Wednesday, September 13, 2006

I'd Love You To Love Me

So, last week I mentioned how different things are around here now that Hubby is working some night shifts. I'm putting Sweetie to bed a few nights a week now instead of Hubby being the tucker inner all the time. Fine. That's all going well enough. No huge problems. Except....

Sweetie basically wants nothing to do with me. On the nights Hubby is here, I ask for my usual from Sweetie - a hug, a kiss and a nose (rub noses together like Eskimo kisses). But most of the time lately, she refuses me this treat.

No! Nothing! I want nothing! she tells me.

Now I'm finding myself a bit perplexed. On the one hand, I don't want to make the act of giving me a hug, a kiss and a nose some sort of punishment. But on the other hand, it is a cute thing I myself look forward to and I think it's a nice way for she and I to end each day. Still, most of the time if she starts to put up a fuss about it, I just let it go and she's able to go to bed with her requisite "nothing".

Last night, though, was different. I guess I was on some sort of mission or something. I don't know. And I don't know if I was in the "right". Here's what happened...

It started with Sweetie asking for a popsicle a little later in the evening than I would have liked to have given her one. But Hubby and I agreed that she did eat a good dinner, so the treat was rewarded. Not before I could make a conditional request, though.

If I give you a popsicle now, will you give me a hug and a kiss and a nose at bedtime.

Uh huh.

So she was given her popsicle, had a few licks, then decided she wanted it all to melt in the accompanying bowl. She'd drink the melted juice instead. Trouble is, it was so close to bedtime that the popsicle didn't really have enough time to melt. And so she quickly lost interest in it and it just sat.

Then it was bedtime and I asked our happy-until-that-point-little-girl if I could have my end of the bargain fulfilled.

No! Nothing! I want nothing!

Long story short - she threw a fit for a good 15-20 minutes over just wanting to go to bed and not wanting to be nice to me. I even enlisted Hubby's help on this, and he and I told Sweetie that if she wasn't nice to me, we weren't going to be nice to her. She could either give me my hug, kiss and nose and then Daddy would take her to bed, or she could just go on her own (after Daddy turned on the lights for her).

Well, she didn't like either option at all. She almost started to take herself away, but then stopped, flipping out in a bigger fit.

On any other night, I would have been all, Fine, whatever. Take her to bed. But last night I wanted my way!

I couldn't believe it - this little 3 year old girl was genuinely hurting my feelings (although I don't think she intended to). I was really upset that she wanted nothing to do with me. And the more she worked herself up about the indignity of having to give Mommy the time of day, the more I was hurt by it all.

Ultimately, Hubby and I stuck by our guns and Sweetie changed her tune. I mean really changed it. After some time she stopped her crying, came to give me a BIG hug, and very sweetly told me she loved me (I still didn't get my kiss and nose, but whatever). Finally, so much longer after Sweetie could have been snug in her bed, Hubby was able to take her up and tuck her in. Whew!

So, tonight it was just she and I. And, just like last Wednesday, she just wanted to go to bed. No having me read to her like Daddy does. And, again, no hug, kiss and nose.

No, nothing. I want nothing. I just want to go to sleep.

Okay then, Sweetie.... I love you, Sweetie.

I love you too, Mommy.

If you say so - you sure do have a funny way of showing it, though.

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