Girls Are Evil
I’ve been dreading this, having to deal with the real fact that girls are mean, spiteful, hateful creatures.
And by this, I mean little girls. The wee ones.
I’ve been told for some time by other moms, ladies that I respect, that little girls have more loathing than any other creature on earth. They’re catty and callous. They’re jealous and shallow. They stab their friends in the back and then pretend to care.
What? My own kind? My gender? No…uh-uh…no way.
And yesterday I had to swallow hard and accept the fact that from now on, I will have to calm and sooth the evil-girl-byproducts of my daughter’s peers.
Girl-child’s class (pre-kindergarteners, all 5 years old) was supposed to go on a field trip yesterday, to some lovely gardens. I dropped her off at preschool with her sack lunch, her tennis shoes for walking, her sunscreen, and a big kiss and hug and “Have a good time!” They would get on the bus at 8:45 a.m. and return late in the afternoon.
I got a call at work at 9 a.m.
The childcare coordinator of the preschool.
Saying, “I have a little girl in my office who didn’t get to go on the field trip today.”
Oh. Fuck. What, did she beat someone up?
The coordinator couldn’t tell me much, other than as they were getting ready to get on the bus for the field trip, Girl-child threw some sort of fit that her teacher couldn’t deal with, and the snap decision was made to leave her behind. But no one knew EXACTLY what had transpired.
So she let me talk to Girl-child. Who said this:
“We were in standing in line to get on the bus. And they put two kids in each seat. And they said Patricia and Girl-child would sit on one seat together. Then Patricia (Girl-child's voice broke at this point and she started crying)…then Patricia said to me in a mean voice, “I hate you.” And it hurt my feelings. So I said “I hate you too!” But I didn’t, really, I just wanted her to feel as bad as me. Then she told a teacher what I said, and no one would listen to me, and I ran in the corner and cried. And then The Coordinator came and brought me to the office.”
Now Patricia is a friend of Girl-child, they play together every day. What in the world would possess her to say to her friend, “I hate you”? Maybe I’m just old-fashioned, but in my day, saying that to anyone would have gotten me a spanked bottom and a bar of Ivory soap in my mouth.
I talked Girl-child down a bit. I was honest. I said, if a friend of mine said that to me, I probably would have done the same thing, or at least wanted to. BUT, next time, tell a teacher right away, you don’t have to be mean just because your friend was mean. Use your words next time, okay? Even though it’s hard, even if it hurts. Girl-child was afraid I’d be mad at her, and I think it surprised her to hear me sympathetic to her plight.
So I spoke with The Coordinator and filled her in on the story. We’re both grown women, both rational, and agreed that, yeah, actually, we’d probably feel the same way Girl-child did. But talking about it to a teacher first would have been a better choice, albeit one that would have jumped over the instinct of self-preservation. Tough decision there. And because this happened as they were getting on the bus, there was no time to take Girl-child aside and ascertain what happened, talk with Patricia, give a hug. A decision had to be made. I was okay with that. As it turned out, Girl-child hung out with The Coordinator most of the morning, did errands with her, played on her computer. Then Girl-child hung out in the toddler room for the rest of the day. I picked her up just as the bus was returning from the field trip, and ushered her out before she could catch sight of Patricia. I figured, hey, let’s give it overnight and see how tomorrow goes. I couldn’t deal with a face-to-face.
This isn’t the first time little girls have shown this colour. Apparently the girls in her class are apt to say, after an altercation, “Well, you’re NOT invited to my birthday party!” Exclusionary tactics, ah yes, and it makes the recipient of the news always, always cry. One girl went so far as to tell Girl-child, “You were on the list to come to my birthday party, then we crossed you off.” Oh, joy, then we had to have the talk about, “You won’t be invited to every party”, even though in MY day, you wouldn’t discuss parties in public so as not to hurt feelings of the uninvited.
Some mom friends with elementary school daughters have related stories of girls saying to their “friends”, “You smell, I don’t want to sit by you”, “You’re ugly, go away”, “You’re not my friend any more, and I never liked you”. Can you imagine if a friend of yours treated you this way? I’d be incensed. Livid and pissed off.
Maybe it’s just that little girls have not the correct words for what they really want to say, the emotion they want to express, or the desire to be polite. Perhaps what Patricia really wanted to say to Girl-child was, “I’ve been playing with Sofia all morning, I’d really like to sit by her on the trip, if you don’t mind.” That’s a pretty grown-up statement, and somehow we expect children to have the grace of politeness and respect, when really their vocabulary is limited to the feeling of “No”, and then ‘hate’ gets thrown in there.
I read a study years ago that said little boys have more friends, but the relationships aren’t as deep, whereas little girls have fewer friends but with deeper relationships. If this is true, then girls will be subject to greater hurt when a supposed ‘friend’ turns on them. And it doesn’t take much…just a few words said unkindly can throw an emotional curve ball in the mix, and the recipient can either duck or get hit with it. And ducking is almost impossible. Even for big girls.
Maybe I’m making too much of this. I know I have to let Girl-child stand on her own feet. And I was, in all honesty, proud of her for how she handled herself. She turned the ‘hate’ back on the girl. Unfortunately, the timing was off, no one could hear her side of the story, and she missed a field trip. And it didn’t stop her from feeling bad. But she did what she felt was best for her.
I’m astonished that little girls can be so cruel.
Hope to god they change before they become big girls, and I have to deal with them as adults.