Thanks for all your comments on that last post. It made me feel a lot better.
My first reation when he says/asks those things is to throw up in my mouth, quite honestly, and I've been scared that I'm causing it by something I've been doing wrong. It is so hard to hear him say that I hate him. And it was scary to mention it here. Perspective was hard to come by.
I agree with y'all that he's a smartypants, of course. Maybe that was part of the big shock this all was -- I wasn't expecting that stuff to come out of a three year old's mouth. Hard to remember that six weeks ago he was labeled as nearly nonverbal by the foster parents that threw him out -- look what love and attention and nutrition does to a child. That he's thinking these things and able to make himself understood bowls me over, but I guess that at three, he's not developed a filter -- he just says what he's thinking when he feels like saying it. This works in ways that don't horrify me, too, as he asks to be held, he asks to be fed (it started when I began scooping the last few spoonfuls of yogurt out of the container, and he really likes it), he wants us to stay in bed with him while he falls asleep, whenever one of us is gone (and when he's at school) he asks where we are even though he knows, he asks for hugs, he wants to call my mom on the phone and tell her about his day, he insists that we sit down at the table with him while he has a snack, and he loves to feed ice cubes to the dogs.
I showed him the photograph of his mom again today after my last post. I talked with him about her beforehand and asked if he'd like to see it. This time he was into it. This picture frame has been at his bedside for most of the last three years, from the time his mother was investigated and he was placed with a family member for the first 18 months of his life. It went with him to foster homes, it went back to his mom's with him, and now it is here. It is a talking frame with a short recorded message. He pushed that button at least thirty times to hear her voice. When he started to lose interest, I told him to say bye bye to her and give her a kiss. I put it away in a safe place (he's three, it is made of glass, I dont want it broken and I'd feel horrible if the message were erased) and told him he could ask me for it anytime. He seemed satisfied with that. For the next few hours, he called me by my first name instead of calling me Mommy, which I think is a pretty good way for him to reconcile the dueling moms concept. That picture frame and the photos of his mom have been with him ten times longer than his mother has. I think he associates "Mommy" more with those photographs than with the person, if that makes sense.
So, yes, thank you for your comments.