So, two days ago, Greta and I are at her favorite park — Library Park, which we sometimes call Vampire Park, because we’ve been there many times after dark, but, which is officially named Lincoln Park, for those who care — and this pack of toddler ruffians starts dominating the play structure. There were two girls and four or five boys, and though most of them weren’t much older than Greta, you could just tell that these kids were bad news.
They were throwing stuff down the slides, climbing up the slides the wrong way when younger kids were trying to use them and basically doing whatever the hell they wanted, while their parents (if they had any!) zoned out on one of the benches nearby. Watching these punks dominate the usually-very-peaceful park was kind of maddening, but, since no one did anything overtly evil to Greta, I ignored the little anarchists for the time being.
But then, the boys left. Yes, they actually had parents and they looked just as permissive and lazy as you’d expect them too. Sorry, but one of the Mom’s actually cheered her daughter on when she rode a toy car down the slide. Are you kidding me? Not in my playground, beotch! Urgh…
Anyway, the boys left a few minutes later and the two girls started playing near Greta, which seemed to be fine, until I heard Greta yelling at them from the top turret of the castle. “Yes, I am!” she yelled while the two mean girls laughed and taunted her from the slide. “I am a princess!” Greta yelled again, to which they replied: “No, you’re not!”. Undeterred, Greta tried again: “I am a mermaid!”. And again, those heartless little bitches on the slide chanted back: “No, you’re not!” And when that didn’t work, Greta tried again, this time even louder: “I am a fairy!” to which the girls cracked up and yelled back: “Ha ha, no you’re not!” and “Yeah! Good luck with that!”
I was so stunned at what I was hearing that it actually took me a second to realize what was happening. Were these girls for real? They couldn’t have been more than a year of two older than Greta (if even that!) but they were already first class assholes and here they were ganging up on my daughter. Oh, man, all I can say is that they are very lucky that one of the girls Dads was sitting by the slide — he had headphones on and no clue as to his daughter’s true nature — because, well, I don’t know what I would have done, but, it might have involved some untimely face plants on the slide.
And then, while I sat there contemplating the many ways I could beat the mean outta those little brats, one of them pushed Greta and then hit her arm when she tried to climb down the ladder to get away from them. That was it. Park time was officially over. I grabbed Greta by the hand and we left. Of course, she wanted to stay, but, I was done. I knew that nothing good could come from me being anywhere near those girls.
Actually, I felt kinda sorry for them. I mean, only someone whose own sense of wonder and magic and, for lack of a better word, pure imagination, had already been stomped out of them could say something so mean to a sweet little girl who just wanted to play with them. One of my favorite things about Greta is the big, crazy, wonderful way she views the world…everything is colorful and magical, fairies are everywhere, every toy is a prince or princess, hell, even the blueberry-shaped sponge in her bathtub is King Blueberry, the father of Melody the Mermaid! Who wouldn’t want to live in a beautiful, candy-colored world like that?
So, we head to our car and Greta tells me: “Daddy, those bad girls aren’t my friends, they broke my heart.” Yes, part of her wonderful world of Greta is hearing about her getting her heart broken a lot, we hear it almost every day, but, never about some bullies at the park! Biting my tongue, I told her that they probably don’t have as much imagination as you do and that yes, they were very bad girls for hitting her. And just then, the ringleader and her headphone-wearing Dad walked by our car on their way home. Smiling, the clueless Dad waved and said: “Bye-bye!”
And then Greta did something so badass that I wish I had it on video. Pointing her little finger at the meaner of the two girls as she walked by with her Dad, Greta shouted: “You’re a bad girl!” Stunned, the girl and her Dad (and me!) just stared at Greta as she yelled it again: “You’re a bad, bad girl!!” OMG, it was crazy, like Greta was putting a curse on her or something. I know, it’s totally not what the child-rearing experts would condone, but, I could not have been prouder of my little girl standing her ground, even at age three, and striking a blow for all the bullied kids of the world. I mean, I’m sorry, but, she kinda nailed it on the head. That girl was B-A-D.
Unsure of what to do or say next, I simply shrugged at the Dad and loaded Greta into the car. And as we drove past the father and daughter I saw a hollow, shamed look in the girl’s eyes that told me that she knew she had just been served. Big time! Or maybe she was just plotting how to take down the crazy girl who thinks she’s a princess-mermaid-fairy next time they meet at the slide.
Either way, the whole incident totally opened my eyes about just how young mean girls start, you know, being mean. And though it shocks and saddens me to think that toddlers like this exist, you can bet your magic wand that no one is gonna tell my crazy daughter what she is or isn’t again. Nope, not while my Yeti-ass is around!
6 responses to “Mean Girls: The Toddler Years”
OMG! It is a very good thing that Greta’s badass Gypsy Grandma was not at the park that day. The minute they touched her would be the minute they knew that their little sad ass party was over! I’m so glad Greta called her out for the bad girl she was! It breaks my heart, too. She will always be the most beautiful princess-mermaid-fairy to me!!!!!!
It’s funny you say that, Mom. I was actually thinking how sorry those bad girls woulda been if Greta’s Aunt Courtney was there to see that. Man, Courtney woulda scared them straight for life! Ha! 🙂
Courtney can scare any of us straight for life!! LOL!
You go, Princess Greta! Loving it. I was so lame when I got picked on as a kid; I love that she stood up for herself.
I know! I was, like, man, I never would have said something like that when I was a kid. Good for her for knowing that shaming a bad kid in front of their parents is way worse than hitting back. 🙂
I love this! I’m glad she was able to stand up for herself and call the other girl out. I can see why Greta got mad when you had to leave; after all, they were the bad ones not her. It maddens me that kids can be some of the meanest people around. So far I haven’t had any huge encounters with my 2yo yet but I’m trying to encourage him to stand up for what’s important to him, even among strangers and kids (he’s very good at letting his *parents* know, sigh).
Thankfully most of the kids at the park he runs into are pretty good with turn-taking and sharing, and no pushing. Oh man, I think if I saw someone push my kid that would bring out the mama bear in me and school that kid. At the same time I also don’t want to fight his battles for him and want him to figure out how to handle it himself too.
And to think this goes on in schools where I won’t be able to check those kids lol!