Emily came home from school the other day all happy, happy, joy, joy and then all of a sudden she says this:
I do not want any Birthday presents this year. Or a party. As a matter of fact, I do not want you to even say Happy Birthday. And no cake. Or cards.
To which I reply:
Is this like when you turned 4 and I couldn’t put 4 candles on your cake because you still wanted to be a little, little big girl and you didn’t want to grow up?
Now my momdar (think radar) is at red alert. Something must be wrong. Who doesn’t want any of this stuff? More importantly, why? All of a sudden the phone rings and it is my mom. Apparently Emily told her the same thing in the car ride home from school and now she is worried too. Specifically, my mom says, “this is troubling.” And I really do not want to hear that it is troubling from my mother. I know it is troubling. Isn’t she supposed to be the one to soothe me?
We went on with the rest of our day and periodically I would ask her “questions” in case something is indeed bothering her that I do not know about yet. I mean, we know our kids, right? I usually know if something is bothering her before she does. This whole thing is craziness! So just as she is getting ready for bed I start in again with my questions. And this is how the conversation went:
Me: Alright, what is up with you? Nobody doesn’t want to have a birthday. It just doesn’t happen. What is wrong?
Emily: Nothing is wrong! I just do not want a birthday. Okaaaaaaay?
Me: Look, you need to cut it out, now we are worried about you. I got grandma saying that this is troubling and I do not need grandma to be troubled. You need to give me a reason why you don’t want a party. Saying I just do not want one is not a reason.
Meanwhile my voice is growing deeper and louder and I can see she is now the one who is worried and then all of a sudden a light bulb goes off in my head and I settle down and quietly ask this:
Me: Did you want a surprise party?
Emily throws herself down on her bed and starts to cry into her pillow and sobs, “Now I can’t have one if I know about it! You’ve ruined everything! ”
I can handle that.