Thursday, December 22, 2011

Reason for Guilt #457

We are on the road and have been visiting friends. For the past two nights, we've hung out with friends for dinner, and our kids have hung out with each other. The kids all seemed to be having a good time, and we grown ups have enjoyed ourselves.

But then tonight I found out that one of the kids kept saying to my Girl, "I hate you." And I am confident it's true because the Boy confirmed it, and he is a truth teller.

I know this kind of thing is typical kid stuff, but I felt so bad for the Girl when she told me that she's been trying to hold back the tears for the past two nights. I had been wondering why, early in the evening tonight, she was telling me she wanted to go home and go to bed (she didn't tell me about the "hating" until we were on the way home). And I feel a little guilty about the way we tossed our kids together and expected them just to hang out and get along while we grown ups had a few drinks and enjoyed our time together. We do it all of the time, of course, and it usually goes well. But tonight I'm feeling bad about it.

I said all of the usual things to her: "Oh maybe he was just trying to get your attention. Maybe he was just having a bad day. In the past, he's talked about how much he likes you!" Blah, blah, blah. But then I also fessed up that sometimes we meet people who don't like us. I told her, "There are even some people who don't like me, which is weird because I'm so awesome."

But still. "Hate" is such a strong word--one that we rarely, if ever, use in our house--and it just never feels good to feel hated. And for two nights in a row, I unknowingly threw my daughter in with the hate. The first night, she avoided the kid*. Tonight, we were at his house, so that was harder. And what will we do the next time we see these friends? Should we say something? Should we let the kids work it out? Sigh. There really are SO many things to feel guilty and uncertain about, aren't there?

But in other news, I just submitted grades! So there's that . . .

And, overall, the trip has been full of merrymaking and awesome family time, which is really fantastic and, I hope, helps my sweet Girl feel very loved**.

*The kid seems like a good kid, so I really don't know what was up. In contrast, his little brother was going around saying "I love you" to everyone. So maybe he was just in an oppositional mood?
**And the Girl really is
not hate-worthy. The proof? In kindergarten, she won an award for being "kind and generous to her classmates." Maybe I need to get her a little badge to wear.


feMOMhist said...

well POO, but I say you did right and helped her to contextualize AND put it in perspective. Fact is, mean people exist everywhere, and we need to help our kids learn to deal with that. If some asshat says shit to me, I don't fall apart, and I want that for my kids. Yes it feels bad to have someone say something mean, but there are ways to cope.

As for what to do in future, I'd coach girl child on what to say to kid/what to do if something like that happens again.

C. Troubadour said...

The Girl is quite the remarkable sweetie. To keep it together while being subjected to the unpleasantness? Not a lot of kids I remember when I was in elementary school let being hated on go without very public complaint/resistance/retaliation. I don't know the first thing about responding to the hate (I have yet to find a comfortable way to handle it on my own, much less teach a kid how), but I do know the Girl has a lot going for her because she keeps an outwardly cool head even when her heart is all bruised up, and she knew how to seek your help. Love to her and to you. You are both awesome.

Gaga said...

I am sure you handled it well. The Girl did, too. She is awesome. Remind her, when you get a chance, how much we all love her. Her Gaga certainly does:)

The Steel Magnolia said...

I'm getting misty here. :( I'm so sorry this happened. My daughter has also bumped into random meanness like this already, too, and it's so hard to respond. I love that you let her know that some (weird, crazy) people don't even like (the very likeable) you.
But I vote for seriously getting/making a badge for her. How awesome would it be to pull that out every time she feels unlikeable?! And could you make one for me, too???

Anonymous said...

Ugggggh. That's so hard. Sorry for Girl!

But hooray for submitting grades.

Hope you all have a lovely holiday!

Elizabeth Sheppard said...

I am so sorry this happened. The boy in question will not keep many friends acting this way. I agree with feMOMhist - maybe preparing the Girl for mean people in the future will help.

If you find the Girl starts taking it to heart, have her say a fantastically good thing about herself every time she says a bad thing.

It's hard to know what to do as a Mom sometimes. But I think being caring and talking about it helps so much. You are doing that, which is the most important thing.

Maybe another great idea will come to you when you are not trying so hard.

Anonymous said...

Tell the Girl that the phuckwit gets NO STICKERS FROM ME!

I had an evil chick hate me in grade school. Still have no idea why. She made going to the bathroom hell because she would stalk me. I vote for doing something special with the Girl, even include her bff, maybe a sleepover or something so she knows that good people care about her.

*holds up a lighter*

unicorn with hugs

Good Enough Woman said...

Thanks for the support and suggestions everybody! I wish I could respond to each of you right now, but we're still on the road, and I don't have much blog time. Also, I'm relying on the iPad and 3G because we don't have wifi--and typing lots of text on the iPad is a real pain in the bootum.

But you guys rock. XOXO