Friday, August 21, 2009

Queen Bee at Three


So, after my bursting pride about how compassionate and kind my daughter is, I was horrified this morning. My husband called from pre-school to say that she said she didn't want to sit next a girl because she was "ugly." Hubby tells her that this is not a nice thing to say and that she shouldn't say that. The Babydoll (I think I referred to my daughter this way at some point, so let's go with this moniker) is upset by his reprimand and puts her head down. After he takes my son to his class, Hubby comes back to check on her and now she's sobbing. But she explains that another girl, one who The Babydoll adores but who sometimes says bad words, declared this girl "nasty"; what in the world?!

Hubby finally gets The Babydoll to stop crying and I explain over the phone that in our family, we are nice to everyone and we don't call anyone names. I tell her that even though this other girl said this mean thing, it's still okay for her to play with and be nice to the "nasty" girl. She says okay, but I get the feeling that she'd really rather gain the favor of the queen bee. In recent weeks, we've already had a conversation about not following when other children display bad behavior. I told her then that no matter what any other child is doing, I expect her to follow our family's rules. I was not prepared for this. Not now. I thought that I had a few years to cultivate a kind spirit before I had to be concerned about cliques. And, truthfully, my real concern was that someone would bully The Babydoll, not the other way around. She's small and not always aggressive enough. I already had the speech in my head for my son about how to treat girls--"I will not raise a son who calls girls names or objectifies them in any way. You cannot live in my house and disrespect any woman, no matter how your friends behave." Who knew I'd have to use that speech on my daughter first? At age 3.

I'm concerned, but at least we have time to work on this. Maybe we can find a book that will help explain why this kind of behavior is not okay. One thing is for sure, though--don't spit up in the air; it comes down in your face. The Babydoll doesn't know it yet, but she could just as easily be the designated nasty girl. All it takes is the wrong pair of shoes or an unfortunate hairstyle choice or some embarrassing encounter with a boy; mean girls watch what you do and turn your normal, meaningless moments into social hurricanes. Much better to put the good vibes into the universe.

I think it's time for a playdate with a girl of my choosing . . . .

5 comments:

SchoolboyThug said...

Steel Magnolia, I dropped your goddaughter off at the bus stop this morning before I went to class. The first thing that I noticed was how BIG the other girls were. (It seems unfair that 6th graders have to ride the same bus as pubescent 8th graders.) I also noticed that I was the only parent who waited at the bus stop to ensure that their child got on it safely. (Don't worry. I waited about 100 feet away so she wouldn't be embarrassed, but she was still within my line of vision.) As she turned to get on the bus, she waved bye to me. I almost cried. Here I was parked in my car teary-eyed because my little girl was growing up. I'm afraid for her. Girls can be so mean and that's only from my removed, male perspective.

Justin Narin said...

Well she is just 3, you did the right thing in instructing her but do not over stuff information on about what to do and what not you, guide her she needs that more then anything.


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The Steel Magnolia said...

Ah, the school bus. There are few scarier places on earth.

Ink said...

You're such a good mom! Very thoughtful and good advice...

ck said...

This is exactly how I'm trying to raise my girls to. Compassion, dignity, courage. But you're right. It's so hard. Especially when crap parents out there are undermining everything we do. Guess that means we just work harder, right? (Isn't that the way it always is?)