10 July 2007

Bullying in Jenna's social group

This morning Morgan found a bag of crisps that Martin had left lying around. She didn’t eat them but she did make a terrible mess. Jenna got the hoover out, unwound the cable, plugged it in, and released the handle to angle it. Then she realised that she couldn’t reach the on switch with the head angled, and shouted for help. All of this before I realised that any mess had been made!

The new dryer finally arrived at 9am so I was able to get them out to soft play, which is a real plus. We’ve done so well living without the dryer that I pretty much hope not to use the thing but we need the standby to prevent me having to buy emergency nappies. :) Morgan loves the soft play stuff; she is so brave and so energetic. And today, Jenna ordered her own dinner at the counter and paid for it.

One thing marred my day, and I’m still brought to tears by it this evening… We had our first incidence off bullying, of the in crowd and the rejection, of girly bitchiness. My heart is breaking for my little girl that any of this should be a part of her world; it’s just not fair. I suppose that if I want her to mix with other children then that sort of thing will go on whatever I do and however I supervise who she spends time with, but it’s another thing that can’t help but make me a little glad that she won’t have that on a grand scale if I don’t school her.

Three or four little girls about Jenna’s age were playing under a baby blanket, and Jenna went to join her friend Tamsin from next door. She was evicted from under the blanket and told to get lost. She looked grey-faced, hurt and angry, and tried to whip the blanket off their heads. They took it back, screeching at her, and shoved her away saying that she was not invited and was not allowed to play with them because “we don’t like you, you’re not our friend, we’re playing together because we’re best friends”. :(

So Jenna wandered off to “read” to the babies. I was a little relieved not to have to intervene as none of the other parents had noticed and I really didn’t want to go over the top – I was honestly in danger of crying hysterically and taking her home (lol). She didn’t seem too shaken though, and calmly told stories to the smaller children, lighting up in that way she does when she talks to them. I was so proud! Every few minutes one of the in crowd under the blanket would call her name, and she would look up, only to be told, “We don’t want you. Go away!”

It hurt me a whole lot more than it hurt her. Twenty minutes later Jenna and Tamsin were building houses with the soft bricks together without a harsh word between them, so clearly it wasn’t that big a deal. Oh but it hurt, that sting of knowledge that she will have to handle cruelty and childishness and hatred and rejection her whole life and I WILL NOT BE ABLE TO PROTECT HER any more than I could today in such a trivial way.

You can be sure I put a major stop to it later on when Jenna told another little girl that she couldn’t play in the newly erected brick house with the two of them “because Tamsin is my best friend.”

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