Yesterday we went to an annual family Christmas party, and it’s always a great time. Ryan has a really big family, so fun always ensues when everyone gets together. And this year was no different. Except for one thing…
There were 2 little girls there, one of whom was 6 and the other must have been the same age. They were running around together the whole time, having a blast. One of the girls literally wheeled in a suitcase full of toys when she and her family arrived, which she immediately proceeded to dump out on one of the couches.
Well of course Della saw that and made a bee-line for that mountain of dolls, cars, blankets, and other crap. I could tell the little girl was less than pleased that little D came creeping over to play, so I just made sure Della knew that those were not her toys and that she was sharing. All was well.
Later in the afternoon the girl who brought all the toys was running around with a blanket draped over her like a cape, which Della thought was fantastic. D was having the time of her life chasing after the caped girl and the other one; she probably ran a million laps around the place where the party was. I thought oh great, they’re having fun, that’ll keep D entertained for hours.
Well shortly after the blanket adventures began, I glanced over to where D and this girl were, and the girl was chiding D and wagging her finger in D’s face while wearing a very stern expression. Della was sitting on the floor in front of the girl, and the look on her face just made my heart break. It was a mixture of sadness, confusion, and disappointment that this girl with whom she’d been having so much fun was telling her she couldn’t play anymore.
I was so mad. I completely understand that 6 year olds rarely want to play with 2 year olds, but Della was completely harmless. These girls were running around like banshees anyway, so what did they care that D was following them? She couldn’t even keep up with the circles they were all running anyway. Della’s little head would come bobbing around the corner a good half lap behind the other two each time. I just kept thinking how dare she point her finger in my daughter’s face like she’s the boss? As ludicrous as it sounds, I was royally pissed.
After I saw that I couldn’t keep my eyes off the trio. I became obsessed with making sure Della didn’t get her beautiful little spirit crushed again. I kept seeing the pair of older girls go up to Della, then run away, teasing her into chasing them like they wanted her to play. But then they’d go into the bathroom and hide from her.
At one point they happened to walk up next to where I was standing holding Lana, and I heard them saying something about “oh no, there she is” and having to get away from the little girl. I told them to just leave Della alone because she’s only 2 and just wanted to play with them.
Then one time when I went into the bathroom to wash out a water bottle, Della was in there crawling on the floor trying to get under one of the stall doors because the girls were hiding in it. I about barfed seeing her crawl on the bathroom floor, so while washing her hands I made some comment to D like, “oh, are the girls in there?” She said yes and I could hear them giggling, and I said I thought they were hiding from her. She of course didn’t understand what that meant, so I asked them why they were hiding. They said they were hiding from the boys and Della, and I said well Della just wants to play with you guys because she likes you. They said “I know” in unison and just kind of laughed.
I don’t know if my prodding helped, or if they just decided to give up trying to “get away from that little girl”, but from that point on it seemed like they actually didn’t mind having D run around with them as much. At one point the 3 of them were actually sitting on the hearth of the fireplace together, looking at some toy. And of course D wanted to run around the rest of the time with one of her new blankets tied around herself like the other girl had been. Ok fine, if it makes my baby girl happy.
Now before you yell at me for being a crazy, overprotective parent, yes, I know Della had no idea that the girls weren’t playing with her but were trying to get away from her most of the time. She was just thrilled to be seeing other kids and running around. And she probably had no idea what the one girl was even talking about when she had her finger in D’s face. But I did. And I just couldn’t help feeling crushed.
Della and Lana are little pieces of my heart and soul running around outside my body now, and I will always try to protect them. Especially when they’re this young. So knowing that someone was purposely trying to quash Della’s innocent little sparkle and make her have a bad time just killed me. I seriously wanted to cry when I saw D sitting there on the floor, just wanting to play, and having that poor little look on her face while getting pointed at and scolded by a 6 year old little brat. I wanted to simultaneously scoop her up and smother her in hugs and slap the other girl for not including my daughter. (of course not for real slap, geez)
This little episode got me thinking, though. If I feel this bad when my girls get little hurts like this (i should say nonexistent really, since between me and d i was the only one who knew what was going on), what am I going to do when they go through the inevitable big hurts? I won’t always be there monitoring the situations and making sure everyone lets them play.
My greatest wish as a parent is that Ryan and I instill in our children the senses of confidence and compassion and knowing right from wrong. And more than simply knowing right from wrong, having the strength and self-confidence to act right instead of wrong, especially when wrong is the far easier choice. So hopefully when the big hurts come, as I know they unfortunately will, our girls will be able to navigate through them and come out on the other sides relatively unscathed and stronger.
This protecting my heart and soul when it now has its own legs and runs circles around me… Does it ever get any easier?
how could you not want to play with this one?