3 days ago
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 . . . .