19 August 2009

Breathe and let go

The quiet antagonism between Jenna and the little girl next door has erupted into feud - well, on one side anyway. They argued over a tennis racket yesterday. It went from, "It's not fair, my turn, I want to play, stop being MEAN to me!" And took off from there.

Other child began to resort to "I'm not your friend any more," and then the big guns "My mummy says you're stupid... My mummy says you're HORRIBLE!" Jenna took this for a while (after all, she was still in posession of the disputed toy). I was standing in the kitchen, not observing, but listening enough to make sure that the disputed toy was returned and that nobody was crying.

Then Morgan (oh Morgan, of COURSE it would be Morgan) bit... a... hole... in... it...

Other child whacks Morgan over the head. Morgan cries and shouts, "not talking a you!!" and storms off. Jenna reciprocates the name calling. I catch on that this is escalating and insist Jenna go and return the racket (which at this point I don't realise is damaged). Jenna comes back inside saying that X won't let her say sorry, that X is never going to talk to her again, and that she is really sad she said nasty things back. "I should have had Grace and walked away, shouldn't I mama?"

Before I could get any more of the story out of her, X is on our doorstep with her mother, demanding an apology from Jenna and wanting to know why her DD has a bruise. Later Jenna tells me that X snatched the racket and it hit her in the face. In the meantime I allow Jenna to hide from the furious ranting barely comprehensible adult on the doorstep, so without satisfaction they storm off to leave me seething to comfort a devastated Jenna - who keeps telling me she is sorry that the mother insulted me, she is so so sorry, she wants to go and talk to them and tell the mother not to be angry!! Ugh.

Then she sat down with her note paper and without prompting wrote, "SOrYY" which she ran and posted through their door. And explained the whole story, sobbing in my arms. And refused to EVER EVER EVER go into our garden again in case the mother shouts at her. And had nightmares all night, crying out in her sleep.

Why do adults behave worse than their children? Why do I seem to be the only person who thinks the fault lies with both parties? Why is it a big deal when one child is hurt if the other has finger nail marks all down her arm (which is clearly visibly NOT accidental)? How on earth am I going to persuade Jenna outside again? How am I going to manage to stay calm with this family when my Mother Bear has been roused??


Jenna is still crying this morning.


  1. OMG you poor things, I am DREADING this sort of thing happening, I got to pieces in conflict situations. Sounds like you handled it exactly like a (gentle but cross) mummy bear should. x

  2. oh hon I really know how heartbreaking this all is, I have been through so many of these situations with my children, all I can say, even though it sounds boring at times.....this to will pass :)
    hugs to you and jenna (((hugs)))

  3. oh poor baby .. big loving hugs from us xxx

  4. Oh that's horrible! I'm so sorry that happened. Jenna is so sweet saying she should've had grace and walked away. I didn't learn how to do that until I was 25 or so!! Smart kid!

  5. Gosh Sarah, what an awful situation. We had a similar thing with an adult terrorising DS1 a while ago. All we could do is reassure him that whilst he may have been in the wrong (unbeknownst to him) the adults reaction was completely unacceptable.

    Jenna sounds as if she was very mature about it, give her a big hug from us, and perhaps next time when you go out in the garden do some really fun things, that will give her some pleasant memories to treasure. If she feels up to it she could even invite the little girl over and put the past behind them.

    I hope the tears and fear stops soon, but it makes you wonder what goes on behind closed doors, if people are willing to be like that in public!

  6. Poor Jenna! Some adults have no concept of maturity.

    I hope Jenna feels better soon xx

  7. Poor Jenna, huge hugs to you both xx

  8. (big squeezy hugs)
    It's so sad that there is so much conflict in the world, between so many different people, and like you say, the adults (who often say things like "Don't be childish.") are so frequently the worst. I hope Jenna and you both recover, though I suspect Jenna will bounce back before you! xx

  9. (((HUGS))) to you and to poor Jenna, also a well done to her for being so mature in the face of the other behaviour. Yes, the fault may have been on both sides but she showed wisdom beyond her years in her attitude

  10. Poor Jenna, she sounds so wise, and it's such a shame when adults treat her like that.

    Hope the situation improves soon,

    Broke Man's Wife


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