the first smile. the first word. the first tooth. the first step. all welcome milestones in mommyhood. these are the ones i cherish. the ones i thank God that i was there for with each of my children. then there are the other milestones. the not so welcome milestones. the unwelcome milestones. the first injury. the first hint of rebellion. the first time they use the word "hate" towards you. this is a milestone that - in my mind - was still years to come. (everything really is so different - in my head). i shouldn't have been so naive. especially regarding chloe who - in perfect chloe fashion - has met every milestone slightly early.
thursday night she was in trouble and about to be sent to time out when, in angry defiance, she blurted out "i hate you!". i paused, mouth agape with shock. instead of continuing to instruct her to time out in my stern voice, i dropped to my knees, face to face with her. i pressed my hand on my heart as i would if i were feigning chest pain. only i wasn't feigning at all. i whispered to her, almost gasping, "whaaat did you just say to your po00or, p00oor mommy?". she looked at me and you could visibly see the defiance turning to despair. her big brown eyes filled over with tears and she immediately held out her arms to hug me, sobbing.
i asked her not to ever say that to anyone again. she nodded. i could tell she thought she was off the hook for whatever she was in trouble about initially. "...but you still have to go to your room for time out." angry defiance quickly returned. she took off up the stairs grunting angry little grunts with each step. i followed to watch her and halfway up the stairs she stopped, whipped around and said - through angry tears - "mommy! you DO NOT look beautiful!!". i had to crack up. she was trying so hard to come up with something - anything - to verbalize frustration without making me fall to my knees.