I showed up at daycare the other day to pick up my daughter and was told that the kids were on the playground. I didn’t see her right away, but knew she was located just around the corner of the building. I started walking in that direction when she came tearing around the corner and clearly didn’t expect to see me standing there. Her eyes immediately went down to her feet and she looked like she was going to cry. I asked her what was wrong — she said nothing was wrong. I asked if she was sad — she said yes. I asked if someone was mean to her — she said yes. I asked her who — she said that she didn’t want to tell me. I eventually got it out of her. My daughter told me that another little girl called her a baby and told her that she couldn’t come to a party for big girls. I had, like, a zillion snappy comebacks for the kid that was talking smack to my daughter. I thought about how satisfying it would be to knock the stuffing out of have a little one-on-one chat with that little girl. I didn’t of course. But, ohhhhh man. She was a lot smaller than me. Some stuff coulda happened.

I mean, come on! There’s my kid standing there with wispy blond hair, a little Hello Kitty dress, and a broken heart. Or was it just me with the broken heart? Because five minutes later she was fine.

Practicing somersaults.

Practicing somersaults.

So, we drove to a playground on the way home after daycare to practice somersaults and have a talk about feelings. And she seemed to be able to regulate hers pretty well. We did a little role playing and practiced some polite ways to respond to mean comments.

She’s only three, so I’m aware that she has a lifetime of catty, bratty BS to endure … and to *gasp* engage in. I can’t fight her battles. However, I can teach her some polite ways to defend herself and perhaps give her a little perspective, but I must remember that no matter what kind of guidance I give her, she is going to be herself. She is her very own person and is going to have to face some stuff on her own. Uggggghhhhh.

I’m pretty sure this is going to be harder for me than for her. At least I hope so.

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