Ilya has discovered that her words hold incredible power. She can melt a persons heart by saying, "I love you," and "You're my best friend in the whole world." She can crush a person by saying, "I don't love you," and "go away!"
For reasons that are only fathomable to a two year old, she uses this power on me more than anyone else. I probably get about twenty, "I love you's" in a day but two or three, "I don't love you, mama's," in a day as well. Every time she says this, I feel like I've been punched in the gut. Which is what she wants. Not because she is mean, but because she needs to hear that I love her, or she wants to see what kind of reaction she can cause. Whatever the reason, I've gotten very good and keeping a passive face in the midst of these crushing words.
Besides, I have a secret. Every night, Ilya climbs in bed with me and presses her body so close to mine that I can't move an inch without crushing her. I don't mind in the least. It betrays her truth more than her words ever do.