I know that in your 3 year old mind I am a mean mommy that is too bossy and domineering. I know that you wish I would just follow your little whims and do as you ask, but baby, there are reasons that I answer the way I do and someday (maybe when you read this) you will understand a little bit more about who your momma is raising you to be.
When you say, "Momma, he hit me" and I tell you to stop tattling, I am not telling you that you can never talk to me. I am teaching you that sometimes you have to choose your battles. I am teaching you that sometimes you have to learn to defend yourself and use your words, I am teaching you that sometimes you have to fight your own fight - I am not always going to fight it for you.
When you say, "Momma, I want" and I tell you to pray, it's not because I don't want to give you everything your little heart desires. I am teaching you that I will not always provide you happiness, that happiness can not be purchased at Wal-Mart or Toys R Us, and that the only provider of happiness does not live on Earth. It is not my job to make you happy 24/7, it is my job to keep a roof over your head, food in the refrigerator and to keep you clothed and bathed - anything beyond that you will have to pray for.
When you say, "Momma, carry me" because there is a large crowd that makes you nervous, and I say no and callously walk on - know that the crowd makes me nervous too, but I have to help you find the confidence in your own steps. I have to teach you to have faith in your own two feet to guide you into the crowd. I will not always be able to carry you, I will not always be able to hold your hand. And as much as it pains me to see you so worked up with worry and fear, I am not at all worried that you will be left behind.
When you say, "Momma, I can't do it" and I tell you that you can, it's not because I don't want to put on your shirt or socks or shoes. It's because I want to see the pride and confidence in your face when you realize that you can.
When you say, "Momma, cleaning makes me SO tired" and I nod my head and smile - I am not trying to tell you that cleaning is fun. I am telling you that I understand, I am tired too - the difference is I did not make the mess, did not have the fun that you apparently had, instead I was most likely at work to pay for all of the toys that are now laying scattered throughout my home, and I know just exactly how tiring cleaning can be.
When you say, "Momma, I wanna watch my show" and I say no - it's not because I don't want to watch the Siberian Tiger episode of the Wonder Pets (again). It's because if I do, men in little white coats will come and take me to a sanitarium and you will have to grow up without a mother (and I heard that stepmothers can be really mean when they want to be). You don't want that really - do you?
When you say, "Momma, please don't comb my hair today" and I tell you that I have to - I never really give you the real reason that I have to. I have to comb your hair because birds have been calling me about leasing opportunities and if I don't comb it out and put it up, they will begin squatting in your hair.
When you say, "Momma, smell this" and I refuse, it's not because I don't understand your fascination. It's because I really don't want to smell your fingers - I know where you just had them.
And when you say, "Momma, I love you" and I wrap my arms around you and squeeze you tight, it's because you are growing so frighteningly fast that I just want time, that moment, to freeze in place for just a little while.
You can't fault me for that - right?