In the completely egocentric world of a six year old, there are things worth wishing your mother dead for. Or so I hear.
In the last week I've heard "I hate you!" "I wish I had a different mother!" and even, "I wish you were dead!"
The first two I often just shrug at. I clamp down on the response that wants to be said on the really difficult days, because even though I'm not fond of my son's behavior when he's throwing these kind of "I want something and you're not giving it to me" tantrums, the last thing I ever want him to think is that I don't love him. So I simply say things like "You're entitled, I suppose," or "I know you're mad at me right now, but I still love you no matter what." I figure somewhere down the road he'll be legitimately mad at me for one of the many mistakes I've made or will make as a parent, and I want him to know its OK to be mad and I probably deserve it -- but he should save the UNLIKE button for true blue parenting offenses. Not the fact that I won't buy him a damn hot wheel every time we go to grocery shopping.
It can be something as little as the drive-through gave him a toy he didn't really want and I won't turn around and go ask them for a different one. Or that he didn't want to leave the activity he was doing as the sitter's and I made him go anyway because I was on a deadline to pick his sister up on time. Or I don't give him a sugary snack that he's asked for, instead offering something along the lines of fruit or yogurt.
I have to hand it to him, he is one stubborn kid. Reminds me of myself in some ways. And I know this is something that many kids go through. I try not to overthink it. But when your six year old, from the back seat of your car, says "I wish you were dead," as you're driving him home on an icy highway filled with 18-wheelers and farm equipment, it sort of takes you aback. Actually, if you're me, it makes you cry a little bit.
I think parents of special needs often find themselves in a conundrum where we have to learn to separate what is simply normal childhood behavior and developmental change from behaviors that stem from the disorders. Its hard sometimes to tell. I'm afraid if I just chalk something up to normal development, then I'll fail to bring it up to the doctor and it turns out it was important. But if I bring up every little thing that transpires, then I feel like I'm being overly concerned about minutiae.
I'm looking forward to the passing of this phase, if that's indeed what it is. I know my daughter went through one similar, but I don't remember it being as bad as this or as prolonged. Maybe its something like what we do mentally with childbirth - it sucks while its happening, but after its over we tend to forget some of the more unpleasant details in act of self-preservation. We remember it as being better than it actually was, which is nature's way of ensuring we might be fooled into doing it again at some point in the future.
This WILL pass, right?