Hate Me

As I write this post, the chorus of the song “Hate Me” by Blue October is running through my mind.  I know the rest of the song doesn’t apply to what I am going to write here, but this part does and I dedicate it to my daughter Virginia.

Hate me today
Hate me tomorrow
Hate me for all the things I didn’t do for you
Hate me in ways, yeah ways hard to swallow
Hate me so you can finally see what’s good for you

You see, last weekend, both Klara and Virginia were diagnosed with strep throat.  Over the course of this past week, each day at breakfast and dinner I have told them to take their antibiotics.  Then one day I decided to count the number of pills in each bottle.  Klara was right on course with her antibiotics.  Virginia was somehow five pills behind. When I mentioned it to her, I got an “I forgot”. How could she forget when I was constantly reminding her?  Easily – the child forgets things I say within two seconds of me saying it!  The next day, I counted the pills again, another one behind.  I then yelled at her about taking her antibiotics.  This time (and several more lectures afterwards), I was met with an “I feel fine, I don’t need them!” Insert the mom lecture about antibiotics here.  Over the next couple days each time I would remind her, she would get upset, stating she was fine and didn’t need them – but yes I would make her take one anyway.  Then Thursday when I went to make her take one, I was told she had already taken one I had given her that she found in her backpack!  I reached my point of frustration with this child.  I couldn’t even give her a pill and think she had taken it without watching.  So I said the best thing that came to mind – unfortunately skipping the details in the middle – that in the end strep throat could kill her.  Being  the stubborn and smart kid she is, she did her research and came back to me stating that it wouldn’t kill her and she didn’t need to finish the antibiotics.  She added she has had ear infections in the past and never finished the antibiotics and was fine.  She just didn’t understand the seriousness of strep – or super viruses.  The part I didn’t get across to her was that if strep throat progresses to rheumatic fever, it can cause permanent damage to your heart’s valves, which can be fatal.

That brings us to this morning.  We have our usual Saturday commitments, which she has been trying to get out of, and all of a sudden she was sick – very sick.  Now knowing her attempts to get out of this commitment, I figured she was either being dramatic to get out of going, or she was having a set back from not taking her antibiotics as directed.  I wasn’t letting her get out of anything.  I quickly called our pediatrician and requested to bring her in for the penicillin shot.  One shot, one time, no more antibiotics needed this round of strep.  I made her get ready, so we could run to the doctor, get the shot and then continue on with our plans for the day.

Once we arrived at the pediatrician’s office, I had to explain to the front desk clerk why we were there, I stated, “she hasn’t been taking her antibiotics…” Now of course I didn’t use the words “as directed”, I didn’t have to.  But to Virginia that meant I was stating she hadn’t taken any antibiotics. She started to call me a liar.  I cut her off.  We waited until the nurse was ready, was called back to a room and the conversation was repeated.  Again, she called me a liar.  I asked the nurse to explain to Virginia the consequences of not taking antibiotics for strep.  I was validated when the nurse brought up the very same issue of damage to heart valves that could kill you. Virginia looked at me and mouthed the words, “I hate you.”  The nurse also added that if it didn’t kill you, they have some patients that have to get antibiotic shots monthly for life.  The nurse left and Virginia told me she would rather die than live with me.  I’ll admit that hurt.  That’s not the first time she’s said it.  I’m sure it won’t be the last.  The nurse came in with the shot and explained to Virginia it had to be in the leg and it would hurt.  I’ll admit I was glad it was going to hurt.  I wanted her to understand consequences.  She received the shot, and yes, it hurt.  She was upset.  She was angry.  She hated me with every bit of feeling she had.  I reminded her that I told her once many years ago, that if I didn’t make her hate me at some point, then I wasn’t doing my job correctly as a mother.  I surprised myself with how calm I was able to remain.

On our way out of the office, a limping Virginia picked up a lollipop.  We got to the car, I continued with my motherly lectures, and she continued being obstinate.  As we drove away, she started choking on her lollipop. Suddenly this angry teenager that hated me turned into a little girl who needed me.  Everything in her demeanor changed.  I pulled into Starbucks and ran in and got her cup of water.  That was all she needed to loosen the sharp piece of lollipop in her throat.  But I saw something in the moment.  Something perfect.  I asked her how she would have felt about me if I would have let her choke.  She said it would have been horrible.  I then explained that there is no difference between me not wanting her to suffer with something immediate like choking or with something long-term and life changing like heart damage from not taking antibiotics.  I didn’t want to see her die quickly.  I didn’t want to see her die slowly.  I think a light bulb went off for her.  Mom’s bitching and nagging about antibiotics and even forcing her to get a penicillin shot were not out of a source of maliciousness.  Her demeanor changed.  Her tone of voice changed.  She was back to the sweet Virginia I adore.  I hated to that she choked on the lollipop, but I thank the divine sources that gave me the perfect opportunity to bring clarity to the situation.  We drove home and decided to cancel our commitments for the day.

I know someday she will have the same trouble with her own kids, and she will look back and finally understand why I do and say the things I do.  I hope she never has to hear the words “I hate you” or “I don’t want to live with you” from her children, as they are probably the worst words that a parent can hear…but if she does, I hope she knows that sometimes it’s good to be hated.  It means you’re doing your job correctly as a parent.

Hate me today
Hate me tomorrow
Hate me for all the things I didn’t do for you
Hate me in ways, yeah ways hard to swallow
Hate me so you can finally see what’s good for you

got your back mean

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3 comments on “Hate Me

  1. Beautiful. She will one day (maybe today?) be thankful for all the bitching and nagging you have done. When faced with a life altering decision she is going to look back on those times and make the correct decision. Good job mom!!

  2. Pingback: Blue October | My Inspirations

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