One morning when my older son was in 3rd grade and getting ready to leave for school, fashion conscious as he was, he had a difficult time deciding which jacket to wear. After changing his mind and his jacket several times, he finally was ready to go…until we got to the elevator. At that point, he told me he wasn’t wearing the right jacket and wanted to change again; but I said no – we were waiting for the elevator and would be late for school if we went back inside for him to change again. So the elevator ride and the entire walk to school consisted of him telling me what a horrible mom I was. He was angry that I forced him to wear that jacket (that he had chosen!). He told me (repeatedly) I was the “worst mom in the world” and that I “should move to China” so he wouldn’t have to see me anymore. I honestly didn’t know whether to laugh or cry – it was pretty funny, but come on…he even said “I hate you.” Ouch. He gave me a half-hearted goodbye when we got to school but by the end of the day at pick up, he seemed to have forgotten what an awful mom he had.
When he was a senior in high school, I once again became the worst mom in the world but it lasted much longer than a day. The “I hate you”s came more often and he longed to turn 18 “so I don’t have to deal with you guys anymore.” Ouch! What I didn’t take into account was the stress he was under at his school – an extremely challenging HS that deflates grades and he was trying to get into a good college. Finally he got accepted to a college he wanted to attend, he graduated from HS, and we became co-workers at our summer camp. We smoothed things out and he has realized how much he still needs us – much to his chagrin – and that he might really love us after all. (I’m hopeful ;).
Today I was reminded of that, feeling like if my cat could speak (yes, I said my CAT), he’d tell me I was the worst mom in the world and he hated me. We’ve been cat owners for the last 13 or 14 years, but lost our most recent two beauties to illness 3 and 6 months ago. So a few weeks ago, we adopted a very sweet 4 year old cat, and he has really become part of the family. Then today we brought home a baby kitten. They’re both really chill and affectionate but suddenly Mac’s home smells different and there’s another creature getting some of our attention. We know it takes time and we know how to show Mac we still love him – but it’s heartbreaking at the same time.
It seems the kitten would love to explore more of our home, and he will in due time…hopefully Mac will welcome him sooner than later (he is definitely curious, just not sold yet…too soon). We’ll post updates now and then on our social media pages, so follow us! (@mybabyfingers).
And if you have a story to share about bringing home a baby – human or pet – or perhaps you’ve been told what a horrible or wonderful parent you are, send us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org)! Fortunately we’ve always had the I LOVE YOU sign in ASL – that’s been the best way for our kids to show their love, even in the tough times. So anyway, tell us your story. We love having guest blog posts!