My daughter started Kindergarten this year, and like any parent I was a little concerend if she would easily make new friends. She had gone to pre-school for the last two years at a different school, and I think she was a little sad that she wouldn’t see her same friends from before at her new school. After two weeks, it is now clear that other kids are making friends with her, but I’m not sure she is making friends with them.
After only a few days, she came home excited and told us about Clare, her new “bestie” that she played with at recess. I was glad she had made a friend, but was a little weird that the first friend she made was not a kid in her own class, but a kid she met on the playground. But it is still early in the year, and the playground is a fun place to make friends, so I get it. Since then, she had come home telling us about two other “besties” that she plays with on the playground. Not only were these also kids not in her class, but when we asked her what their names were, she didn’t know. Hmm…some “besties” these must be.
Then, a few days ago she tells me about how another girl pushed her on the playground, but it was ok, because it was one of her anonymous “besties.” So many thoughts rushed to my mind. First, we’ve really got to teach her what a bestie is. Second, who is this little ass-hole? Third, why doesn’t my daughter still know anybody’s name? Maybe thats why she got pushed.
Other kid greets my kid with a smile: “Hi Lucy!”
My kid greets other kid with side-eye: “Who are you?”
We explained to her that, no, its not OK that she pushed you. And if she did push you, then she is not your friend. This concept was completely lost on her. She could not fathom that this random name-less girl was not her bestie. For being applied so easily and seemingly arbitrarily, apparently this term is ironclad.
So two weeks into the school year, my daughter has made three friends. She knows one of their names, and one of them has assaulted her. She’s off to a great start.
A few days ago her school was sponsoring a night at a local ice cream shoppe, so we went. They had me at ice cream, so the fact that some of the proceeds went to her school was just the figurative cherry atop my literal sundae. We were there for maybe a half hour, and during that time multiple kids either came over and said “Hi Lucy” or said to their parents “That’s Lucy.” Each time I would ask her, “Are they in your class? What’s their name?” For all but one, the answer was the same – “I don’t know.”
What is she doing all day in school? Is she cold-shouldering every kid in class? Does every kid in her class know who she is because she’s the weird kid in class who sits there all alone and doesn’t talk to anybody? Or does she talk to people but is so narcisistic that the fact that other kids have names too hasn’t dawned on her? Or best case scenario (I guess?) is that she has the memory of a goldfish. None of these scenarios are great.
There was a bright spot, however. At one point a parent walked over to us to say hello and let us know that her daughter is in the same class as ours, and they will be on the same soccer team too. It turned out that she was the mom of the one kid whose name my daugher actually knew. That girl didn’t come over to say hi though, because she was too shy. So the one kid that my daughter actually does make the effort to learn her name can’t bring herself to come over and say hi, and the kid my daughter has annointed as her “bestie” is a nameless jerk.
I think we’ll invite shy girl over for play date. Both girls will play at opposite ends of the back yard in silence. If my kid can be entertained and quiet, what more could I ask for? Maybe they’ll end up being best friends for years. I really hope they do, if for no other reason then it seems it may take until the 6th grade for them to talk to eachother. Unless it turns out that that no-name bestie has parents we’d get along with better. Then my kid needs to start learning names pronto.