Wednesday, January 16, 2008

And So It Begins

I need opinions. I'll take opinions from anyone who has children, or anyone who has ever been a child.

I need to explain to Twinkle that she shouldn't believe everything people tell her (other than me and Mr. Swizzle, of course).

A little background:

Twinkle and the Girl Next Door (GND) have become pretty good friends. They play together often and we carpool with them for school two days/week. GND is 2 years older than Twinkle. She's been getting under my skin lately.

Example #1:
Twinkle, being who she is, collects things. Sticks, rocks, leaves, etc. She had put a couple of sticks on our front porch a week or two ago. Monday, when the girls got home from school they were playing a bit in the driveway while I talked to GND's mom. Suddenly I hear Twinkle whining and yelling, "no, don't do that!" Twinkle is my drama girl, so it sounded like her usual over-reacting. GND was walking away from Twinkle, carrying her precious sticks to throw them into the grass. GND's mom told her not to do that, and GND responded, "I'm afraid she's going to poke my eyes with them. She's swinging them around." My first thought was "Why are you standing close to her if she's swinging sticks?" What I said was, "Twinkle, don't swing the sticks. GND please put them back where they were." OK. Resume talking to GND's mom while watching the girls on the porch. Twinkle lovingly caresses her sticks, puts them where they "belong" and walks away. When she's about 5 feet away, with her back to GND, GND picks up the sticks and starts toward the yard. Twinkle turns around and starts yelling again. GND again says, "I'm afraid she's going to poke my eyes with them. She's swinging them around."

Ahem. I said, "GND, she wasn't close to them and she wasn't holding them. Please put them back. Twinkle, it's time for us to go inside."

Example #2:
Usually when we get to the school in the mornings, we are about 5 minutes early. We spend this time parked in the lot waiting for the doors to open. Twinkle and GND are allowed to unbuckle and walk around in the van. While doing this, they usually play with Sparkle a bit, who is still strapped in her seat. Often, GND will say in a loud enough voice to be sure I hear, "Twinkle, don't ______ Sparkle. She doesn't like that." Fill in the blank: tickle, blow raspberries at, get in her face, whatever. Today, she told Twinkle not to blow on Sparkle (which S likes, by the way) because she was blowing germs on her. It just seems like she's trying to get Twinkle in trouble with me. So, I ignore it.

As we pulled up for them to get out today, GND says, "Twinkle, I see you everyday at recess." Twinkle says, "I know. AF (another friend from across the street) talks about me." "Yeah," GND says. "She says you eat everything." (??? huh) She continues, "Yeah. She says she thinks you eat everything. You eat your chair. You're going to eat Sparkle. You eat sticks." (WTF? Eat Sparkle?) Twinkle says, "I do not. Tell her I don't do that!" As GND started to get out of the van I said, "Twinkle, she doesn't really think that." Twinkle said, "Yes she does!" I said, "Did you hear her say that with your own ears?" She said, "No. But GND told me!" With a kiss as she was about to get out, I said, "That doesn't make it true."

All of this has me thinking. Hmmm. GND went to Public School last year, but only half of the year because the girls in her class were mean to her. This year, the previously mentioned AF and other girls in her class at the homeschool school are mean to her. Hmmmm. What's the common denominator? I've started wondering if they are actually mean, or if she's made that up. If they ARE mean, is there something she does to them first?

GND's mom says that GND loves playing with Twinkle, because the girls her own age are not nice and the younger kids are. AF's mom says that GND doesn't like to play with AF anymore, because she can't boss AF around like she used to.

UGH!! It's a grammar school soap opera!

Sorry this post is so long. I just had to get it out.

I don't want anything I tell Twinkle to get back to GND or her mother as, "MY mom says you're a liar." I need to be careful, but I wonder what other things GND has told Twinkle.


Heather said...

You know, I'm dealing with something sort of similar in that my daughter is being influenced by another girl at school. It's hard to know what to do. We can't pick their "friends" for them. We can't lock them in a closet until they're 30.

I just try to give my daughter suggestions of what to say/do if her "friend" is trying to get her to do something she knows she's not supposed to. "Well, just tell her I don't think I'm going to do that...and find someone else to play with for a while."

As for the other girl and the story-telling, I think it is a pretty normal thing for kids to tell "stories." My daughter has a friend that tells some tall tales every time we get together. I usually just say something like "Oh I don't know about that." or "Hmmm. I'm not sure if that's the way it is." That way she knows that she's not pulling the wool over my eyes as she thinks she is, and my daughter hears that it's not true as well.

Keep us updated. I'd like to hear how you decide to handle it.

Mary Beth said...

Darn, I was hoping to come back and find all kinds of wisdom on this. Because, you know...I have no ideas.