Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Exclusion: Size 2T to 3T

My evenings this week are being spent at soccer camp.

This has very little to do with the fact that soccer is not one my favorite sports.

This has very little to do with the fact that my son is LOVING soccer camp.

This has very little to do with the fact that soccer camp the week after vacation is somewhat of a letdown when you've spent the previous 6 days on a sunny beach down the shore.

This has EVERYTHING to do with little girls who can be bitches at any age- apparently.

As a child, and even as a teen, I was never really part of any one group. I was excluded and it sucked.

It sucked not being invited to birthday parties or random sleepovers.

It sucked having to hear about said parties and sleepovers on Mondays and beyond.

It sucked being picked last for certain gym games. (Rarely ever basketball because I was GIANT in grade school)

It just was not fun being excluded. As a result, I'm very sensitive to it now both towards me and towards others.

I try very hard not to exclude others, ever, regardless of anything.

I make sure that I teach my children the same thing.

I will not permit my children to be the kids that exclude other children.

To be quite frank, I'd rather my children be excluded than exclude others, or be part of a group that exclude others.

But I hate to see my own kids excluded- especially intentionally.

So, at soccer camp there are moms and dads and siblings that sit on the sidelines and watch as these mini aspiring Beckhams and Peles run around after each other and after soccer balls. They are having a ton of fun.

On the sidelines we sit and play with our cellphones, we munch on snacks and sip on bottles of water and juice boxes. We snap photos and send them along to dads who can't be there or grandmas who love getting pictures of their soon-to-be soccer stars.

And we try to entertain the siblings on the sidelines.

My daughter is unique. Every child is. My little red head will approach just about any little kid and say hello and then do a little dance or sing a song. It's really quite cute.

Last night there were two little girls who were right around the girl's age who were playing together- having a great time. I encouraged the girl to head over and say hello, and she did.

She walked right up to them. She gave them a big wave and big hello. She did her little dance. She smiled. She giggled.

The little girls?

They literally turned their noses up and walked away hand in hand.

I picked up the girl who began to follow and had her come and sit with me and her dad.

I was in shock.

I wasn't aware that bitch came in size 3T, but apparently it does.

We went back to camp tonight and I thought it would be different. Maybe these little girls just needed to warm up or something.

Tonight it was 'Ring Around the Rosie'. These two little girls- the same from last night- came over to the tree where the girl was playing and began to sing this little song/game. The girl turned to her Pop-pop and told him the girls were playing and she began to sing the song.

Logic dictates that the two little girls would turn to my child and hold out their hands and invite her into their little circle.

Uh, no.

The two pint-sized peaches did another round of the 'Rosie' and then the bigger of the two turned to the smaller and said, "We need someone else to play with" and looked right at my little red head eagerly waiting to play.

Then they walked away.

They walked over to their little brother, who was strapped into his stroller, and invited him to play.

I looked my mom and I believe my exact words were, "How the hell do they even know how to exclude someone at that age!?!? And so deliberately!"

"They have to learn it somewhere."

Exclusion is taught.

The only reason that exclusion comes in 2T and 3T is because it is learned from mommies and daddies who teach by example.

My dad, Pop-pop, and my daughter played a little 'Rosie' on their own and when the two exclusion twins came over and wanted to play they were welcomed.

I was never taught to exclude, I'll be damned if my children learn that.

Exclusion is not a phase. It is not something that little girls do because they don't know any better. It is not something that little boys do when they don't like the cartoon character on another little boy's shirt.

Exclusion is taught.

Exclusion is learned.

Exclusion is a family tradition that was never passed on to me and will never be passed on to my children.


A Buns Life said...

Well done. YOU are teaching the right lessons in life.

Kim said...

Very..very well said ..

Helen E.M. Wright said...

it is crazy how early they pick this up. When I taught I couldn't get over how mean children can be; then again, I really can't get over how mean adults...who REALLY know better can be!!

Anonymous said...

Alsion, that touched my heart. despite the fact that all my life I have been friendly, I was definitely excluded as a child, never invited to partiesat any age really. In grammar school from 6th to 8th grade I was included in the group of teasees, but never in any good and positive ways. in high school it was as if I was invisible. I tried hard, but they wouldn't include me. If it wasn't for inclusion in college by two specific individuals, I might be a very different person today! It's wonderful that you are making sure that doesn't happen to other kids and that you are doing such a fabulous joob looking after your own!!


Anonymous said...

excuse the typos please!

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