As I dropped my daughter off at school today and watched her play in the play yard until it was time for them all to line up, I noticed something that made my heart drop, then angry. Let me give you a little bit of a back story.
On the very first day of school, my daughter tried to make friends with this little girl. Everything seemed to be fine and normal, or at least what I could tell looking through my tear filled eyes. When she came home that night she didn’t really say much, which is normal with her. Like I’ve said before, school seems to be a type of secret society. Parents aren’t cool enough to know what goes on.
The next day, I dropped her off and watched a little bit and I noticed that when my daughter was trying to play with the little girl she made friends with the first day, this other girl (which I will be calling Punk #1 from now on in this post) came up and took the little girl away. My daughter, being the overly friendly child that she is tried to follow them. By this point, it was time for them all to line up and go inside. When I came to pick her up, all the kids were outside picking up the blocks and other toys so that they could go back inside the classroom and get ready to come home.
My daughter finished cleaning and lined up with the rest of the kids, wedging herself next to the first friend that she had made. Then I saw Punk #1 stand between my daughter and the little girl. Some words were exchanged, which I was unable to hear, then I saw my daughter put her hands on her hips, step up to Punk #1 and say something. I can only imagine that it was some type of protest towards Punk #1 because the amount of sassiness coming off my child at that time was larger than herself. A small part of me was saying, “What the heck is she doing?” A much bigger part of me said, “Yeah, that’s right. Stand up for yourself. Mama’s proud!” It’s nice to know that my kid is strong willed and won’t let anyone push her around. So not like her mama, and I am extremely proud of her for having that confidence within herself. When she came out of class and I walked her to the car, I asked her what was going on. She was surprised to know that I had seen the whole thing go down because she didn’t know I was standing there at the fence watching. She shrugged it off at first, but as the night went on she told me what had happened.
Punk #1 flat out told my daughter that the little girl was her friend and that my daughter could no longer be friends with that girl. My solution, why not ask if you ALL can be friends? Apparently, my daughter had already tried that to which Punk #1 replied, “No!”
Next day, little girl doesn’t want to be friends with my daughter anymore, but Punk #1 is being…nice? Hmm…something seems fishy to this mom. Did my child seriously just skip elementary school and middle school all together and go straight into high school? Apparently, Punk #1 doesn’t know what she wants and changed her mind at the end of the day and doesn’t want to be friends anymore. I can ALMOST see why my husband wanted a boy at this point. I try to explain to my daughter that maybe she should go make some NEW friends and leave these girls alone, but she is stubborn.
So, start week 2 of school. Today I dropped her off and watched her play before line up. Then I saw the other 2 little girls (Punk #1 included in that) run to the play structure. They see my daughter, give a distasteful look, and run to the other side of the play structure. My daughter stood there for a second and watched them, then turned around to me, ran to me and gave me a hug. She seemed okay, but my heart dropped a little. Then she ran off and played with a little boy, who wasn’t in her class. I stood there watching my daughter and then eyeing those 2 little girls. I could feel Mama Bear trying to emerge, but then I look at my daughter and she seems happy, so I suppress those feelings.
Then I see Punk #1, with the little girl (now named Punk #2) climb up some bars to where my daughter is standing at the top. Punk #1 sees my daughter, who was seemingly not paying attention to their presence, and Punk #1 stops. Punk #2 says, “Why aren’t you going up?” to which Punk #1 replies, “Emily is there. Climb down.” My daughter didn’t hear any of this, she was too busy playing with the little boy, but mama heard ALL of it. What’s worse is that Punk #1 has recruited 2 more girls to her group. So all the girls climbed down and ran off.
Being the over sensitive person that I am, I teared up while walking back to my car. My daughter seems okay, not angry or upset, so I don’t feel I should say anything to her teacher. It is just upsetting to see 4 and 5 year old kids act this way. I would think that they are too young to develop this kind of negativity towards others on their own. Especially when my kid, who is super loving and friendly, just wants to be friends with everyone.
I guess all I can do is ask her open ended questions at the end of the day and make sure that she is okay. I know this won’t be the last time this happens, it’s only the beginning.
What do you do when you see this happen to your own kids? Especially at such a young age.
Fast forward to pick up time. All parents line up against the fence, feeling much like a prison yard, and watch our children walk out of the classroom in a single file line. My daughter always has the biggest smile on her face when she spots me. The arms beginning waving and her little voice yells out, “Hi Mama!” It always makes me so happy to see her after that long 3 1/2 hour break from one another. Today, though, after she yells “Hi Mama!” I quickly noticed she was wedged between Punks #1 & #2. She looks at me and yells, “We’re friends now! She’s not mean anymore!” Oy! Seriously?!?
As we walk to the car, my daughter says good-bye to which Punk #1 replies, “Bye Best Friend!” Ex-squeeze me? So I look to my daughter and ask her what exactly happened and she told me this:
Today the teacher talked to all of us and said that she wants us ALL to be friendly with one another and to be friends. So then (Punk #1) came up to me and said that she was sorry for being so mean to me and wants to be friends now!
Hmm…interesting. Did the teacher see what I saw? She was watching the kids on the playground when I was.
Whatever the case may be, I’ve still got my eyes on those girls. There is no doubt that my daughter can take care of herself. I guess it’s more for myself to make sure she is okay. It hurts to see your kid alienated from others. I’m just glad, for now, things seem to be copacetic. We’ll see what next week, tomorrow for that matter, brings.