Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Mean Girls

One of the nagging fears that simmers beneath the surface of my normal, albeit slightly erratic train of thought lately, is for when Small Child starts school and the kind of world she will be opening herself up to.

Kids are so honest, open and direct to start with; pure and beautifully untainted by all the things that will inevitably plague them as they navigate the choppy waters that stretch from puberty to forty and beyond. I love how honest and accepting my girl is right now and like a million parents the world over, I’m not looking forward to witnessing the events that will bring cynicism, mistrust, disappointment and upset into her life.

Girls and indeed grown women, seem to have the jealous, catty, petty thing down to a fine art and I was wondering at exactly what age this starts. I know that it sure as hell still goes on now…… see here and here. And in case that left you in any doubt then you should read the dirt slinging, bitch fest comments left on Yummy Mummy’s recent post here! Seriously…… my jaw was on the table as I read the hurtful, nasty things that were said out of what I can only presume was jealousy, insecurity, or just plain spitefulness. Some simple advice to the venomous anon's out there....If you don't like a blog - stop reading it and write one of your own.

But all this jaw dropping disbelief has led me to digress. I was trying to fathom out my earliest memory of girls who had overnight, turned into hurtful little monsters. Sitting on a bench in junior school comes to mind when my friend asked me to sing her a song; when I finished she jumped up and said “Stop showing off, you can’t sing… that was rubbish”. This of course drew attention from the kids around us who started pointing and laughing; I think it was about then that I became shy and cautious and tried not to participate in anything that might draw attention to myself in a group situation. Teenage spots, trousers not narrow enough, lack of boyfriend and shoes not being stiletto heeled all bought unwanted attention and sometimes bullying in the years that followed.

Guess what  Mean Girls, I’m just fine, you didn’t break me! Spots have been replaced with lines of wisdom, I have a range of jeans varying from skinny to wide legged and boyfriend schmoyfriend – try a husband! As for the shoes….  well I could whip your arse any day in the footwear stakes!

At my niece’s party over the weekend, I think Small Child may have got her first taste of what’s to come. It was at one of those play centre places – you know, the one that brings out my OPPS, meaning I cannot let her go off by herself but instead stand by and watch her climb to ridiculous heights or go down the slide with her! 

I stood, coffee in hand, watching her fling herself at a large inflatable ball that was residing in a pool containing zillions of other tiny balls and some bigger girls. As she stood on the edge, ready for the first launch, the girls started pointing, whispering, and looking her up and down in all too familiar manner. They were no more than six or seven! One glanced at me and must have realised I was the over protective mother on sentry duty as she caught the look in my eye, nudged her accomplice and got on with the business of playing!

Confident that I’d averted a situation, I turned to talk to my brother. I tried not to be too proud, when turning back a minute later, I caught Small Child pinning one of them up against the side with the large inflatable ball!

Perhaps me and my girl will be different in that she will be able to stand up for herself and won’t let the Mean Girls get the better of her… I really hope so. Meanwhile I’ll be making sure I look after her shoe inheritance… just in case.


Anonymous said...

Having gone to an all girls school from 8 - 18 I think I am well qualified to agree that girls can be utter bitches. Much crueller than boys.

Giving her love and confidence is the best possible start in life. And a collection of kick ass shoes can't hurt either!

Yummy Mummy said...

I really am amazed at just how awful grown women can act. Amazed and disgusted. So long as your little one knows who she is and what she stands for than she will be able to sit back and laugh at the "mean girls." Plus with a shoe collection like that, how could anyone not like her! :)