The year my daughter turned four was one of the most trying years we've had. It was the first year I'd really seen a true tantrum, and the first time my daughter ever said she hated me.
Of course, at that age, they've really got no idea what hate is. They just say it to be hurtful and to get under your skin; to assert their independence. Even still, the first time those words came out of her mouth, I stepped into the restroom and cried my eyes out. Hearing those words from someone who you've devoted so much of your time and love to hurts...even if you know they don't fully grasp the meaning.
But, after that first time, she said it quite a few more times. Along with, "I want to go live with my dad!" which was equally, if not more hurtful. But, we made it through that year, and as if by magic, her fifth birthday brought back the delightful, sweet child I'd known before.
And now, she's six, and all bets are off. The past month has been filled with crying and tantrums a-plenty. She's locked herself in the room for an entire day, without even eating. She's thrown herself onto the floor and tried stuffing herself behind the couch. She's cried and screamed, and though the h-word hasn't come out just yet, I'm halfway anticipating it.
The trouble is, I've got no idea why. Is she just asserting her independence once more? Is she sad or upset about something? The only information she gives me when I ask her why, is that she misses her grandma...which makes no sense at all, in any of the situations. I feel like it's just a cop out for something else that's bothering her that she doesn't want to mention for some reason.
She's also been obsessed with death lately. She is always so concerned that her grandparents are old and going to die soon (they are only in their 60's and in decent health, so it's not something anyone else is really concerned about) She's also broken down crying, saying that she never wants to have a baby. I haven't the slightest idea why she worries about these things, or why she cries all the time.
We haven't had any major tragedies or life changes lately. It's been nearly a year since her father moved to California (and she is aware that he is moving back VERY soon), and no one has had any real health issues. The only death in the family we have had was a great aunt of mine who she barely knew. I know that things can affect children in different ways than adults, and they often have a hard time expressing how they feel...but I wish I had some sort of key to unlock the WHY of her behavior.
I feel lost and helpless, which is a horrible thing to feel at all, let alone as a mother. I feel like we're on this spiralling roller coaster, and the brakes have gone out, and even the emergency brakes aren't working. It's hard to see when it will finally stop, or how. It's a dreadful feeling.
But, I know this will blow over in time. I've just got to stay strong, and pray for guidance and strength.