I had made arrangements for Sunny to stay with our sitter the day of the conference since I had to work and Sunny didn’t have school. Sitter said it was way easier to have her spend the night, that way they could all sleep in and neither Sitter or her kids or Sunny would have to get up at o’dark thirty for Sunny to be dropped off. I get it…so far, so good.
That evening Sitter texted saying I could bring Sunny anytime and they were having spaghetti if she wanted to come for supper. Sunny hates spaghetti but she wanted to go right then. I asked her if she wanted to eat spaghetti there or stay for supper here and go there afterward. She said she wanted to go right away. I don’t know…it just hit me wrong that she’d rather go there and eat a supper she doesn’t like rather than stay with me longer than she had to.
And stupid me….I said something…..something about it hurting my feelings. She said, “sorry” in this happyish, lilting tone and skipped off to get her pillow. And then I started to cry. I tried not to. I tried to tell myself I was the adult here. This threw Sunny into a tizzy. And she got upset and really apologized but it still didn’t ring true to me. I sometimes wonder how much of anything she does or says is genuine and how much is manipulation to get what she wants. We’ve had several bouts where afterwards, I wonder.
Anyway, I tried to hold it together but couldn’t hold up a distracting conversation through dinner and did have a few tears. She would go back and forth between apologizing and trying to let me know that she did want to be here with me. I don’t know…her actions seem to be speaking louder than words but maybe I’m reading to much into it. She’s a kid, excited to see her friend. I argued with myself about it all evening….ended up feeling glum.
After work the next day was the conference. My first time being on the “parent” side of the table. It was weird…in a good way. Her teacher, who is kind and creative and who we love, had nothing but good things to say about her and although she has some trouble with harder math concepts she is an excellent student. I’m grateful for this since school would be difficult for her if she had tantrums and pouted and argued the way she does at home sometimes. Then I pulled three sweatshirts and jackets out of her locker along with a very odorous lunchbox and a bag full of snack wrappers….