This has been a rough morning, and it's only 9:39 am.
Caroline was weepy and depressed this morning, suffering from huge anxiety over the complicated 4th-grade girl hierarchy on the playground. The big issues of who is friends with who, who said what painful thing to whom, and how to play with the nice girls and avoid the mean girls have consumed a lot of time and energy around here. And it's hard to know what to say.
I remember those difficult feelings from elementary school all too well. And Caroline is sensitive (or thin skinned) and has a hard time figuring out how to handle it all. When I propose things to say or ways of handling certain mean girls, she replies, wide-eyed, "But that wouldn't be NICE!" So we talk about the importance of sticking up for yourself and your friends, about how you can choose to give mean kids power by letting them bother you, and how you can get some of that power back by acting as if they don't bother you...
Oh, my. I totally understood her wanting to huddle in bed hugging her stuffed panda all day.
Some days I feel like that myself, in fact.
For today, we coped by having a long talk, having breakfast at our own pace, then arriving at school a bit late. And we have arranged a playdate after school today with her friend Selena, which makes her happy and gives her something to look forward to.
Me? I just wanted to keep her home, to sit with her and hug her and not send her off to face all that complicated social stuff at school. But the hard job of a mommy is to help your child learn to face the difficult things in life, isn't it?
By the way, for those of you moms who've raised girls through this sort of thing, I'd appreciate any suggestions you have to offer!
Can I go curl up with MY panda now?