This morning, in the car.
Isabella: You know those Snuggie things? They really are just like big sweaters, huh?
Josh: No! They are blankets! BLANKETS!
Isabella: But, Josh, they have HOODS. Hoods are for sweaters; not blankets. And they have sleeves.
Josh: They are blankets.
Eye roll from Emily.
Oh, with the eye roll.
If I had a dollar for each eye roll I see on her punim daily…I could afford to buy me a macbook. or eight. Alas, I don’t, and I had to settle for an HP one instead. But, don’t get me wrong, I’m pretty gosh darn excited to get that puppy, if they could just send it from Shanghai already. I am sick of using a keyboard without an R and L. And the camera. I REALLY want the camera. My friends in Toronto keep skyping me but skype reaaaaaally doesn’t work all that well without the camera.
But, yes, enough about me and my sweet new laptop…and more about eyerolling, which, you know is a perfect segue into what I wanted to talk about this morning. I just came back from a third-grade-moms-of-girls meeting at Emily’s school. It seems – I have discovered – that my Emily is a wee bit of a bully. I know. THIS IS THE FACE OF A BULLY.
Not in a “I am big and bad and hungry and I’m going to steal your lunch money and punch you in your meat face” type of way. Oh no, girls are much more subtle than that. Girls eyeroll. Girls put one hand on their hip. Girls turn their bodies away from you. Girls ignore. Girls give the silent treatment. I mean, sure, we all like to think that our daughters go off to school every day and it’s all rainbows and unicorns and all the girls sit in a nifty little chain and braid each others’ hair and give each other the chills and sing kumbayah while roasting marshmallows on the playground at recess. But, sigh, life it not like that at all.
and while my daughter is no Regina George and never shouts “Gretchen, stop trying to make fetch happen” and calling her friends whores and losers and forcing her friends to tell her she’s perfect all the time..
But I am nervous for Emily. I worry for my daughter. A few of the moms at this meeting worried for their children in other ways. My heart broke for the mom who said that her one wish for her daughter was that ONE morning she would wake up and WANT to go to school. My heart broke for the mom who hates the no one wants to play with her daughter. For the mom whose daughter is, well, a victim.
Emily is different. Emily is outgoing. Emily started her first day at a brand new school in a brand new country and while I stressed for her, she happily ran into school and came home with a laundry list of phone numbers and awesome new friends that she calls on the phone and plans sleepover and playdates with. Which, you know, I thought was good. I was happy for her that she had no adjustment issues.
But, I didn’t really ever stop to think about the girls who don’t have the confidence that she has. Or the positive self esteem that I could only dream that I possessed a quarter of. Or the leadership abilities. Or the adaptability she’s got. I mean, here these moms want their kids to like going to school for just one day and my child? she never wants to come home.
And I certainly never thought she was a BULLY. I never thought she was MEAN GIRL. How do I keep her from turning into Regina George? How do I grab her and hold her tight and beg her to just be a kid who likes to play with dolls and ice skate and eat cookies and be silly? How do I help her see the big picture? How do I help her see that while she doesn’t have to be FRIENDS with everyone, a smile and wave does so much more good than no smile at all?
smile and wave.