Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The politics of preschoolers- Monkey in the middle

Who's the bigger kid? Boo and I slide together down a slide at Monkey Joe's, a bouncie warehouse that recently opened in our area of town.

Miss Boo goes flying through the air in the 3 and under bouncie area. Hope there weren't any babies down there!

Maybe you're one of the moms I spoke to a few years ago. You said that the hardest thing for you will be when your daughter goes to school and learns the cruel politics behind the social order of kindergarten girls.

I remember I laughed, thinking it surely wouldn't start in kindergarten. Junior high, certainly. Not kindergarten.

Oh guess what, my friend? You were so right. Only, it begins way earlier than that.

I forget that little girls are just little females. And we allll know how females can be. So funny that the gender that's wired to be the most nurturing can also be the most hurtful.

Today our parent group met at an indoor bouncie castle warehouse. We've been under a heat warning here and the kids are going crazy being cooped up indoors. Today was my date day with Miss Boo. Mom came to watch the babies and Boo and I headed out. She was so excited to see her friend, Hannah. Her bestest friend in the whole wide world!

There is a new girl in our playgroup. After we arrived, the new girl took Hannah's hand and the two of them became fast friends. Miss Boo soon approached them and asked, "Hannah, can I come bounce with you?

The new little girl tightened her grip on Hannah's hand and said, "Say no, Hannah. Say NO!"

Hannah tried to walk to Boo but the little girl yanked her back. "Hannah's coming with me." And with that, she turned around. And Hannah followed her.

My little girl looked up at me with the saddest and most confused expression. My heart just broke into a billion pieces. I knew how she felt. We ALL know how that feels. As women, it's happened to us a dozen times by other women. We know how it feels to suddenly be excluded. How hurtful it is to be an outsider.

At age 3.

I immediately went to the counter and paid extra admission so I could be allowed to jump. (Adults pay 5 dollars each.) I took off my shoes, took Boo's hand, and together we went on every single bouncie slide, bouncie obstacle course, and bouncie bounce house.

I haven't had that much fun in.... a long damn time.

The other kids thought I was crazy. Moms don't usually jump. And if they do, they don't yell their heads off going, "WOOO HOOO THIS IS FUN! YEAHHHHHHHHH!"

I exhausted my child with all of my, "Come on, Boo, let's go here! No, let's do this one now. NO! Let's go on that slide. Come on come on!" Honestly, I think I had more fun than she did. And honestly, why don't they open up one of those places just for adults??? It would make a killing . A bouncie warehouse that sells beer. They'd never get insurance.

Later, when Hannah couldn't find her mommy and was in sobbing gasping tears, and her new friend was nowhere in sight, Narnia took her hand, patted it, and said, "It's Ok, Hannah. We'll find your Mommy."

Oh, my little girl. She's so sensitive. So sweet, so sensitive, not the slightest big aggressive or ambitious or pushy. She's a follower. Her feelings get hurt in a second. She's always been that way, too. She's overly sensitive and nothing I do or say has changed that in all her short years on this earth.

My only hope is that she toughens up, or she will never survive the bitchiness she is about to be subjected to when she starts school.

Boo felt slightly better when a duo of six year old boys entered our bouncie castle. They began rough housing, and Boo was so tickled. She was actually falling over with laughter. The boys realized they had an audience and began showing off for her. They put on a big show, while saying, "Watch me! No watch ME!"

I watched Boo, watching them. Rejected by the girls as the boys fell over themselves to make her laugh.

Oh yeah. If that trend continues, school is going to be a nightmare for Miss Boo.


Tennis said...

Is this place called Bounce U? It's an awesome alright!

Anonymous said...

So who's the new girl in the group??

Mutha said...

It's Monkey Joes. It's pretty interesting in there. Bad customer service, not a lot of employees to police the kids on the bigger slides, as with Bounce U. But I think it will put Bounce U out of business! I plan on writing a review on my "other" blog.

Shannon said...

Awh. That breaks my heart. I was that girl, just like Narnia. And sadly, school did beat me up. No matter how hard I tried...

I've always wondered just what in the carnation I could say to my child, should I have one and should it be a girl, if this kind of thing happens to her in school. :-( I have NO clue.

JaenShaesMom said...

How heartbreaking! I cried myself to sleep the night Jaedyn came home from kindergarten one day and said none of the children would play with her a recess. I even went to school the next day to see if I was dressing her in stupid-looking clothes or doing her hair weird or something. It broke my heart, but she worked through it (without me *sniff*) and is much stronger for it. I, on the other hand, broke into a million pieces that day.

Dana said...

Hey, look at the bright side, when Narnia gets older, and she's beautiful, successful, and has a hot man, those mean girls will still be ugly (inside & out), be high school dropouts, and be driving down to Clayton to bail their men out of jail. :P

HK Muse said...

I is uncanny how much Boo and Avie look alike!

Katie said...

Oh - poor baby. I remember very well. Happens to all of us. I was the 4th grade parriah for some reason. Still makes me shudder. SOunds like you made the best of it for her though. Sounds fun. I may have to take Sofie over there

Tennis said...

"So who's the new girl in the group??"

What new girl?

Mutha said...

We have a parenting group and new moms and children come join us on outings all the time. This is a lovely little girl who just joined. The other girl I am talking about is also lovely. I just think when you put girls together, there's trouble. At any age!!