As I was giving my 2 1/2 yo twins a bath today my son decided he didn't want to be washed. How frustrating I thought...doesn't he know that this is the whole purpose behind a bath?...So of course, I continued to wash him struggling to somehow get him to cooperate. He was in no mood to give in so during my attempts to properly wash him he kept telling me, "I don't like you" and "go away".
It is very trying to hear these words from your child. Somehow, however I was able to remain calm and continue with the task at hand. I don't know if this was because the earth was aligned properly with the moon, or because I remembered to put on my "patient" pants today or the fulfillment of having outside hobbies is starting to make a difference in my life. Whatever the case may be I did not argue with my son. I continued to lovingly bathe him explaining everything I was doing and all the while repeating, "I love you". At first his response to my words was to repeat back that he doesn't like me and would like me to go away. But after asking him to "look at mommy" while I told him "I love you" he caved. His next words were "I love you".
It was important that I not take what he said personally. I understand that at 2 1/2 his anger was a result of not being in control of the situation. At his age he has control over very little. I also realize it isn't my job to fight to keep that control but to understand his frustration and be okay with it. I know that he loves me and doesn't really want me to go away. This is the only way for him to get my attention and get his point across.
I was also trying to instill in my son the belief that no matter what he does or what he says I will continue to love him. That I will care for him even when he is upset and protests. I will always want him and be here for him. My love is truly unconditional. And although I am sure the moment meant very little to him I do believe that over time he will begin to understand the deepness of my love for him.