I realize this is something that many, many women struggle with from the daughter and mother side of things. There are a lot of emotions, love, wanting things for them, resenting them, the list goes on and on.
I remember writing an VERY heated entry in to my fourth grade diary about my hatred for my Mother.
I have since come around though.
Since Stella is five though, I really don't consider things complicated. Our biggest issue is that she isn't a fan of brushing her hair and I am a fan of her not looking like a homeless child.
I also loathe the way she dresses. She puts together the most random clothing and not in a quirky, fun way. It looks awful.
But...whatever. I don't have the energy to fight her clothing choices each day and surely this sense of self will make her an amazing woman some day. Or a really lonely lady with lots of cats.
Not my problem. She and I are fine.
Or so I thought.
During one of my recent cleaning binges I found my wedding album under Stella's bed.
I immediately assumed she had taken it to stare at how beautiful I looked in a fancy dress with my hair brushed. She probably thought I was a princess that day.
Then I opened the album to find this.
Now, upon first glance, it looked to me that she had put an X over Alex and my faces.
Surely this was done in a fit of rage over some consequence she was enduring due to our amazing parenting skills.
It's a solid sign of good parenting to have your children hate you from time to time.
It was obvious to me that Stella was the one who had done this given the location of the wedding album, and well, this....
But I took a moment and sat her down and asked her if she knew anything about marking on Daddy and Mommy's faces in our wedding album. She, of course, was shocked to learn that this had happened! She was VERY upset that someone had done this in HER room.
"I did NOT do that Mommy! I didn't put check marks on Daddy's face and X's on yours!"
As I rechecked the album, yep, she had X'd me out and checked Alex.
My daughter is symbolically removing me from my wedding to her father and stamping her approval on him.
This lady is awful...X. This man is amazing...check.
I assume this is some sort of psychologically common idea, but really?!??
I guess there have been signs of her desire to "remove me from the equation."
She almost always prefers Alex to me when given the choice.
She cried when Alex grew a beard because she could never give him a kiss again.
Not too long ago Alex did take Stella on a cute "date" for dinner. In line for food a woman asked Stella if she was dressed like a princess. She quickly replied to the woman, "Yes. I'm out on a date with my Daddy because my Mommy is dead."
I can't tell you how good that feels.
On the flip side, she does always insist I sing to her before she goes to sleep. My song is the only one she wants.
(She might be tone deaf, but it's working for me so whatever.)
That song, Hush Little Baby, is my only hope. Please pray that Stella never figures out how to record me signing to her (or discovers how horrible I sound,) or she might do away with me entirely.
The thing is though, Alex won't be taking her to Anthropologie to do fun stuff like this.
And I think she knows that.
She and I might make it after all.