“I don’t like you mommy.”

My god-daughter just turned 3 a month ago. She is incredibly smart and has quite a personality. She’s like a ham. Just completely and utterly entertaining, and sweet, but boy does she have a mouth on her. We thought that once she turned 3, the “terrible two’s” were over. Because I have to admit that when she was 2, there weren’t many candidates that were willing to babysit her, for fear of the torture she’d put you through (pulling hair, hitting you in the face, not listening, getting into things that were dangerous, mouthing off, and saying “no” to everything). Of course when she was 2, we all wondered what happened to that sweet little girl, who when she was 1, could barely talk, loved hugs, and gave kisses on the cheeks as soon as she saw you. Now at 3, we’re wondering how we’ll ever get through the series of tantrums, bad attitudes, and of course the biggest issue: her not listening to anyone of authority.

Since the girl is so funny, and cute, it’s difficult to really stay mad at her for long, but it’s also frustrating when we’re having to constantly tell her to “stop”, only to get a “No” or an “I don’t want to”. It’s difficult to not get angry with her when she throws a huge tantrum in the middle of the store causing onlookers to give us angry looks. It’s difficult to not be upset with her when she slaps mommy across the face with a toy, or wrestles me, pulls my hair, KNOWING that it hurts. It’s really getting hard to not discipline her when she does what she wants to do and has no problem verbalizing it. But I think what hurts my friend the most is the behavior that occurred over the weekend.

It’s always a treasure putting this little girl to bed. She always cries, throws tantrums, runs away from us–doing anything and everything to avoid bedtime. Well this time after running away from her grandmother–who tried to put her to bed, she tried wrestling mommy, and through tears shouting, “I’m NOT going to bed.” Over and over again. Which resulted in my friend, grabbing her hand tightly and looking her in the eyes, and saying “You are going to bed NOW.” Of course that resulted in my god-daughter shouting in anger, “I don’t like you mommy.”

Later on when she talked to me about it, she admitted that it hurt her feelings when her daughter told her that. This never happened before, and she didn’t know where it came from. “Where did she learn to say that?” She asked me.

I shrugged.

“It really hurt my feelings…”

And at that point, looking at her face, I told her a truth that I’m sure was difficult to hear.  “Be prepared for this and several other “I hate you’s”, “I don’t like you” and other forms of blatant disrespect. Matter of fact, be prepared for when she is a teenager… This is just the beginning. Don’t you remember what you put your mom through? What you’re still putting her through?”

She almost cried.

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