I'm just so sad right now.
Lennon woke up early and climbed into bed with me this morning. She yawned one of those big exaggerated yawns that I think she learned from the watching lions on Animal Planet, and said in a sleepy voice that she loved me.
I said I love you too, and she said, in an even sleepier voice, "Mommy, I have to tell you something."
So I said what's up? and then she laid it on me.
The other girls in her Little Gym class don't like her. They tease her, and call her names.
So I wanted to know what kind of names.
Pumpkin Bean, she said, serious as punch. And she told the Little Gym teacher, who told the girls not to tease, but they only teased quieter.
So I hugged her and I said that Pumpkin Bean is just what mean girls say to girls they don't know very well, and weren't there any girls in the class who were nice to you?
She said the boy in the class is nice, and he doesn't care that she's only four, but all the girls are big girls, and they tease. She also said I shouldn't call anyone "mean" because that's not a nice thing to say about someone.
So I hugged her tighter and said not to worry about girls who tease because they just don't know how much it hurts when someone teases, since they have as many friends as they think they need. Lennon said they knew it hurt, because they laughed when she almost cried.
I think I caused internal damage with the hug I gave Lennon, and then I told her that she was beautiful and smart and most importantly, she knows what it means to be a friend. I told her not to forget how it feels being on the outside, so that she never makes fun of anyone else. I told her it was good that she told the teacher, and that if they keep teasing afterwards, she can tell them that she has no idea what a Pumpkin Bean is, but that she thinks it's a dumb thing to call someone, and whoever made it up is dumb too.
She told me she'd never call anyone dumb. I know she's serious about that. Lennon is the kind of kid who forgives even the biggest offenses. She can stick up for herself, and I've even seen her fight back when backed into a corner, so I know she's not a doormat, but she believes everyone is her friend or a friend-to-be, and she just doesn't want to hurt anyone. If those bigger girls are going to keep being mean to her, Lennon would rather just walk away and never look back. She has a world of friends, and doesn't feel the need to waste time with the girls who are going to call her names.
I, on the other hand, want to go back there and call out those little turds with the matching leotards and the parents who raised them, and make them all rue the day they called Lennon a Pumpkin Bean. Stupid cliquey brats, justwanttocutintotheirmostvulnerableemotionsandmakethemcryuntiltheireyesfalloutandthentheirmomscrybecausetheirdaughtershavenoeyesandthentheireyesfallouttooandthenwe'llseewhohastroublemakingfriendsgoingaroundalleyeless...
Yeah, on second thought, I think I'll let Lennon handle it.