“There is no doubt; even a rejection can be the shadow of a caress”.” ― José Ortega y Gasset
It's just something about being three, I think, but Maeve is full to the brim right now with both praise and rejection for Daddy and I. She said to me, as I buckled her into her carseat yesterday: I love going for rides in the car with you, Mom. I love it when you buckle me in. Heart melted. Then, not an hour later, she screamed at me to go away because she wanted to play with Daddy and not me. She informed me, in fact, that she didn't need me for anything, and in the same breath asked me what was for lunch.
Like clockwork, every day when we walk up the stairs to get her ready for her nap or for bedtime, she tells me she doesn't want me to come. So I play along and tell her she can go ahead and get herself ready for bed and tuck herself in, which is immediately followed by whiny cries and begging me to come.
I know all the independence of being three is hard on her. She wants to do it all by herself, she wants me to do it for her, she loves me passionately but really doesn't want me around. It's a little bit like having a tiny, illiterate teenager, only with less eye-rolling. I try to roll with the punches, I really do, but some days it does get under my skin when she pushes me away. I wait for just a minute or two, though, and usually she wants me back again, like dating in middle school.
The secret is, though, I'll always be there for her, whether she's shoving me away or not.