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The Day I Killed My Daughter's Pony

At 20-months old, I can hardly believe the spirit and expressiveness I see in Averi. She squeals in delight when we hold her upside-down and tickle her legs. She has this hilarious, throaty laugh that is reserved only for JJ when he chases her around the house and rams her into the furniture. I stopped him the first few months he did it, but I have since given up. Because she loves it.

She’s like a trained cage fighter.

Averi imitates every word that comes out of her big brother’s mouth, so her vocabulary reads like an episode of “Mighty Machines”:  truck, car, train, combine harvester.

She will climb or hang from anything that will sit still, and she loves heights. The more dangerous the better.

That girl is just like her Mama.

But there is a—how should I say it—challenging side to all this energy and spirit. Averi has from a very young age learned to flip a switch when she doesn’t get her way (which happens more and more often lately). She is capable of emotional outbursts that would make Scarlett O’Hara roll her eyes and say, “Now, THAT was a bit over-the-top.”

Again, just like her Mama.

And of all the things that really upset Averi—like when we won’t give her milk, or her blanket, her paci, or her purse—few things get her more upset than when we do this one particular thing.

Here’s what happens:

Every evening we have family worship time where we read from The Rhyme Bible Story Book for Toddlers.

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We then read from a book of children’s prayers…

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…followed by a time of prayer as a family (Brian and I pray while JJ and Averi squeeze each other’s hands until one of them cries).

We then sing a few songs together. Averi loves the music portion of our family worship. She hums along to “The B-I-B-L-E” and “Jesus Loves the Little Children.” She dances around the room when we sing “If You’re Happy and You Know It,” and her face lights up when we sing “This Little Light of Mine.” Her favorite part is when we get to “hide it under a bushel…” because she loves to scream, “NO!!!”

She’s really good at that part.

But—BUT!—if we sing even the first few words of “Jesus Loves Me,” Averi flips.

Absolutely FLIPS.

I don’t know what it is about that song. Does she have bad memories attached to it? Does she hate ballads?

Oh no…is it my voice?

I can’t explain it. The first time Averi burst into tears when we sang “Jesus Loves Me,” we thought she was just tired. But then we sang another song, and she was fine. So we tried again. And again. And again. And every single time, she was fine until we sang that song. Then she’d flip. And when we finished she was fine again.

Actually, it seems really awful when I read that last paragraph out loud to myself because I truly don’t like to see my children cry. But I think we were in such disbelief that a sweet, childhood song could cause that kind of emotional outburst on command. Every time. Without fail.

Guys, I just don’t even know what to do with this information. Because I refuse to let a 20-month-old keep me from singing “Jesus Loves Me.” I’m the parent for Pete’s sake!

But if you could see her face…

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I KNOW!

It’s like I gave her a pony for her birthday, had her give it a special name, let her ride it a few times…and then cooked it for dinner. And I know that seems morbid, but THIS is the kind of drama we’re dealing with here. This face screams, “My mother killed my pony!”

Now, y’all know I would never post a photo like this if Averi had physically injured herself or was in some sort of emotional turmoil. But we’re talking about “Jesus Loves Me,” here! Can you even believe the size of those tears?!?

After I captured this heart-wrenching photo of the biggest crocodile tears I’ve ever seen, Averi proceeded to throw up.

She THREW UP.

My child got so worked up over “Jesus Loves Me” that she induced vomit.

I just…I don’t know what to say. I can’t even think about adolescent hormones right now.

I. Am. So. Scared.

Send help.

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Comments to "The Day I Killed My Daughter’s Pony"

  1. Karmen

    June 19, 2013

    Oh. My. Goodness! So funny!! Here is my take-away:  you are doing a good job. You are reading from the bible, praying as a family and SINGING worship songs together! Amen! That is the bigger picture that Averi and your son will remember forever. The Jesus Loves Me aversion–hopefully that will be gone like the morning sickness you more than likely had when you were pregnant with her. Thank you for your faithfulness in bringing up your children in a Christian home!

    • katyinacorner

      June 19, 2013

      @Karmen Thanks for the encouragement, Karmen! I can see how their little minds are just absorbing everything we read, pray and sing. It’s encouraging. But it still makes me laugh so hard that she hates that song. 🙂

  2. Stephanie

    June 19, 2013

    We sing “Jesus Loves Me” every night. A couple of months ago, Jackson started yelling “NO MORE JESUS!!” when I’d start singing. Lovely, my son. I just keep praying that he doesn’t yell that at church one day…He DOES seem to be outgrowing his dis-taste for Jesus as I’ve insisted on continuing to sing the song. Whew! 🙂

    • katyinacorner

      June 19, 2013

      @Stephanie Hahaha! No more Jesus? That’s too much. And, you’re so right, that would be both mortifying and absolutely hilarious if he yelled that during church! Please come back and tell me if he ever does. 🙂

  3. CheriBurnett

    June 19, 2013

    My kids do the same thing with the Happy Birthday song. My son, now 18, still doesn’t really like it. (He doesn’t run, scream and hide. But he might quietly leave the room.)  And out of 5 kids, I have only had one that we could sing this song to with out drama and tears. We eventually stopped even trying to sing it to them. We do Birthday wishes and let them blow out candles.

    • katyinacorner

      June 19, 2013

      CheriBurnett Seriously? So, it’s not just my kid? Cheri, that is too funny. Maybe all the pyrotechnics that normally take place during “Happy Birthday” are the issue. I bet if we started juggling flaming batons during “Jesus Loves Me,” she would LOVE it. That girl is wild.

