“Sweetie, it’s time to get up.”
“You’ve got to get up and get ready for school.”
“NO! I DON’T WANT TO GO!”
Thus began another morning with our three-going-on-thirteen-year-old daughter. We’re not entirely sure how or why it happened, but our daughter has developed the personality of a teenager. She likes to sleep late and gets very angry when she is woken up prematurely. She can be sullen, and is often disagreeable. Best of all, she has learned to be emotionally manipulative.
She didn’t want to go to preschool yesterday. It was a struggle to get her out of the car, and then she proceeded to walk as slowly as possible down the hallway. Once inside her classroom, she would not let go of my legs and started to sob.
“Sweetie, Daddy’s got to leave and go to work. Why don’t you go and play with your friends?”
“But I want you to stay with me.”
“Aw, sorry, sweetie. I can’t.”
“But I love you, Daddy!”
Ouch. Way to make me feel guilty there, kid. Nothing like starting off the week with a good guilt trip from your daughter.
I think I’m gaining some emotional callouses. Last night, after I put her to bed, she came out of her room. When I asked her what was wrong, she told me that she wanted me to stay in her room with her. I told her that wasn’t going to happen and she needed to go back to bed.
“But Daddy, I want you to stay. I love you so much.”
“Aw, I love you too. But GO BACK TO BED.”
“Grrrrr!” *SLAM* (Yes, she actually growls now.)
She has also been gaining a sense of independence and desire to do things for herself. Theoretically, this is a good thing. Unfortunately, she is not always able to actually perform the actions she wants to do.
“Do you want help putting on your boots?”
She angrily snatches a boot out of my hand and snarls, “NO! I can do it myself!”
I wait for a few seconds as she struggles to fit the boot onto her foot. A few seconds, she emits a growl and slams the boot against the ground. “Daddy, I NEED HELP!”
I’m sure that part of the problem is that the holidays took her out of her normal routine for two weeks. As much as this child may claim that she doesn’t want to go to school, she enjoys being there and she seems to fare a lot better when she has that constant structure in her life. Mrs. Cutter and I are hoping that as the week progresses, she’ll settle back into her routine and the surly attitude will fade away.
Otherwise, I suppose we can look forward to her growing out of it in about fifteen years or so. But don’t worry, that will give me plenty of time to plot my revenge. The internet has already given me some ideas…