On her sleeve, a broken heart

A playdate turned very, very sour for my daughter yesterday; her two friends turned on her, rejected her, went off to another house and told her not to follow. I saw the whole thing and it wasn't Mallory's fault; I would be the last to claim that she's a perfect child, but honestly she did nothing to deserve being treated the way she was. It was a classic case of little girl manipulation and power-tripping. When the one girl said, "We're going to my house, and you're not invited," Mallory simply collapsed. "She's faking," the other girl said. When I stepped in and suggested that they both leave our yard (before I smack the both of you, I did not add), Mallory cried even harder. "Don't leave! I don't want you to leave!" she said, and then, as they left, "No! Let me come with you! I want to play with you! Whatever I did, I'm sorry!" She actually ran down the street after them, wailing and begging them to return. I ran after her, caught her as she was ringing the doorbell to the one girl's house. The girl's dad came to the door, saw Mallory crying, looked at me. "They weren't playing together very well today," I said hastily. I picked Mallory up and carried her home -- honestly, I haven't carried her in two, two and a half years.

We talked about the incident; it's hard to explain to your child that sometimes, people are just not very nice. A few minutes later, the doorbell rang; it was the second girl and her mother, who had seen the chase scene from her front porch. The girl apologized to Mallory. Mallory burst into tears again and gave the girl a big hug. The mom and I said something light-hearted about little girls fighting. (Ha! Ha! Not funny.) They left; I saw it was very nice of the girl to come say sorry. Mallory was quick to point out that the first girl hadn't done the same.

The whole thing makes me terribly sad, but what bothers me most is how transparent Mallory was, how openly emotional. When she dashed down the street, I was thinking not just, oh, my poor child, but also, geez, Mallory, show a little pride! I don't know how to teach her that sometimes it's best to not show your feelings; sometimes it's best to make people think you just don't care.

Later that night, we had dinner at Chris's parent's house. Mallory said she wanted to have a sleepover, and my inlaws said that was fine. But when it was time for me and Chris to leave, she changed her mind. But then she changed her mind again when Phoebe said that she was going to sleep over. Then she started to cry, saying, "If I stay here, I'll miss my mommy, but if I leave, I'll miss my sister!" Chris said it was no big deal, she just needed to choose.

"Do you know what shape my heart is right now?" Mallory asked.

"What?" Chris asked.

"Broken!" Mallory sobbed.

I'm afraid that Chris and I almost choked ourselves, trying not to laugh. But that's Mallory -- dramatic, sensitive, emotions right out there for all to see. I know I just said this in my last post, but I am so dreading her teen years.


aimee said...

Oh boy. She is like me. I could never hide my emotions. Still can't. And her running down the street reminded me of the scene in the movie Hope Floats when the little girl is running after her daddy and Sandra Bullock has to come get her and carry her back into the house even though her daughter is begging the man who cheated on her to go home with him and not stay with her. I sob everytime.

I am glad one mom (I mean girl) came to apologize.

Girls are mean sometimes.

Sorry for the long comment.