Home > friends, motherhood, Uncategorized > “Tomorow is Thursday and I am sad because I won’t see my best friend:”

“Tomorow is Thursday and I am sad because I won’t see my best friend:”

The Child has a classmate, C., who is only there on Tuesdays. C. isn’t evil, she’s four. But she is, I think, a perfect distillation of everything wrong with American girlhood today. This isn’t her fault — it’s her mother’s fault. I’ll call her mother K., just to keep things straight.

K. is not someone I like. She’s the one who went out and bought the stainless steel bowls after she saw that I had one. C. wears only Hanna Andersson when she’s out and only Disney Princess Gowns when she’s at home. K. is fixated on stuff — her flat screen t.v. is bigger than my first car — and she’s very into power politicking in the mom clubs like La Leche and Babywearers. (There’s a whole funny story here that I won’t share right now about her trying to pull some power plays in a local La Leche meeting with my friend S. It’s hilarious and I’ll post it some other time.)

But The Child has begun to declare, loudly, that C “is my best friend. She loves me. I love her because she loves me!”

Now, C. famously ignores all boys. “Boys are icky,” says C. And there are only two other girls in the class — The Child and another little tomboy who plays rough and tumble. So clearly C. is going to latch onto The Child, who is about a year younger than she is.

I don’t know if The Child came up with the Best Friend meme on her own or if it’s something that C fed to her. I don’t really care. Because I am not going to encourage this friendship.

I could. K. tried, half heartedly, to set up a playdate between the girls during the winter. At her house only. When I proposed a central meeting point, she insisted she wouldn’t even consider coming into the city, “we have the house all set up for kids, we have so many playgroups….” (I didn’t want to go to her house because it’s just so damned…. excessive. Also, far away and hard to get to.)

I’m not going to actively say “I don’t want you playing with C.” But I don’t like her family or their values and so I’m going to avoid encouraging it.

I feel like this could be bad. This is the first time I’ve heard The Child speak so glowingly about another child. I feel like I should respect her wishes here.

But then I remember the day that she declared that she was going to have candy for breakfast. Just candy. I bet if I’d let her try that she wouldn’t have eaten more than a few bites — she’s unnaturally able to turn away from sweets, I don’t know who’s kid she is some days — but as a parent, it was my job to say “no.” And I figure that C. is the friendship equivalent of having candy for breakfast.

The whole thing is moot in a few weeks — school is over and C. won’t be coming back next year. (Her mother didn’t like the fact that there was a MALE teacher in the second semester! Ooh, ick, save my daughter from men!) And I plan to make no effort whatsoever to get in contact with these people.

Later, when she’s older, I don’t know if I’ll interfere in her friendships, even as minimally as this sort of passive resistance. Maybe I will, but I seem to recall that my mother’s attempts at monitoring my friendships generally went badly for all involved. Certainly in high school. But for now, when The Child is three, I figure I have the right to discourage this toxic little girl. It’s not her fault, but that doesn’t make her any less toxic.

  1. June 6, 2009 at 5:30 am

    i will continue to use tupperware. i will continue to use mascara and let my kids mess with my makeup and nail polish-the boys too! today, i dyed my hair purple and spray dyed my youngest blue. my girls had EVERY disney princess outfit imaginable and some that aren’t [i’m a semi-professional costumer] they also had the princes, the bad guys and gals and david bowie’s suit from labyrinth [my 2nd born wore that every day for 2 months when she was 4, with cowboy boots]
    there are times i think you’d hate me. you’d certainly keep The Child away from my girls if you were basing it on dress-up. now how to reconcile that with extended breastfeeding, attachment parenting, hours at the playground/museum/beach? hmmmm.
    perhaps you’re being a tad aanctimonious? not seeing the bigger picture?

    [sigh] i remember my 30’s when i knew everything. now that i’m 50, i know nothing at all.

  2. jamanda
    June 6, 2009 at 11:08 pm

    I don’t object tupperware or to stainless steel bowls. I objected to the fact that K. felt the need to run out and buy a “status” item just because someone else had it.

    I don’t like Disney or princesses, but that’s my thing. Lots of girls are into it. But wearing nothing but princess dresses is excessive, esp. when combined with the “boys are icky” meme. Since your girls wore a whole bunche different costumes, I can’t imagine I would object.

    I don’t mind colored hair. I figure if The Child wants to color her hair, it’s entirely harmless. Hair is the only thing that nature gave us that wholly for fun and fashion.

    What I don’t like about K. is her excessive focus on stuff and status. Maybe that didn’t come across, but really there’s no reason to own a television that big, unless your blind or have a classroom. Otherwise it’s just crass conspiucious consumption.

    Combine that with her excessively gendered way of raising C., and her focus on high-status items (like the stainless steel bowl and the Hanna Andersson clothes) and I don’t like her.

    I don’t really know if I would like you. Probably I would… In fact, the only thing in your post that makes me think I wouldn’t like you is the last line.

  3. elcynae
    June 7, 2009 at 11:24 pm

    Heck, even I think you sound worth knowing, and I loath disney princesses with a fiery passion. It’s having the other costumes too that makes it cool. Dressing up is awesome, it’s being restricted to bland girl-stereotypes that gets me. 🙂

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