Today's Chai Latte refused to come home with me. It was a sad day. I bet it tasted like crap anyway.
This afternoon, after lunch, I told Anna she needed to have a nap if we were going to have dinner and play time with our friends that evening. She grudgingly agreed and put her tiny, lovely paw in my less tiny, less lovely paw and we went upstairs together.
Suddenly, with a look of panic, she shouts, "I left my gloves downstairs! I need my gloves to nap!"
She is talking about the pair of latex gloves I gave her after she saw me using a pair to dye my hair. She thought they looked fun and begged me for a pair, which I gladly gave her. Cheaper than a Barbie, as puzzling as her desire seemed to me. She carried them around for a bit and I think she may have kissed the wadded up latex in her hand, but I can't be sure. After about half an hour, she left them forgotten in the family room in the basement. Conveniently at nap time, the little stalling genius can't live without them. I tell her I am not going down two flights of stairs to get her latex gloves to have a nap with, her blanket and Mousie are right here. I also doubt the safety of a four year old sleeping with latex gloves. With my worrywart mother's brain, I imagine her inhaling them and choking. "Tragic death by latex glove while pre-schooler takes nap, mom arrested for stupidity," I can see the headlines in my head.
My refusal and her tiredness result in a semi-tantrum and she resolutely sits on the floor and begins to cry, "I WANT MY GLOVES! I CAN'T SLEEP WITHOUT MY GLOVES! I WON'T NAP, I'M JUST GOING TO CRY! I WON'T NAP AND YOU CAN'T MAKE ME!" she screams at me, tears streaming down her face.
I sigh. She continues to cry while giving me death glares. All this over a beloved pair of latex gloves that have been in her possession for less than two hours.
"You will nap Anna, you are obviously tired. And we have a big evening with our friends tonight and we want to be well rested for that."
"I...HATE YOU!" she screams, with just the barest pause after the word "I" as she thinks of the worst thing she could say to me.
"Meh," I shrug my shoulders, "I hate you too. Let's go to sleep and reassess that statement after your nap," I say. And no, I don't feel bad for telling her I hate her. I don't mean it anymore than she does, but she might as well learn from a young age that words hurt.
I pick her up and we manage to lie down without it coming to blows even while she struggles to remain sitting on the floor. I had promised I would cuddle with her for a little while at the beginning of her nap, so I make a spoon for her with my body, but she refuses to tuck herself into it as she continues to cry and yell that she DOESN'T WANT TO BE COVERED UP. Oh for cripes sake, fine, no covers, but I'm cold little chicken so I'm going under them. She sniffs a couple times and stops crying, and finally thinking better of the situation, she slides over and snuggles up to me. We lie under the covers and this is the conversation we have:
"I like spring. I like the grass and the sun. It's pretty outside. Do we have to sleep? I'm not tired."
"I like spring too, I love the warm air. And yes, you have to sleep, you are tired."
"Okay. I like the warm air too. I like the water and the beach. The sand is warm."
"Me too. I like swimming outside and I like the ocean."
"I like - oh me too. I like the bunnies. It's pretty outside right now."
"I like the birds and how happy their songs are. Anna, do you hate me?"
After a moment and without looking at me, she shakes her head, "No, I love you."
"Good. Because I don't hate you either. I love you more than I love spring. I love you more than the moon and the stars and the sun in the sky. Please don't tell me you hate me, it hurts my feelings."
And we lie there. I put my palm on the side of her face because it helps to calm her mind and heart and get her ready to sleep. It always has, since she was a newborn. If I move my hand, she pulls it back and places it on her face again. She begins to hug my arm and hand and kiss it, "I love you mummy, you are all mine and I am never letting you go."
Okay baby, I will never let you go either.