Tag Archives: friendship

When the Kids Don’t Always Play Nice

The other day, as I was reading through the blogs I follow and so often read (but lately have been lurking rather than commenting – sorry folks!), I read a post that talked about making meaningful friendships as an adult by Emily at Nap Time is My Time.  In her post, she talked about how she plans on trying to connect.  It’s funny because in an earlier post on her blog (which you really should check out for some of the crafting ideas alone!), she talked about how it is frustrating and the whole “why me” mentality that sometimes befalls us when we find ourselves on the outs with people we thought were becoming friends.

It got me to thinking because recently I had my first instance of “I’m not sure our kids are really friends” and I found myself kind of hurt by it all.  The daughter made a friend at the playground a few months ago.  Her mom and I started chatting and seemingly hit it off.  We had a few out of the home play dates and things seemed to go well.  Then we went to their house one day and the Daughter was beyond excited.  She got to see where her new friend lived, saw all the toys the new friend had that she didn’t, and then did a thing that a lot of four-year olds do and got a little territorial, despite the fact she wasn’t in her own house.  I found myself somewhat floundering.  I was trying to gently explain that it was her friend’s house and her toys and she couldn’t tell her friend what she could play with in her own house.  It was awkward.  We stayed a little while longer but when it was clear that they were not playing together, rather fighting together, we left.

I was well aware that my child was not exactly behaving well on this play date but it was one of those things where you kind of wanted to see if she could work it out on her own, like they try to do at pre-school.  But on the other hand, there were times where a little guidance was needed.  It was also possible that the play date was running a little longer than it should have, but I’ll chalk that one up to my fault.

After that fateful day, we didn’t hear from them for almost a month.  I began to wonder what if I had done something wrong and that was the cause of the radio silence.  Then we got an invite for another play date.  Things started out ok until the Daughter felt like her friend was ignoring her and playing more with the other kids at the playground.  Then all hell broke loose.  The crying, the whining, the fighting, it just imploded.  I forget the exact comment I made but the other mother said something along the lines of yeah, I didn’t know how to bring this up but The Daughter is a little bossy and it made the friend not want to play with her.  They decided to give the Daughter another chance though.  She also explained that there were other reasons we hadn’t heard from them in the month but I guess that was big factor (at least that was how it registered in my brain).

By Luis Argerich from Buenos Aires, Argentina (SWING SWing Swing swing) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Luis Argerich from Buenos Aires, Argentina (SWING SWing Swing swing) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

It was weird, the emotions that I ranged through, as I sat and listened.  At first I thought it might be a reflection of me as a mother.  Then I thought there was something wrong with the Daughter.  Then I didn’t know what to think.  It was just one of those moments I probably took personally and maybe shouldn’t have?  Who knows.  As the play date went on, the kids clearly were not enjoying each other’s company and when we said it was time to leave, the Daughter broke down into a meltdown of epic proportions and I watched as the friend and her mom made a quick exit.  They texted me later to see if the Daughter was ok (which she was, she just didn’t want to leave the playground and was probably a little tired hence the extra drama).  I just felt weird though.  My kid made quite the scene at the playground – I could feel all the other mothers’ eyes staring.  One even tried to offer a sympathetic word, but it just was one of those moments where my head was swimming from the conversation, my child was clearly upset, and I just didn’t know which end was up.

I thought I was making a friend but if the daughters don’t get along, then can that friendship work?  I know that both are only young children and both have very clear ideas of what they want and when they want it.  In that sense they are both very similar.  However, is that really the only reason for the playground blues?  Is there more to it and does it involve the moms too?  I just know that it was not pleasant and I found myself wondering if I would ever have a close group of local friends with (or without) kids that I could go out with or have over or make plans to just drop by for coffee?

One thing that came from this whole thing was actually a glorious epiphany.  I realized that it was ok.  It was ok that this may not work out.  If it does, that would be great, but if it doesn’t it will be ok.  The Daughter may have to learn the hard way that being bossy isn’t the way to make friends. So be it.  But on the other hand, knowing what you want and learning how to express that in a positive way, that is a skill that every person should possess.  I just need to figure out how to teach that balance.  I know with age, it will come. I also know that as I get more involved with school activities, and going back to school myself, I will hopefully make those connections a little closer to home.

I know I do have a good, nay – amazingly fantastic, group of friends that I can at least call to talk to and hopefully someday, we might all live a little closer to each other so we can go drink bucketfuls of margaritas when things like this happen.

By Jon Sullivan [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By Jon Sullivan [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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Trapped

Friends are great.  They can listen to you, laugh with you, cry with you, and smack you upside the head when you are being a bit ridiculous.  In my case, the smack would come from being absolutely ridiculous!  Some friends come in to your life for a short time, others stick around through the long haul.

I can probably count my close friends on one hand.  By close, I mean the people who have seen me cry and have been there to see me at my lowest lows and still call me the next day.

