We had a play date with the neighbors at the pool a few weeks ago. As we were getting ready to leave, The Kidling spotted a girl she knew from her summer program. Her face lit up in recognition and delight at seeing an unexpected playmate at the pool. She enthusiastically shouted the girl’s name and ran over to the fence to chat with her: “Ellllllla! Ellllllllllllllllllllla! Hi, Ella! Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii! Hi, Ella!”
Ella* is, of course, the very same girl who is the topic of this conversation I had with The Kidling mid-summer:
The Kidling was telling me about her friends at camp, and as a
nosy good mother, I want to know more about her life than she offers. I ask about her activities, her teachers, her friends… in particular, about one friend with whom she had not been getting along. I’m not dumb enough to think she needs to be everyone’s bestie, but because she is an only child, I feel a need to ensure she is handling her strong emotions with her peers appropriately. So I asked how she was handling this particular monster child. How does she handle the situations? What does she do? So she told me.
“I approximately don’t do just anything. We’re kind of mean to each other. We don’t get along too well. I don’t know how to explain it.”
I decided to change the subject, and asked The Kidling who her favorite friend in her summer program was. She told me instead that, “Ella is my last favorite because we argue.”
Remember how excited she was to see her “last favorite” friend at the beginning of this story? That’s right. The Kidling has her first frenemy.
Lord help me.
* Not her real name. But you probably knew that.