Tiny Coconut

I have things.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004


Yesterday afternoon, a friend of Em's came by with her grandmother, and they ended up taking Em back to the friend's house to play for a while. About an hour and a half later, a whole group of people, including a sobbing Em, came tromping up the steps to our porch. Everyone was trying to talk to me at once--the friend's dad, the grandmother, the friend, and even another girl who I had never met before. Em was sobbing too hard to speak. Once I was sure there was no physical injury, I assured everyone that Em would be fine, and I took her inside.

Turns out, there had been a brief misundestanding over the rules of a board game, and Em's friend had gotten upset with Em when Em questioned the way the game was being played. Em, never one to remain calm when there is the opportunity for dramatics, apparently became very upset. This was exacerbated by the fact that, soon after she'd gotten to the girl's house, one of their neighbor kids had come over to play. As Em said to me, between sobs, "I felt like C only wanted to be K's friend."

I pulled her onto my lap and, once I vaguely understood what was going on (jealousy and a dramatic bent make for one very unhappy little girl), I talked to her gently about some of the things that might have been going on; like that maybe C felt like Em was accusing her of cheating. And I talked to her about how hard it is when there are three girls in a room trying to play together, especially when all three aren't friends with one another to start out with. But mostly I just let her cry, and held her.

After a while, when she had clearly gone from genuinely upset to milking it, I suggested we go outside. "Can we keep on talking about this, though?" she asked.

"Sure," I said. "I could just use some fresh air."

Outside, just as I'd hoped, she got distracted by the mini-trampoline and the tiny balance beam we got her for her birthday, and starting turning cartwheels.

"Was there anything else you wanted to say about all of this?" I asked her, not wanting her to feel that she couldn't finish venting if she really wanted to.

"No," she said, coming over and giving me a hug. "I'm over it now. I just knew that I would feel so much better if I came home and talked to you. I knew that being with my family would help."

I'll tell you, I've had promotions that were less gratifying than hearing those words.

free hit counter