It started so simply. A day at the dino museum. We saw dinos and bugs and butterflies. We bought a strawberry candy stick and her lips and face turned pink from eating it.
Maybe it was the sugar, maybe not.
The trip to the gift shop resulted in running and ears falling off. She would not stop running despite repeated requests that she stop. So she was carried out of the store without a little dino trinket.
We made it home with no further incidents. But then naptime came, and so did the tears. The tears came fast and hot. With them came screaming. Non-stop. So I made a visit to her room in an attempt to calm her, to soothe her.
As I lay in her little bed, my body contorted into an awkward position, I assured her that we loved her. "No you don't. You don't love me." Yes we do. We always love you. I showed her the heart I had made for her so she would know that I've loved her always and I would love her forever.
She clutched the heart but repeated her denials. "You don't love me." Why would you say that? "Because I don't want to love you right now."
Her words hit me like an open hand. "I don't want to love you."
I know that I am not the first mother to hear these words from her daughter. I know that this will probably not be the last time I hear these words from Bunny. I understand that her words were motivated by frustration and anger.
But those words hurt.
The day did not improve from there. Sassiness insued. Ears were not reattached. Hand actually struck face (hers to Bub's face). Toys were taken away.
Finally, slowly, the equilibrium was restored. Apologies were issued. Ears were firmly placed back on her head. I love yous were exchanged. Hugs and kisses were given. My heart was soothed.