Now, when it comes to finding myself in a compromising situation, such as say, being stuck in an elevator, there is probably one friend I would want stuck in that elevator with me.   The College Friend, RaTa (I like to protect names if you didn’t know), would be the one who would have to be stuck with me.

make new friends

Over the years, we have been there for each other through a lot of fun times: college, parties, that fun vacation where you stayed in that insane lighthouse shaped summer rental(!), weddings, babies, drama, laughs…you name it, we were there talking each other off the ledge and then end with some good laugh therapy.

I think that RaTa would help make the time go by quicker.  Whether we were talking about our kids, what is coming next for each of us on this crazy adventure we are both traveling, or just telling each other dirty jokes we may have heard, RaTa would keep things sane.  And I hope I would be able to do the same for her.  Hell, I hope that we are never stuck in elevator, no offense RaTa, because being stuck in an elevator would really suck.

Let’s be honest – I don’t know that it really would matter who was stuck in an elevator with me, after about 20 minutes, I would want out of that little metal box.  I would start going insane and imagining us plummeting down to our deaths.  Then I would think about some movie I saw where they talked about the giant springs in each elevator shaft and I would wonder if the people in the elevator with us would bounce or would we smack down on the ground?  Would I remember to jump just before we hit the ground and save my legs from being broken?  What floor would we be stuck on?  I mean if we are up high, the fall would be that much worse. But if we were only on the second floor and we were stuck, our chances of getting out alive would be much better. And if we did get stuck, what if there was someone who had just come from the gym and really smelled bad?  What if I got a stomach bug at that exact moment.  What if the fire department couldn’t get me out of the little trap door.  Damn it.  If I get out out of this elevator alive, I’m going to be 100% faithful to Weight Watchers and when I hit goal, I’m going to crawl through an elevator escape hatch just to prove I can.  What if…

bouncing elevator

Thanks RaTa, I can hear you telling me to stop all the way from where you are.  And that is why RaTa would be the one stuck with me in that little metal box that takes us up floors in buildings.  I guess I should just take the stairs.

This post was written as part of the May NaBloPoMo.  The theme this month is comfort.  Today’s prompt “If you had to be trapped in an elevator, which friend would you want trapped with you and why?”  RaTa would be my unfortunate friend stuck in the elevator with me.  Sorry RaTa…let’s not ride the elevators.

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Ahhhh…Unrequited Love

It’s a funny thing to be in love.  It means that you overlook the little things because you see the person beneath it all and are willing to accept the little things as the quirks that make them unique.  It’s those things that make you love them even more.

I had just turned 18 and started working at one of the many resorts on Cape Cod.  This was one of the more posh resorts, one of the top three when you think about luxury resorts on Cape Cod.  I had a measly little job working in housekeeping doing laundry (which is why I can fold a perfectly square fitted sheet and make my towels in the bathroom look like a hotel).

I quickly made friends with the set of kids who had worked there the year before.  They were fun, they were rebels compared to what I had been.  They partied, like with booze and cigarettes, not like my old friends who had X-Files parties where we dressed up like our favorite characters.  Since that summer was the summer before freshman year of college, I figured what the hell.  Let’s party.

Yep, it was just like the Pink Ladies!

Yep, it was just like the Pink Ladies!

Over time I started to fall hard for one of the guys.  I went off to college but I was determined to stay in touch.  So, I did.  I would call (this was just before everyone had a cell phone) hang out when I went home on weekends, make sure we stayed in touch.

It was quite futile though on my part all for the simple fact that he was gay.

Unrequited-Love

A lot happened over five years of “friendship.”  I had friends, his friends –  I had people who accepted me and loved me.  We were like a little family.  There were four of us at one point who were thick as thieves.  He and I became so very close and it was nice to have someone who was just so nice to me and was not a jerk. Even though there was a line of people fawning over him, I didn’t care, I was on the inner circle.  It felt good.

Then I started making some really bad decisions, the kind that really bring someone to the bottom of the barrel.  I stopped even looking for anything or anyone else.  There were those conversations of “if we’re not married by x years old, we’ll do it and have kids.”  It was probably just talk but at the time, I took it as gospel.  Though he dated other people, had flings with friends, I was convinced that there was love still in this friendship, after all, there had been a small fling with a woman mixed in there.  I held out hope.  Letting my head get all cloudy, holding out for this one person.  It was kind of crazy.  Ok, it was totally crazy.

Eventually, the friendship had a massive meltdown.  Completely and utterly imploded.  I was devastated.  I had already lost one of the friends in a not so great way (though thanks to Facebook, we have reconnected and it’s good to see she’s doing pretty darn well for herself!), I was a complete mess after losing this one.

unrequited love

After a long time of playing songs like Untouchable Face (if you’re offended by the language in this one – sorry), Superhero, and a lot of Vertical Horizon (the early stuff),  I realized that it was probably for the best.

Had that not happened, I wouldn’t have gone back to school.  I wouldn’t have moved on and actually started living my life again.  I found someone who loved me.  It was a blessing in disguise.

This post was written as part of the February 2013 NaBloPoMo Series.  This month’s theme is Love and Sex.  Today’s prompt was “How old were you the first time you fell in love?”

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Filed under Family, NaBloPoMo