I knew this day would come. I just thought that he would be older, tween years maybe.
I hate you! I wished that you weren’t my mother!
What prompted this proclamation?
I asked him to read a book.
I have been trying to add some academics to his days so that the return to school might be less painful. He has gotten extremely comfortable in his comfy clothes and his leisurely schedule and I wanted to remind him that this is not his ongoing reality. He likes to stay in the land of denial. He wants to forget about the responsibilities of his ‘real life’ and wants to enjoy his vacation.
When he talks about returning to school, his tone sounds as though he is a grown man working 50-60 hours a week in a physically demanding job…a warehouse or construction site maybe. He started his emotionally fueled sermon and listed all the reasons why he shouldn’t be forced to read on his vacation. Each time he stated his position, he was irritated by my rebuttal.
“Real readers are supposed to read for enjoyment.”
“I am already an excellent reader!”
“What is the point?”
When I shared that there would be no more computer or television until reading was completed, he was furious. My TBP shouted those words and then dramatically stomped upstairs.
I wanted to stomp up those stairs and lecture him about all the work that it takes to be a good mom. I wanted to list all of the sacrifices. I wanted to scream about the long battle to adopt him. In my head, I thought of all of this; thankfully, it stayed in my head.
I fought back my instincts. Instead of talking, I took deep breaths. Finally, I did what most mothers might do…I folded laundry.
I continued to fold laundry as I heard my son calling from upstairs. I gathered up the towels and went up. My intent for going upstairs was to see my son, but the laundry allowed me to be a bit on the “hard to get” side. After all, I didn’t want it to look like I was racing to him.
I cracked opened the door and looked in. Be calm.
“Do you need something?” I tried to sound even-tempered, but it came out colder than I intended.
Out poured the apology. He tried to explain and I listened. I explained that I had a responsibility to get him ready for the return to school. Because of that, we would be doing a little bit of reading, writing, and problem solving each day until school started up again. He thought about my words and I could tell that he was formulating his responses while I spoke.
We understand each other now; however, we don’t agree with each other’s position. There will be more compromising I’m sure.
Realistically, I know this will not be the only time that I hear those words. Those words have been screamed at moms for decades.
So…have you heard “I hate you” yet? How did you respond?