My older two kids came to me earlier today with some observations about their friends. They’d been talking about how their friends act in comparison to the way they act. It’s really interesting to see the differences. It’s also interesting to hear them talk about the other kids in the neighborhood from their perspective.
Here’s what Beekee has to say about the friend he plays with all the time:
About my friend, she always wants me to do things her way so much. She’s ‘sessed (his way of saying obsessed) with playing mom and babies. I like playing creatures. I think we should play creatures but she never wants to.
When I ask him what he wants to do about it, he just decides to play by himself. It’s funny to look outside when he’s gone to “play with his friends” and he’s sitting by himself, digging in the dirt, pleased as can be. He’d much rather do things by himself. Then again, he’s always been a bit of a loner. If he doesn’t find a friend that plays the way he wants to play, he just does his own thing. It’s not that he only wants to do things his way. He just knows what he likes and what he’s not interested.
Then there’s Corde. Her ideas on her friends seems to be far more of a lecture, honestly. Here’s what she has to say about the friend she’s had over all the time:
You know, I really like my friend, but I don’t like her. She’s always trying to do things that could get me in trouble. She wants me to bring Sander’s drum outside and I keep telling her I can’t. She tells me to put something over it, but I keep telling her I’ll get caught. It’s not even my toy. She’s always bugging me to bring my toys outside, or to ask you if we can come inside to play when they know Sander’s running around without a diaper or the baby is sleeping. She’s really loud, so I know she’ll wake him up. Sometimes I think she just wants me to get in trouble. I keep telling her I don’t want to do things that I’m not supposed to do because you’re not as fun to be around when you’re upset.
Later today she had this to say:
You know what she said? She wants you to become friends with her mom so you’ll go over there all the time and we can play all day and all night. I think that’s crazy. I like playing with her, but not all the time. I like to have some time to play by myself too. Sometimes it’s nice to hang out with the family too. I won’t have any time to play video games anymore if she’s always over here.
Then she went on to say something else:
I don’t get it. She’s really obsessed with doing things she’s not supposed to do and never wants to admit to it. I tell her over and over that you’re not going to be mad about it, but she doesn’t listen. She told me that they get spanked bare bottom! I’m glad you don’t do that. It’s just frustrating because I don’t want to get in trouble for the things that they do. I like playing with her and her sister’s okay, but I know you won’t let them come over here if they’re going to keep causing trouble and won’t tell the truth. I think it’s more important to tell the truth when something happens.
It’s interesting to see how the kids analyze their friendships with their friends. I have to wonder where they picked that up from? I guess it’s because I taught her to think about every situation on a deeper level than just what’s obvious.
Of course, it’s even more amusing for me because I’ve also gotten to hear what Oz has to say about these two girls in particular. He doesn’t like them very much, mostly because they are trouble makers. They’ve drawn on our porch. One of them keeps insisting on cutting Corde’s doll’s hair (though she won’t stand for that happening), and the older one, Corde’s friend, always wants to take Corde’s things home, which Corde is definitely not cool with. They’re loud and not terribly respectful either. He’s also very frustrated because they want to come over here and have snacks and everything, which we don’t even know if it’s okay with their mom. They want to write songs for the band, which drives him nuts because they’re very pushy about it and it means he can’t get any practicing done. He’s got limited windows of time he can do it because he plays drums and they’re pretty loud. Oz is especially frustrated because they seem so stuck on doing things we ask them not to do and then blaming poor Corde for it all. He and I both know it’s not her because she has obvious tells when she lies and she’s been very honest with us since we’ve started loosening up on limitations with her. He just thinks they’re going to cause Corde more problems than it’s worth. I can’t blame him for worrying about that. It’s potentially very true. I have to keep reminding him that we can trust her, even if we can’t trust them. As long as we show her we trust her, she always comes back telling us everything we may need to know about.
Personally, I don’t like these girls. I can see that Corde and Beekee aren’t terribly fond of them, but they’re better than no friends at all. Corde’s already hoping we can get a car and so she can have more friends and the neighborhood kids, while nice, won’t be over all the time. She likes them, but I think she and Beekee both need a break.