It's official. My daughter has outgrown me.
I honestly didn't expect it to happen so soon; after all, my daughter is only three. But Boo has obviously found her independence, and she is very clear that my role in her life has been considerably downgraded.
For a start, my daughter is no longer interested in lengthy embraces. "Enough cuddle time Mum!" she will pronounce sternly after seven or eight seconds, leaving me spurned and empty and yearning for more. Or a firm "No thanks, not now, I'm watching Spongeboy," when I offer to play Lego, which is really rather disheartening, as Lego is not at all fun alone.
What's more, Boo she has begun to deny my deep feelings for her. "You don't love me!" she'll yell when I do something to disappoint her, such as insist she has a bath or get into the car. And "You HATE ME!!!!" she'll howl when I do something really cruel, like ask her (very nicely, really) to stop scribbling on the couch.
Thankfully, though, she still retains some compassion. "Hug Mummy!" Boo will sing at random moments, when my arms are full of groceries, or she's sitting on the toilet. And I do it. I hug her, because I never knock back an opportunity, and because there's no way I can deal with another accusation of Not Loving Me.
But despite my unquestioning acquiesence to all of Boo's hug requests, god forbid I offer love at a time when it is not convenient for her. "Go way Mum" she'll tell me, if she's not in the mood. "No kiss! I wipe it all off !" It's not fair, I tell her, but she doesn't listen. Spongebob is on, and she has some scribbling to do on the couch.
At the end of the day, though, Boo is three, and she's old enough to make up her own mind. My role as her mother is to let her go, and respect the distance she has put between us.
When she's awake, that is. When she's asleep, well, that's a different story.
Have you ever kissed a sleeping child? BLISS.