That is my 3 year old. In the sweetest most honest way.
I can’t compare her to other children as I don’t have the experience of raising another child but my daughter is honest and unfiltered. When she is happy she smiles and laughs, when she is down she is moody, stroppy and cries a lot.
But as well as that, when she doesn’t want someone to hold her or put her to bed or be near her – she will physically push them away.
We have had these episodes a lot.
Tonight it happened again. She became fret-full and emotional as she was over tired and just wanted me.
Whenever her dad picked her up she would become more agitated. At bath time I asked him if he could get her ready for bed, before he left, whilst I did a few bits – she was already crying at being told she was having a bath (a trigger for her) but when she knew her dad was going to bath her she became even more emotional, reaching for me trying to pull my hand to come too.
Calling me from the bath while tears streamed down her face. The whole time in the bath she cried, would not take her eyes off me and kept pointing to me as if she wanted me to take her out. When bath time finished her dad was about to take her out, but we could both see that she was getting agitated at him taking her, so he lifted her out and gave her straight to me.
Just before she got out she said “No, Daddy” she is non verbal, and so when she says something like that you feel like there is real meaning behind it.
I felt awful. I felt guilty for staying (in case it made her dad feel worse that she wanted me) and felt guilty for leaving the room (as didn’t want her to have feelings of abandonment seeing me walk away whilst crying) I was torn.
Her dad felt rejected. Understandably so, as he and our daughter are very close.
He said nothing but physically receded. He stayed in the shadows while I got her dressed.
She didn’t completely settle as she was in the middle of a meltdown and sleep was the only thing that was really going to comfort her.
Once dressed she needed her medicines before bed, so off to the kitchen we went. She was sat on the counter top with her dad standing in front to stop her from falling. All the time she is whimpering as she is tired, but she keeps pushing her dad away. She doesn’t want him in front of her, or to hold or touch her.
I can see his pain, he knows she wants him to move away and that hurts. A three year old is telling you in her own way, move away, and what’s more she is your daughter.
Internally I feel my heart tightening. What can I do? Should I tell her off? What has she done wrong? She cant “talk” and so she communicates through actions and sounds.
She’s stating her boundaries. Stating her wants. For me to tell her off would be to ease his feelings.
So I say “ Who’s mummy?” and she points to me and “who’s daddy?” and she points to him…”Mummy and Daddy both Love you”.
Is it enough? I don’t know.
Daddy, I can see and feel is still hurting.
She continues her meltdown throughout teeth brushing and getting into bed. And he puts his coat on. He’s ready to leave.
But aside from the meltdown though, my 3 year old is doing what most of us adults fail to do.
Showing unabashedly what she wants and doesn’t want. Something a lot of us adults probably wish we could do more of. I know I do.
Being so raw and honest without fear of the other persons reaction – wow. If we lived in a world like that it might be a better world. A far more honest world. She isn’t being ‘rude’.
However I am aware that in certain situations she could encounter conflict if displayed to someone else or in a different situation.
I really admire my daughter. She does have differences and though accommodations are made, these accommodations are in fact making me take the time to better understand and interpret her and I hope is making me a better parent/person for it.
Have you had similar situations? How have you handled it? If you liked please share x