07 October 2008

Darling Daughter's Buddies

What happens when your little girl is friends with another little girl you don't like?

Yep, my little ballerina goes to school with, hmmm...let's nickname this other child Betty. Betty is, on the surface, absolutely adorable. Blonde curls, pink cheeks, angelic face. But the more time my little ballerina (MLB) spent with Betty, the more I came to discover that Betty is nothing but a spoiled brat.

For starters, this kid has no manners. Not a 'please' or 'thank you' in sight. I wouldn't mind the absence of the 'please' and 'thank you' if her tone were a bit more polite. But no. When she asks for something, it's always, "I want some water." Or "I'm hungry. I want something to eat." I can even forgive this diva behavior if she didn't thumb her nose at, let's say, Dora the Explorer on TV and declare, "I hate Dora!" and then expect me to change the channel instantly.

But the biggest thing that drives me crazy about this kid is her picky eating habits. This kid only eats from one of four food groups: the Cheerios group, the Chicken Nuggets group, the String Cheese Group and the White Rice group. Nothing else. The first and only time she slept over my house, she rejected all the food I offered her, got down from the table, walked over to my pantry, opened the door and started rummaging through! At bedtime, when Betty declared that she wanted to go home, I called Betty's mom (let's called her "Alice") and you know what she said? To feed the kid some string cheese! It was already 10 pm at this point. I was like, "Are you sure?" She was positive that Betty was just hungry. So I did, and the kid gobbled it up, then went to bed. No wonder the kid is so picky.

When I'm with Betty and her mother, I can totally see why Betty is this way. It's because Alice lets her get away with absolutely everything—the rudeness, the talking back, the picky eating. This kid is going to be a terror when she grows up. Don't get me wrong; I don't really give a flying crap how this child is being raised. If her mother wants to grow a spoiled brat, she is perfectly entitled to do so. What I do care about is when said spoiled brat starts affecting the way MLB behaves. Then, we have a problem.

I can always tell when MLB and Betty have spent a significant time together during the day. MLB gets louder, ruder and more obnoxious. She starts screaming "No!" She is mean to her brother.

The simple solution is for me to separate MLB from Betty, right? But as I said before, the two little girls go to school. Also, Alice and Betty love me and MLB. They are constantly calling for playdates. After one sleepover where Betty's terror-like behavior was displayed in all its full glory, I stopped returning Alice's phone calls and pretty much ignored all her requests for get-togethers.

Passive aggressive behavior? Definitely. But how else can I handle this? I do NOT want to parent this kid and start correcting her behavior while she's at my house. It's not my job. Besides, what I really want to do is smack her little behind when she starts with the namecalling and the diva behavior. I know, I can't do it. Doesn't mean she doesn't deserve it though.

I'm hoping that Alice will just take the hint and stop calling already. I don't wanna have to tell her that I think her darling daughter is the devil's spawn. Very, very mean, I know. But seriously, this kid deserves to be locked in a room filled with nothing but fresh fruits and vegetables for an entire day. I know, some punishment, huh?


Asianmommy said...

I think it's a good idea to put some distance between MLB and Betty. You can let Alice know that you're just very busy these days.

Anonymous said...

Where I come from, mothers (at least those on close terms) were in the shared acknowledgement that one's children were the others'--including dealing with punishment/addressing wrongs.

Sometimes it seems as if to be straightforward about another's child is an attack on their value as a parent, but it doesn't have to be.
I can't speak from a mother's perspective, but being a young aunt, cousin to many, and having friends with their own tots, I offer the advice of speaking up.
If no one says anything to either little Betty or Dear Mum, what's to become of it? Is it fair for her to be the play-date terror of another family? I can understand wanting to spare MLB rude influences, but perhaps you can "change the tide".

You could encourage MLB to show Betty how things are said and done in YOUR household. If she's learned anything good (I'm sure she has ;) ), subtle reinforcement may make her young peer comprehend what is and isn't appropriate. But if that doesn't help, don't be afraid to be firm with her (and even Mom). Just do it in a way that doesn't affront their higher sensibilities. If and when I become a mother, I'd love advice from a pro if my child were out of line. My pride might get hurt, but I'd be the wiser for it. Not everyone notices an issue until it's shown to them.
Good luck, dear!


Bonggamom said...

This could be my daughter and her friend that you are describing! Actually she's not that bad -- she's very polite and pretty well behaved, but her obsession with toys (she pretty much has every toy under the sun and she's quite competitive about it) and her picky eating habits drive me bonkers.

But on the plus side, she genuinely adores my daughter and they are good friends. In my case, I probably have to put my irritation aside and respect my daughter's choice. Hmmmmm... I sense a blog post of my own bubbling up!