Conversation last night…
Me: Hey, Catie-bug, who’d you play with at school today?
Catie: Nobody. I didn’t play with anybody.
Me: Really? Not even Isabelle?
C: No. I don’t have any friends at school. You’re my only friend.
Me: I’m your ONLY friend? What about Daddy?
C: No. Just you. I just wanna stay with you all day.
[Side note: Dave was sitting a few feet away when this conversation took place. It got a raised eyebrow and a “gee, thanks a lot!” when informed that he wasn’t her friend.]
Me: What about Tracy? Is Tracy your friend?
C: (pause) Yes.
Me: What about Mimi?
C: (probably realizing that I had her on a slippery slope to admitting that she has more than 1 friend) NO! Not Mimi. Just you and Tracy and that’s all. And I only love you.
Me: Well, sweetie, I love you too, more than just about anything in the world. But I love other people too, you know.
C: You do?
Me: Sure. I love Daddy, and Mimi and Pop-Pop, and Tracy and Chris, and [list of basically our entire family tree]. You can love more than one person, and you can have lots of friends, there’s nothing wrong with that.
C: But I don’t want lots of friends, I just want you.
That’s around the point where I gave up. I decided I was going to talk to her teacher today to see if Catie’s acting a little reclusive and sad at daycare, or if she’s just saving it all up to work a guilt trip on me at home. I also think that if Catie knows that both her mommy and her teacher are onto her act, that might put an end to it.
Of course, today when I walked her in, we found out that it’s her teacher’s day off, so there was a fill-in daycare teacher instead. So that conversation will have to wait until tomorrow. (But, one plus: the fill-in teacher is someone who Catie knows and absolutely adores, so I know that if she whines about school when she gets home this evening, she’s full of horse puckey.)
But the thing is, yes, Catie whines about getting dressed for school in the morning, and she talks about hating it when we’re home at night. But as soon as we get there every day, she skips down the hall and is happy and excited to see her friends. She barely even takes two seconds to run over and kiss me good-bye. And on Sunday, she cried when I told her that it was the weekend and she COULDN’T go to school. (“But where are my friends???” *sob*sob*)
So what the hell, kiddo? What on earth are we going to do with you?