I copped my first “I Hate You’ yesterday. My cherry has been popped. My five year old son Alex spat I hate you at me in the car on the way home.

You see it all started when he asked if we could borrow a game from the local video shop. I said yes and he was happy. But as we were walking to the car he was shouting at the top of his lungs. Nothing in particular; he was just being loud. So I asked him to lower his voice because the neighbours didn’t want to hear him.

“Okay mum” he said begrudgingly.

And then under his breath he whispered, “dumb dumb”.

It stopped me in my tracks. I was a little upset…angry if you will. I’m pretty sure I didn’t deserve that.

So I turned to him and said, “Excuse me? Did you just call me dumb dumb? Is that really a nice thing to say to me? You can forget about that game from the video shop”.

“Noooo!!!” he shouted at me.

“Is calling me dumb dumb a nice thing to say?”

“No” he said in a quieter voice but still mad as hell.

“Well if you can’t be nice to me then I’m not going to do nice things for you”.

“That’s not fair” he shouted. “I HATE YOU!”

And there it was.

I wasn’t entirely surprised when he said it. I could see it coming by the way the conversation was going and how mad Alex was.

And at the time it didn’t sting very much. Mainly because I was angry too; and anger has a way of putting up a defensive wall against emotions.

I also realize that Alex probably didn’t mean it. He doesn’t yet have a great command of the English language so he just grasped for the only words he knew to express how he felt in that minute. Are we buying that?

Anyway, I’m not mad at him. I’m a little sad that he felt mad enough to say it but that’s something I’ll have to deal with.

At least he speaks his mind and I know exactly where I stand with him.

Last night before bed time I was doing the usual ‘a place for everything and everything in its place’ spiel when I picked up piece of paper off my seven year old daughter’s floor.

“Jordan, stop throwing rubbish on the floor. You have a bin, use it please,” I said… in what I have to admit was not a nice tone.

I unwrapped the piece of paper and read something that wasn’t meant for my eyes. Unlike Alex, Jordan vents by writing notes.

And I don’t know if this is irony or what, but the one thing that Jordan does that bugs me is that she leaves things lying around. And I get upset with her about it. So she vents by writing it on a piece of paper that she leaves lying around.

This is hurting my mind but logic dictates that if she followed my ‘a place for everything and everything in its place’ theory then I would never have found the note. Having said that, if she followed my theory then I wouldn’t be getting upset at her as much as I have been….which then means she wouldn’t have written the note.

But back to the note – it blindsided me. Unlike Alex’s ‘I hate you’ spat, I didn’t expect or see this coming.

Now I won’t tell you what the note said because I wasn’t supposed to have read it, so out of respect for Jordan I won’t share it with you all. She still doesn’t know I’ve read it. After I read the note I quickly folded it up again and asked her if she wanted to keep the note or was it rubbish?

“It’s rubbish”, she said. “Throw it in the bin”.

A part of me was a little relieved. Was the fact that she wanted to throw it away a sign that she didn’t really mean what she wrote; just how she felt in that moment… much like Alex.

At least I hope so. Again, I didn’t get mad but it did make me sad.

When Alex is mad you know about it; making it easy to recognize and easier to deal with it. When Jordan is mad she quietly vents by writing it down. I hope I don’t miss something with her.

So this is a life lesson… and bitter pill to swallow.

This post was originally posted on my other Mum’s Word blog “A Bitter Pill To Swallow”

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