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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Girls and Friendships

Growing up with four sisters, I wanted all boys. I had enough girl drama to last me a lifetime. I honestly do not know how my parents did it with five of us. The primping and the singing and the dancing and the fighting and the crying and the hormones, my God, the hormones. I only have two and I am pulling my hair out and one of them doesn't even speak clearly yet.

I had no idea how much I wanted a little girl until they told me I was having one. I wanted Nico to have a brother because I was so close to my sisters and I wanted that for him and I really, really loved raising a boy. Nico would throw a fit from time to time but always bounced back fairly quickly and I don't think he ever rolled his eyes at me. He was really stubborn but so am I so he learned quickly that he could dig his heels in about something but I was still going to win. When they told me I was pregnant with a little girl, I was over the moon. I couldn't wait to pink everything up. I couldn't wait to buy Barbies and dolls and dresses and fix her hair. I could not wait! I had images of Mother/Daughter teas and shopping for clothes together. When I found out Gia was a girl, I was so happy because I wanted Belle to have a sister. Again, I had images of my girls and me going to the spa and doing fun girly things together. So far, not a lot of fun stuff and a lot more huffing and puffing, and yelling than I had thought.

I love my daughters with all of my heart and for the most part, Belle is happy and has a bunch of friends from different parts of her life (dance, school, cheer, neighborhood and Nico's friends' siblings) but that doesn't mean that there aren't rough days. This might be harsh and totally generalizing but girls are mean. I don't mean that my girls are mean, though one minute Belle loves me and wants to cuddle and the next she is rolling her eyes, stomping her feet and yelling that I don't understand anything. I mean that in general, girls are mean. I won't ever say, "Not my child" because although she has had nights where she has cried to me about how rough it is, we really don't know what goes on when we are not around. I have seen kids be as sweet as pie to their parents and turn around and be nasty to kids (when I was teaching, not any of Belle's friends) so though we can think, "Oh, my kid would never be mean to another kid", we really don't know that for sure. I do know that a kid is not mean just because she doesn't like or doesn't want to be with my daughter. That's not what I am talking about and I am not just talking about 4th grade though it seems to start then. I am talking about girls feeling the need to be in everyone's business, making more out of things than need be, talking behind each other's backs, trying to sway other girls from not liking someone or fighting over each other. Just all around nastiness. It's been my experience that with boys, they just grow apart or all of a sudden stop playing or hanging together. Boys seem to not have a specific reason for anything other than convenience and things in common.

It seems that school, these days, is survival of the fittest. Make a friend and hope that they will have your back and that every Saturday is spent playing with that friend and again, this is just my experience, but kids these days can't have just one friend. They have to have 3 or 4 and where there are 3 or 4, there is conflict. I'm sure I am doing my children no favors by not letting them play with their friends during the week but I just can't do it. I revolve my schedule around them all weekend. I don't want to do it during the week when there is homework, practice, dinner and the "witching hour" with Gia. All for what? So that they can have two hours with a friend. I do feel bad when someone calls and I say no because Belle cries that "Great, now she is never going to call me again and she's going to call so and so and they are going to be best friends and I'm always going to be left out because when she calls me, the answer is always no." So, do I trade what little sanity I have left in order to make sure that Belle's friends keep calling her or do I stand my ground and hope that they will like her in spite of her family's chaos? Again the difference between boys and girls: Tommy gives me just as hard of a time about not being able to be with friends during the week but it's never for the reason that they won't want to be friends with him anymore.

While on the subject, why is it so hard to teach them or rather for them to learn how to be a good friend? Personally, I think it's because most girls are ruled by their emotions. Logic flies out the window when your feelings are hurt. Sometimes the hardest lesson to teach them is which friends are good enough friends to fight to keep the friendship and which ones aren't so it's best to walk away. As adults how many of us have been in the situation where a friend has hurt us over and over again but we couldn't let go or we found out that a friend we had really isn't a friend at all? If we have a hard time dealing with those feelings as adults, how can we expect kids to know how to deal with them?

Why is it so hard for girls to just be nice to everyone (well boys, too but this post isn't about them)?

I tried to edit this but uploading from my phone, I'm still a little clueless. Of course Tommy had to get in the pic.

Proof that we do go outside.


At April 5, 2012 at 11:47 AM , Blogger Missy | Literal Mom said...

My oldest is in 4th grade too. And it's been a challenging year. I feel your pain. Let's help each other through it!

At April 5, 2012 at 12:23 PM , Blogger AnnMarie said...

That sounds good to me! I could use the support in knowing it's not just me. :)


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