pow! to the face can seem a walk in the park compared to the searing pain in your heart when your child rejects you.
For the most part, I’m not on the receiving end of Sweet Girl’s less-than-kind comments. It’s my husband who is.
At least once a day he gets told: “Go away! I don’t want you. I want Mommy.”
I’m not totally immune. Every once in a while Sweet Girl turns not-so-sweet on me and will say: ” I don’t like you anymore.”
This is usually in response to being told no, she is not getting a treat at 7:30 in the morning. Face it, kid. It’s not going to happen.
In any case, I had a talk with my husband about the way Sweet Girl disses him left and right. He doesn’t like it (obviously) and joked he’d rather be punched in the face than receive that kind of rejection from her.
I know children play favourites with their parents. I can only assume it will be a matter of time before Sweet Girl realizes her dad is pretty awesome. I’ll become the parent who sits on the sidelines while they build puzzles together, brush their teeth, eat cookies. Whatever.
But right now, the sideline parent is a tough gig for my husband. We know she doesn’t mean to be hurtful. We talk to her about the power of words and the importance of being kind.
We recognize Sweet Girl is simply expressing a preference for how she wants her world to be. After all, it’s hard being a toddler when much of your life is out of your control (i.e. told you need to get up at this time, need to go to daycare, need to have a bath, need to eat your vegetables, need to go to sleep, etc.)
It’s a good thing my husband is a good storyteller. Each night before going to sleep, Sweet Girl asks her dad to tell her a story. She’s not interested in me doing this. Her dad’s stories are the best. She knows it. I do too.
* Image sourced via nootles.com.au