If I had a dollar for every time my three year old has told me "Mommy your mean" in the last two days, I'd have, well, a whole lot of dollars.
I'm mean because it's not time for snack yet. He calls me mean for not letting him have another Popsicle. Or because I told him he couldn't have more snack after he'd already had a Popsicle, sour patch kids, and fruit snacks.
I'm mean because HE pooped in his pants and lost his reward.
I'm mean because it's getting dark, and I tell him to come inside for dinner. And because I make him hold my hand when we're crossing the street or walking through a parking lot.
The list of my evil doings goes on.
None of my other children ever called me mean. They've never said they hate me or any such thing. In fact, I like to believe that my older children live in fear of upsetting me. But not this three year old. He pushes me to the count of three then comes running, giggling and grinning, just before I finish counting. He's like Nemo, defiantly swimming out to touch the boat, watching to make sure I see what he's doing just before he does it.
This kid will do the opposite of what I tell him while smiling mischievously, but then, when he faces the consequences of a time out, the tears quickly pool in his eyes and he says, "sorry Mommy."
Despite his tantrums and his flinging of the "mean" word though, he either loves me or really likes to torture me. I'm the only one he'll let get his pajamas on or brush his teeth. Only Mommy can take him potty or get him dressed. No one else can put him in his crib and cover him up.
And as I ponder this, I suddenly understand why my youngest brother seemed to get away with murder in our home. He got to stay up late, eat whatever he wanted when he wanted...he pretty much did as he pleased.
By the time he came along, the Big Bad Mommy Wolf was too tired to fight those battles.
I know how she feels.