Friday, June 24, 2011

Sinking to a 6-year old level AKA Becoming my mother in one more way

My daughter is very social. This is not a secret. Every teacher, every report card, every assessment indicates she’s “very social”, “has a lot to say” and “loves to interact.”  She is a really happy kid with the gift of gab and lots of friends.  This is not always good.

Most of my daughter’s friends are great. When she was younger, her friends were the children of my friends. Win-win. Then she developed a stronger opinion (which is no surprise to those that know me.) She is still friendly with many of those kids but has also developed her own network of friends – from school, the neighborhood, ballet class or the barn.  She will make friends in a random check out line or at the park.  Some I know better than others. Some I like. And, well – some I don’t.

I’m pretty much a tell-it-like-it-is kind a person.  Sure, I can play the game and be polite but I generally don’t hide it if I don’t like you.  And, then I discovered I don’t like some of my daughter’s friends. Some with reason and some just rub me the wrong way.  But, I smile, act nice and schedule play dates.  In my head, I refer to them as “frats” – friends who are brats and I just don’t like.  Completely irrational and that is not the point.

Sums up my very mature feelings about one particular friend.
One friend is older and while they play well together most of the time, she is a wee bit too presumptuous in talking about things that may be okay for her (age 11) but not so okay for my 6-1/2 year old.  She’s a bit sneaky and has tried to get my daughter to trade her brand new toy for some piece of crap she was trying to sell in a yard sale.  A classmate is forever playing the “I hate you/you’re my BFF” game.  My daughter actually said, “Oh she likes me today but may not tomorrow.”  Another one may be perfectly nice but every time they play together, I get a call or note from school.  I not only dislike this kid, but also her mother.  Completely irrational. That is not the point.

I have to admit, I had one friend my mother didn’t like.  She could give me no reason – she admitted that. I met this girl in elementary school and was friendly with her through high school. We’ve long since lost touch but we were good friends at the time.  But, over all those years my mother’s opinion never varied. She used to say she seemed sneaky or untrustworthy.  As I got older, my mother got blunter, “No, she can’t sleep over, I don’t like her.” This is the equivalent of “I’m cold, you need to wear a jacket.”  It’s completely irrational but that is not the point.  My mother didn’t even pretend to be polite.  Evidently, I have become my mother. A more polite version but my mother nonetheless.

I want my daughter to be polite and respectful to all people – whether she likes them or not. I want her to know that she doesn’t have to like everyone and that not everyone will like her and that is okay.  You still need to be polite and respectful.  I try to follow my own advice but to be honest, sometimes it’s really hard.  Sometimes I just want to stick my tongue out at them and blow these kids a raspberry – the pre-pubescent version of giving the finger.  

Of course, I would never share these thoughts with my daughter.  Besides, by the time she’s old enough to read and understand this blog, she will no longer be friends with those kids because I will have finished her indoctrination taught her that mother does know best.  Completely irrational, but that is not the point.

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