  4. SusanPayne

    June 19, 2013

    Wow! My son once induced vomiting when he got so upset, but not over a song. I can’t remember what it was about now, to be honest, but at the time, it was clear that he really didn’t like (whatever it was). Oh my, see what two kids have done to my memory? This is why moms need to blog and scrap book, because the brain turns to swiss cheese at some point. From my own childhood, I remember a lady at church used to bring a dummy for special occasions. Most of the kids liked it, but my brother HATED it. One time, the lady told us that if anybody touched the dummy that she would put him in the case and not bring him out again. My brother marched right up there and touched it on the knee. Ok this has nothing to do with your situation, except that it had to do with churchy stuff and something that bothered us as kids, although I can see why a dummy is a lot more bothersome than a song. Maybe try some other songs since something about it bothers her. Maybe Deep and Wide? That’s fun with hand motions. My sunday school teachers also sang others like, “Do your ears hang low?” (not sure how that related to church though. At any rate, I agree with the other poster – you’re raising your kids great and you know, I think it’s a positive thing that your daughter feels secure to be able to express her distaste for a song. Maybe try it again in a couple years – maybe she’ll like it better then. Or not. Good luck! 🙂

    • katyinacorner

      June 19, 2013

      SusanPayne Susan, I’m with you on the memory thing. I swore that half of my brain was delivered with each baby. So, what I have left is pretty much the nonsense that takes place on this blog. Thanks for sharing your stories and for the encouragement! Your dummy story reminded me that I should bring out one of our puppets and have him sing “Jesus Loves Me.” The kids do anything “The King” tells them to do. It’s hilarious. I’ll have to get it on video sometime.

  5. MarianneGarciaF

    June 19, 2013

    Dear Katy, I wouldn’t worry about it, she just doesn’t particularly like that song…but you are able to sing others and read from the Bible, so be happy about that… Axel (4.6) has had tantrums like this about stuff we don’t get either! AND has induced vomit too… all over his mother just after she got ready to  leave the house in the morning….NOT HAPPY! But! being a Child Development Major, THIS is NORMAL! Not that we like it, but we all did it…and it will continue…she’ll get hers too when she becomes a Mommy. 🙂 ..and then she’ll come to you and you’ll have a laugh about it. “Mom remember when I would get sooooo upset about you singing the “Jesus” song??”..trust me.. 😉 
    I love your posts! Keep ’em comming! 
    PS: How old is JJ? He should be off his pasifier if you don’t want to spend a lot of money on braces ( my dad’s a dentist) 🙂

    • katyinacorner

      June 19, 2013

      MarianneGarciaF The pacifier is a pretty rare thing any more (only bed time, nap time, prayer time, and any time we’re in the car on a long trip, or a short trip, or when we send him to his room during a tantrum, or when I’m too stressed out to stop him). That’s it. 🙂 My hope is that he’ll keep his paci until at least college so he’ll agree that he should pay for his own braces. Ha! Totally kidding!!!

  6. Amanda

    June 19, 2013

    My 3 year old does the SAME thing when I try to sing Jesus loves me!!  He has done it since he was about 18 months!  Crazy….He will let me sing any other song, but he doesn’t like that one.  Now he just screams, “No!  Not dat song!”

    • katyinacorner

      June 19, 2013

      @Amanda REALLY? So it’s not just my kid? Whew! Thanks for the comment, Amanda! You made me feel better. 🙂

  7. Cheri Burnett

    June 19, 2013

    I commented on your post that my kids do the same thing over the Happy Birthday song. Ruins their whole birthday party. They are upset the entire day afterward. All tho Jesus loves me is similar to the birthday song in rhythms they have no problem with it…

  8. Rob

    June 19, 2013

    Have you tried humming it to identify whether it’s the words, beat, or some combination of both?
    -The Giant Genius

    • katyinacorner

      June 19, 2013

      @Rob STOP THE PRESSES! My Giant Genius Cousin reads my blog? I feel so honored!!!

  9. Elissa R

    June 19, 2013

    hahahahha that is hilarious! Sofi doesn’t let me sing… period. She’s like the boss of the house, or something, and that’s WRONG! I grew up being a princess, and singing along them, you know? And now, my daughter Sofia, has changed her name to Princess Aurora ( that’s how she corrects me every time we get asked what’s her name), and when I get so happy that I want to sing along my princesses gals, she screams at the top of her lungs ” MAMI STOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOP! NO SINGINGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!!!” even when I just lip sync, she does not like it at all. And I’m like, well maybe is her time to enjoy the princess phase, but it’s the same with my boyfriend JT and my favorite song at the time “Mirrors” hahaha I can’tever sing the song!!!!!!!! And that make’s me sad.
    And I think the crocodile tears are a girl thing, because Sofi can be nominated for an Oscar when she cries..

    • katyinacorner

      June 22, 2013

      Elissa R JJ cries when I sing too, but I think it has more to do with my voice than the choice of song. 🙂 Elisaa, I think it’s so funny that she makes you call her Princess Aurora. It is for this reason that I REFUSE to let Averi watch princess movies. Ha!

  10. Katie

    June 21, 2013

    For us, it was Yee Haw! My husband is a Texan and when our son was a baby, my husband told me that his next oldest son would FREAK if you said Yee Haw. So of course I told him to try it on our son. Ya know, curiosity and all that. My son totally freaked out. If you even whisper yee haw, he would freak out. I have pictures and a scrapbook page about it and everything.

    • katyinacorner

      June 22, 2013

      @Katie That is hilarious! I’m convinced that our kids pick something they know is special to us and choose to hate it just to prove a point. Or maybe it’s completely random. Still not sure. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your story, Katie!

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