a. "Well, I LOVE you!" and then smother him with kisses.
b. "I hate you more."
c. Fear for your safety and lock your bedroom door at night.
d. Ignore him.
For example, on any given morning, Charlie calmly enters my room and stands over me while I lie in bed. "Hi, Mommy. I just woke up. We are all out of bananas. (He sighs loudly.) You are the worst mom in the world. You never buy bananas! I hate you! (long pause) I'm going to go get dressed." Some kids climb into their parents' bed to snuggle. Charlie effortlessly hurls insults at me. He's like the Simon Cowell of 5 year olds.
Don't get me wrong. He can be sweet and wonderful. Those times are just far and few between at the moment. It catches me so off guard when he is nice boy. I want to run and squeeze him anytime he says something thoughtful.
His bluntness has extended to strangers as well. As we were riding on an airport shuttle bus to pick up our rental car recently, he loudly criticized the people beside us who had failed to secure their luggage on the appropriate shelf. While their suitcases were sliding around, Charlie loudly said, "You should have put your suitcases in there." They stared in disbelief at the 5 year old lecturing them on automobile safety. I wasn't surprised.
I can't help but wonder if his behavior is any way a reflection of me. Am I too blunt? Rude? Mean? [Note to family: These are rhetorical questions. Don't answer them or I will totally hate you. 60-40]
All I know is that it's getting tiresome and he's only 5. Eventually he'll grow out of this. Either that or end up in juvi. The only thing I know for sure is that I have this overwhelming desire to apologize to my own parents for everything mean I ever said to them. To quote Justin Timberlake, "What goes around, comes around." Don't I know it, JT.
Of course as I'm finishing writing this, he comes in, wraps his arms around me and tells me he loves me. Go figure.