The things that will never make it in the baby books and other musings from a stay at home mom

Monday, December 19, 2005

The flip side of social growth and development: a play in three short acts

The Scene: Julia's school Chanukah party

Act One: Julia and her best friend dance happily, hand in hand, to the holiday music. Another little girl approaches them and tries to join in on the dance. They clutch hands even tighter and refuse to let her in. The child gives up and walks away sadly. Julia's friend's mother tries to include the third child in the circle and the girls suddenly become tired of dancing and refuse to continue.

Act Two: One of Julia's favorite children in the whole world (and one for whom I hold a particular soft spot) asks Julia and her best friend to pose for a picture with her. The girls line up for the photo, and chaos ensues. Julia and her best friend staunchly refuse to let the child pose between them. When she tries to break through, they simply circle around again to each other, giggling. Finally, the mothers intervene and line the girls up. No one is smiling in the picture.

Act Three: The same little girl tries to follow Julia and her best friend over to the puzzle table, where they ignore her completely. She walks away crying. I shepherd her back to the table and encourage the girls to play in a group. My success is limited and fleeting.

It's a sad, but established fact that girls can often be catty and exclusive. I remember this from my own childhood and I remember how much it hurt. I've seen it happen to Julia on occasion and that hurt me, too. But watching my child be the one to inflict the pain on others? That hurt the most of all, by far.

My little girl is growing up, and I don't like it one bit.


At 3:27 PM, Blogger Kristy said...

Why is it that this seems to be in our genetic material? A rare case where I must tip my hat to the men in this world...

At 3:39 PM, Anonymous Gretchen said...

I, who am rumored to possess a secret Y chromosome and who am just now re-acquiring the hang of having female friends, am not saying a word except to point out (a) I just had a baby girl and (b) oh sh*t.

At 5:37 PM, Blogger Steph said...

We've been on both sides of this one over here, too. Actually when it happened a couple months ago, I went searching through your archives to see how you dealt with it ;)

I'm not looking forward to when this plays out in my own house between my two daughters and not just on the playground. Sigh.

At 9:33 PM, Blogger Lisa(lildaus) said...

OH, I feel for you... Emma *just* turned 3, and I hear, "Mia is my *best* friend. Alayna is NOT my best friend."

Oy vey.......


At 3:35 PM, Blogger Jennifer said...

This is exactly why I was afraid to have a girl. This. This and memories of 7th grade. Seriously. My girlie just turned 3 and is already fond of stomping her foot and announcing, "I don't like you!" when she's unhappy with someone. *sigh*.

At 6:02 PM, Blogger Rosemary said...

It wasn't so much the clique-ishness (not so much of that) but the ways girl fought that bothered me. I used to tell mine to go outside in the backyard and slug it out - and come back when they when they were done. (I grew up in the middle of 5 brothers -- and, btw, they never did slug it out.)


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