Yesterday while I was busy cleaning the house to get ready for the party when the little girl from across the street came by to see if my 6-year-old daughter would come out to play. Em said she didn’t want to play with her. I tried to push her to go out for a little while and play, the girl is new to the neighbourhood, “be a nice neighbour” I kept saying. She wouldn’t do it no matter how much I asked her to. Em can be stubborn but this is rediculous I thought.
The little girl came into the house and hung around for a bit then started playing with Liam, he’ll play with anyone and everyone who will pay him some attention. They went up stairs to play in the kid’s bedroom.
I went upstairs to check on them after awhile and they had water everywhere, shooting it out of spray bottles. I asked them to stop. I quickly found out why Em didn’t want to play with her. She’s bossy and pushy and doesn’t listen well. This little girl was jumping all over the kid’s beds and dumping out all the toys from their toybox. Liam was standing there mortified – he knew I had just cleaned the room and he knew what my reaction would be – he knew we had people coming over to the house. I asked them (her) to clean the mess and leave the room. “Go outside and play, I’m trying to keep the house clean for the party.” I must have said this 2 or 3 times to no avail. She looked at me like she couldn’t hear me and continued to sit on the couch and spray water at my TV. YUP! That’s right!
I was trying to rationalize her behaviour and I don’t like what I started thinking. I know I sterotyped her, that she does whatever she wants because…”she’s an only child”, “she’s adopted”, “her parents are quite a bit older than us”. Before you jump up and down on me understand I know it is stereotypeing and I am so sorry but these were my thought patterns as bad or wrong as they were. For a while I actually let her get away with what she was doing because of this thinking process.
How forceful do you get with other people’s children? I was really trying not to loose it with her, she is just a child after all. I quickly said, “I’ve asked you to stop – now go outside before I go and get your mom.” She jumped up and left the house. Oh my goodness! I’ve never been put out by a 6 year old in my entire life!! She came back to the door a couple hours later and wanted inside to play. I’ve never not opened the door to anyone, least of all to a little child.
I know I should go have a chat with her mom. What would you do? We live right across from each other – I can’t avoid their family forever…