Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Can't We All Just Get Along?

Don't you hate when you've been running around all day doing various things and then once you get home, you've decided to do laundry and clean your bathroom and the fumes from the cleaners start making you feel lightheaded and you realize all you've had to eat all day is a handful of Fritos?

I am on a little bit of a health kick these days, so the Fritos simply don't make sense. Speaking of which, I got this organic microwave popcorn from Whole Foods because I was feeling all like, "I know I'll need a snack at some point, but I don't want to eat something BAAAD for me," and let me tell you, this organic microwave popcorn sucks ass. It is a grave disappointment, my friends.


I hate to drag you into this, but Viva is having some trouble at school, and this, well, troubles me.

Well, first the good news. The Spring Show was hilarious. Viva was center stage, absolutely adorable, and she didn't miss a beat during their whole firefighter song. Here she is, just before the show, as they were getting ready to process out of the classroom to the staging area:

See that little girl to the left? The one who is looking at the camera warily? That is Best Friend. Best Friend has, for some time, been a thorn in my side, because Viva has picked up some unpleasant behavior from her. I've spent a lot of time working on Best Friend, because Viva likes her and if Viva likes her, I need to find out how to like her too. But it's been hard, because she is just mean.

Viva's teacher, Miss Jean*, actually broached the subject of Best Friend with me a few weeks ago. She said, "We had a long talk today about Viva and Best Friend's friendship, and how it's not nice to call names, and how if you're friends, you need to be nice to each other."

"Oh," I said. "Were they fighting?"

"Well, Best Friend tends, well, sometimes she'll be Viva's friend, and sometimes not, and there never seems to be a clear reason --"

"Yes," I said. "Best Friend can be very moody --"

"YES," said Miss Jean. "That is a good way, a much nicer way, of describing it. But Viva is very sensitive, and she gets SO upset, Best Friend makes her cry."

"It's so strange," I said. "They're so little, and I never thought that I'd be dealing with not liking her friends this early! I mean, of all the kids in the class, Viva had to end up with her --"

"Maybe she likes a challenge," Miss Jean said. "But seriously, Viva is friends with everybody, and she plays with all the kids in the class, and I think Best Friend gets jealous."

We agreed that the best move in this case was to redirect Viva toward playing with the other kids and to spend less time with Best Friend. This seemed logical to me, in the sense of "if you misbehave, you [Best Friend] don't get what you want [Viva]." Miss Jean has since put Best Friend in time out when she catches her misbehaving, and has tried to teach Viva to stick up for herself verbally.

However, it seems that this has only escalated the problem, and now Best Friend is scratching, spitting on, and stepping on Viva. Viva apparently does not hit back, but just bursts into tears. Sweet William has concluded the only thing to do is to teach her how to hit back in self-defense: "I think you're going to have to slug her," he says. I am really against this -- we have consistently told her that it is wrong to hit, that that is not how you solve your problems.** Viva seems to agree, at least for the moment.

This morning, I talked to Miss Jean again, and she agreed to speak with Best Friend's mom to let her know what was going on and to try to get to the bottom of it. Hopefully, the ugly behavior will stop. If not, is it time for a smackdown? I can't stand it.

* Not her real name.

** I have also seriously begun to question spanking, even though we do it pretty rarely. How can we tell her to use her words when there's a problem, if we don't do the same? But that is an issue for another post.


Anonymous said...

don't let Mama Blah blah fool you. When she spanks, Viva barely feels it! yes, we spank, but very rarely and only after repeated warnings. Nothing wrong with a little smack on the hand or bottom, when words fail. I am old school.


cynnie said...

If I had kids, I'm convinced Nanny 911 or Super Nanny could solve all my problems. Is that so wrong?

Lisa Blah Blah said...

Sweet William is, indeed, old school. I am a mix of today and back in the day.

Nanny 911 and Super Nanny make it look so easy. Don't believe the hype!

cynnie said...

D'oh! My ovaries are shriveling as I write this.