Today Eslyn came home from school upset. She came downstairs obviously covered in my make-up. when she lied about using it she was sent to her room. Whenever she gets in trouble she sends us notes, usually saying that she’s sorry or how much she loves us. Today the notes she sent sown the stairwell made me want to cry. Her note says “I don’t like myself. I’m ugly”. My sweet adorable 7 year old thought she was ugly and needed make-up to feel pretty.
I found her crying in her room, so I sat her down, hugged her tight and asked her why she thought she was ugly. She finally told me she’s ugly because she looks different from the other kids at school, she looks like a rag doll. After a few more minutes she admitted that a girl in her class told her she was funny looking and looked like a rag doll. We’ll call this girl B. (Trust me there are many thing’s the Mamma bear in me wants to call this girl, but it just seems very wrong to say those things about a child).
B is a mean girl. Do you remember the catty, bitchy girl from high school or perhaps junior high that was constantly acting like queen of the school. The one who picked on everyone, was usually popular and would even turn on her friends if the mood struck. Well picture that in a 7 year old and you have B. I know it sounds horrible of me, but we have been dealing with this girl since Eslyn was in kindergarten, yep kindergarten.
One day Eslyn and B will be best friends. The next day B will decide she doesn’t like Eslyn’s shirt, or the T.V. shows she watches or the lunch she brought; and so she teases her about it. She’ll call her a baby, say she can’t be friends with her or some of the other girls, teases her and just goes out of her way to make Eslyn feel bed.
It breaks my heart.
Thankfully her teacher knows about this. She’s talked to us before about how cliquish the girls can be (In grade 1 for fricks sakes!). She’s talked about personality clashes between the girls and how one girl seemed often behind it. She didn’t name names, she can’t, but she did nod when Donnie and I looked at each other and said “B”. We explained that we’ve been dealing with this since kindergarten. So her teacher keeps an eye out for it and tries to nip it in the bud as much as possible.
We’ve limited the amount of time Eslyn spends with B, there haven’t been any play dates in a while, and I don’t plan on any in the near future, but there’s nothing we can do about school. We’ve started talking to Eslyn about good friends and not so good friends. About how she should try to play more with the other girls in her class. I know she’s a sensitive girl, but I’ve tried to limit just telling her to toughen up, her feelings are valid and real, and I don’t want to trivialize them. I don’t want her to stop talking to me I had just hoped that she wouldn’t have to deal with mean girls until she was older.
The most frustrating thing is in a few days the girls will make up and Eslyn will call B one of her best friends again. And the roller coaster will start all over again. Is it mean that a little part of me hopes that B will start going to a school closer to her house? Or move away?