Ok, the title of this post is probably a tad dramatic for what's about to follow, but aren't we all very protective of our children?
This week was another gloriously sunny week and having spent the previous week locked away with Little N's chickenpox (Little P has now been struck down just as I was warned she would be) we tried to get out as much as possible.
I took the girls to the park one afternoon where Little P ran off to make some friends and I settled Little N on the baby swing. While I spent some time taking a few snaps of Little N and significantly more time wrestling her sunhat back onto her head, Little P was huddled with some girls under the slide (obviously).
Having satisfied her desire to swing, Little N and I approached to see what Little P and the girls were up to and to my horror I learned that the girls, a couple of years older than Little P, were being mean to her. I heard them tell her that she had to get out from under the slide as they were under there. She told them that she didn't want to and that she'd like to play too. They continued to insist that she leave so, with my heart breaking for her, I approached the slide. I suggested, in the most excitable voice I could feign, that Little P come and have a turn on the 'big girl swing' and I would push her very high. After some reluctance, she agreed. And this is what really made my blood boil - the girls, having heard this conversation, shot out from under the slide, ran to and occupied aforementioned big girl swings.
I was absolutely furious! I could have forgiven them not wanting to play with a little girl a bit younger than them but what they did was deliberately spiteful. Why would they want to hurt her feelings?
Some time later (after a stint on the baby swings) I saw that she was talking to one of the girls' mums who I heard tell her, 'maybe you are a big girl, but you're too little to play with them'. I guess the apple didn't fall far from that tree...
As we headed home from the park Little P said to me 'Mummy, those little girls didn't want to play with me'. I felt so sad for her. I replied 'no, they didn't. But they weren't very nice little girls so I'm glad you didn't play with them.'
Upon reflection, perhaps I shouldn't have said that to her. I certainly won't be making a habit of 'slagging off' other children to my own, (actually, I'm not making any promises!) but at the time I felt I really wanted her to know the problem was with them and not her. It makes me sad that a bit of her innocence has been taken away but I suppose I need to get used to it as she grows up.... Waaaaaaaah!