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.