Editor’s Note: I started this post two years ago, but never finished it.
On the eve of Father’s Day (granted, a made up celebration only to serve as a complement to Mother’s Day, equally as invented), while putting MC to sleep, she told me she hated me.
My offense was telling her to go to bed and she’s a stubborn three-year-old.
One weakness of fatherhood is we are all biased. We all have had some experience of fatherhood already that leaves us with baggage as we search for fatherhood with our own kids. Some of us lacked a father figure at home at all, others of us had flawed fathers dealing with their own demons, perhaps still others had picture perfect fathers and struggle to meet that expectation.
I was not hurt by her saying that. As harsh as this sounds, I know she is a senseless child who doesn’t know nor means what she says, at least today.
Fast forwarding two years from then until now, MC doesn’t say she hates me often anymore. Now, she says that I hate her when I stand my ground on something she doesn’t want to do.
I fear it isn’t just a phase. I fear she’ll think any attempt to advise her is originated out of hate, not love. Of all of the difficult moments of fatherhood, those moments are the ones that dig at me the most now. Oh how I wish she’d call me names instead of thinking I hate her. She’s only five, so there’s time, but what are the teenage years going to be like?
Never mind, don’t answer that.