Boy do I have egg on my face!
After my last post where I waxed poetic about Big A's supportive social network at school, it all fell apart the next day.
When I picked her up yesterday, she was acting pissy. I asked her what was wrong and she explained that two of her closest friends had ignored her all day and when she had asked why they were ignoring her, they ignored her.
As if that wasn't bad enough, then her other best friend gave out invitations to her birthday party and did not give her one. Earlier in the week Big A had been very excited because this girl had told her that she WAS invited to the party and told her all about what they would be doing at this party.
My heart broke.
Ever since she told me about what happened, I have had a lump in my throat and I have felt sick to my stomach. Adam and I gave her a big pep talk last night about how sometimes people are mean for no reason and that she should find other friends and always remember to be nice to others because of how hurtful to exclude or ignore someone.
I asked if she had inquired why she did not get a birthday invitation. I wondered, was it because she insisted on going to school yesterday with 3 messy pigtails, a pink skirt, yellow striped shirt and furry purple sweatshirt that is 2 sizes too small? I doubt it. Any female knows how cruel girls can be to each other, and there doesn't need to be a reason. Big A said the girl didn't know why, just said that her name was not on her mom's invitation list. Okay, so was this an oversight on the parents' behalf? This girl is always so sweet and friendly, it seemed very out of character for her to do something deliberately mean.
I have met this girl's dad before, heck I see him almost every day! But I have never met, and not sure I've even seen the mother. Maybe she doesn't know Big A?
So this morning I did something that might get me in trouble with some of you parents out there...I contacted the girl's dad! When I discussed this with my parents last night they said I shouldn't do it. But I just couldn't let it go. I felt that if this was deliberate, they should at least explain to their daughter that it is not nice to invite and then un-invite a child to a party.
Maybe the girls had a falling out and they aren't as good friends as they were and I should just bud out, right? Maybe. But I just want to know.
So I sent him this note:
Earlier this week Big A told us she had been invited to ___'s birthday party this weekend. Yesterday, Big A was very upset because she discovered she was not actually invited - which is fine - I just wondered if you knew what happened, did the girls have a falling out, etc.? Big A said they did not, but sometimes it is difficult to get the whole story out of her.
Am I being a "helicopter mom"? Maybe. This just strikes a chord with me because I remember how painful it is to be ostracized by your peers. The whole situation just literally brings me to tears.
Predictably, Big A threw a huge fit when I said it was time to go to school today. I ended up having to throw her over one shoulder and put her out on the front porch with her shoes. Then I got Little A and the stroller outside, locked the front door and started walking away with Little A. Big A finally had no choice but to put on her shoes and chase me down the street. She screamed and cried the whole way there. Part of me wanted to punish her until she is 20 for her defiance and rudeness she displayed, but the other part felt nothing but empathy.
I mentioned the events yesterday to her daycare teacher, who always likes to be kept apprised of these situations, and she agreed to keep an eye on Big A and explore what is going on with the other girls. Yes, yes, I know, I am probably getting too involved. I don't care, the ignoring is female bullying, and this is one thing I will not tolerate!!
Seconds after finishing the above post, I received this email from the dad:
I am so glad you wrote to us! She is invited. I did the invitations by memory late Wednesday night. I am so sorry Big A had to go through that. ___ always wanted Big A there. There is nothing going on between them at all. I hope Big A can make it. It is 100% my fault that she didn't get an invitation. The party is Sunday from 4-7. It is a pajama party and dinner will be provided. ____ wants everyone to watch a movie. Let me know if the time works. We are at 123 Main St. _____
Okay, feeling a bit better now...