Friday, February 6, 2009

The little girl in the pink

Lamentations 3:22
Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.

Can I get that rock I was talking about a couple days ago? I would love nothing more than a nice hole in the ground to crawl into. In an effort to get out of the house and let the painter and my dad work in peace today, I set up a play date with a friend. Getting out the door this morning was a challenge all of its own.
I thought Jenna was having a hard time with all the moving around but over the past couple days, I have decided she is teething. Again...still...whatever...she has to be teething! She cries all the time, unless I am holding her. If she happens to be playing happily, which almost never happens, and I walk in or out of the room she erupts in tears. Angry tears I call them. She get so worked up.
Her sleeping is messed up too. It could be a combination of both the teeth and the chaos. It is so tiring and near impossible to get even the simplest task accomplished. Her perfectly contented demeanor is very rare these days and peaceful sleep, very short and far between.
So anyway, after I toted everyone out to the car we headed off to run a few errands and then hit a local church with a huge play area. I was enjoying catching up with my friend and all the sudden I heard a mother very sternly correcting her little girl. When she said, "I don't care how other people act, WE DON'T act that way!!" I asked if my little girl had anything to do with what was going on. The mother gave me this look like she couldn't believe I really didn't know what was going on and she said something like, "The little girl in the pink wasn't letting anyone else play inside the playhouse."
As I called Bethany over, I could see on every one's faces that they were appalled by her behavior. My friend turned to a lady who seemed to have taken it all in and asked her what had happened. The lady explained, with a look of horror, that..." the 'little girl in the pink' wouldn't let any of the other children come inside the playhouse and was telling them to 'all go away'. "She was bullying all the other children. When one little girl tried to get inside, the 'little girl in the pink' continued to yell and say, 'GO AWAY!!!' in a very mean voice." Then she explained how the little girl who was being bullied bottom lip was quivering. "She was just about to burst into to tears when her mother, stepped in to stop it."
I was overwhelmingly ashamed and at the same time, really defensive. It was incredibly painful to hear a stranger say my child was a bully. Did that excuse Bethany's actions? NO. Would I have been upset, had a child treated my child that way? Absolutely.
I was very shocked, because Bethany has interacted really well with other kids for a long time now. She had been trying to be good all day, because I had promised her a surprise at the end, if she behaved well.
I know I may seem unreasonably defensive of her, and I am by no means excusing her actions, but I am trying to figure out where all that came from. Sometimes she plays being bossy and likes to be in charge. I almost wonder if she didn't get the fact, that what she did wasn't appropriate? Or did it have anything to do with the fact that, she has been stressed by our shuffled life right now? She has been unusually quiet and not her normal self, did it all come out in that moment?
None the less, I has completely embarrassed and the looks I received were so humiliating. I wanted so badly to say, "She really is a sweet girl and is very nice!!!" It was such a mix of emotions, wanting to strangle her, okay that's way too harsh but you know what I mean, and in the same moment run and hug her little self up, and carry her out of that situation.
Bethany had to sit in the corner for a very long time and then apologize to the little girls and their moms. I hope she has learned her lesson and we had a very long talk about it all. For me, it is a lesson I will learn over and over children aren't perfect, and they keep me humble.

Painful as all that was, I love her more than ever before!!


Angela said...

Wow! Well we know what a sweet girl Bethany is and she is wonderful with Riley. Our kids can get together and play anytime!

Miranda said...

Ahh, thanks for the encouragement!!