I Hate You
Nothing can really prepare you for the first time your child tells you they “hate you”. I guess I was just hoping to have one of those father/son relationships that are so perfect that he would go through his entire life without saying it. Well, that’s out the window.
It was the Friday before Valentines day. I purchased a locket for Gayle to wear around her neck. It was in a box on our coffee table (bad placement on my part). Noble went to grab it, and I firmly made him aware of my disapproval of that. He grabbed it anyway and began to open it. I made it crystal clear my objection to what he was doing. Then when he started opening it, I very loudly, very unfriendly like, told him not to open it. He sets the box down, storms into his room, closes the door, and I hear, “I hate you”.
I’m pretty sure that’s in the top 10 worst feelings in the world. Initially, I wanted to give him a reason to hate me. I forced him to get his little butt back over to me and I tried to explain to him what hate meant. Deep down I KNEW he didn’t truly hate me, but regardless of that knowledge, it still made me feel like a big pile of crud.
I think my explanation worked. I told him that “I hate you” means you want to hurt someone’s feelings really badly, and you want them to feel sad. So he gets it now. And the bonus of my son “getting” something is that he now uses that sentiment DAILY! He uses it like this: “Dad, we don’t say I hate you. We don’t say butthole, and we don’t say stupid”. At some point I’m gonna have to stop having things we don’t say in our house. Because this list just keeps getting bigger. Pretty soon it will be like a George Carlin bit: “Dad, we don’t say shit, fuck, piss, asshole, butthole, dumbshit, mohterfucker, bitch, hate, stupid, and fartface”