I’m being asked this question a lot at the moment. My 3-year-old wants to know.
What I want to know is, what am I doing wrong to make her continually ask me this question? How do I stop her worrying?
I don’t want her thinking I am cross all the time. I’m not. But, whenever a drink is spilt; some food thrown; heck, even just a toy strewn across the carpet, or when I walk in through the door after a day at work, there it is. That question again.
“You’re not cross are you Mum?”
I’m not cross, I’m really not. And I don’t get cross by Olivia constantly asking the question. I have learnt the art of patience (well, you have no choice when you have children!) and I don’t shout or holler. What I do is tell her that everything is fine; that I’m not cross; that I am happy; that she makes me happy; and her brother makes me happy; and her daddy makes me happy. I smile and cuddle her tightly. She seems reassured and the conversation moves on. Until the next time.
Perhaps I look stern when I don’t mean to. Perhaps this is just the latest, natural stage in our relationship since I returned to work. It has been over 6 months now since I became a full-time working mother once more. The tears have now passed (although Olivia continues to assert that working makes me sad) and she has slowly started to relax her grip on me at bedtime; the need for me to stay by her side until she falls asleep is now waning. I do wonder though, if this questioning of whether or not I am cross is the next step, the new way to get cuddles and attention. Not that she needs an excuse.
No, I don’t get cross but whenever I hear that question I do get sad. Sad that my daughter might see me as some old, cross, bitter woman instead of the smiley, happy, playful mum I want her to see me as.
All I can say Olivia is, no, I’m not cross. I’m in love. With you and your brother and your daddy. I carry you all in my heart and will do so forever.