Posted by AVM

Last week, Lovey told me, “Mommy, I only like sad faces.  I don’t like any happy faces.”  WHAT DID SHE SAY? Was it true?  All my parenting mistakes were bearing fruit here and now?  Is my three-and-a-half-year-old depressed and in need of therapy ALREADY?

Compose yourself, AVM.

“What do you mean, Lovey?  Don’t you like to be happy?  Happy faces feel good, don’t they?  When you have a sad face, that doesn’t feel very good, does it?”   She replied, “NO! I don’t like happy faces!  I only like sad faces.  NO HAPPY FACES!!!”

In full on anxiety mode, the past few weeks flashed before me.  I sure say “No” a lot.  “Don’t touch that.” “Please leave your sister’s toys alone, can’t you see it’s bothering her?”  “You need to take a bath now. NOW.  No, NOW!” Ugh.  Stomach in knots.  No happy faces here.  What’s the answer?  Just accept the fact that three-year-olds are stubborn and defiant?  Is the answer to just lighten up a little (or in my case, A LOT)?  What if I’m doing permanent damage?  And, really, Lovey is such a good kid.  Sweet, loving, bright – she roots for the underdog.  She’s just, well, three.  Deep breath.  I have many years to turn things around.  CHILL OUT, AVM.  Do better.  You know better.  Do better.  I’m not too late, I hope.

And as it turns out, Lovey was playing with a friend who had stickers with emotive faces on them.  All the smiley “happy” faces were blue.  All the frowning “sad” faces were orange.  Lovey loves orange.