More school drop offs and pick ups means more time to observe the schoolyard politics. Not a good thing for a paranoid over-thinker like me. Now I’m not just worried about my own children making their way in that murky battlefield we call the playground. Now I’m worried about everyone’s kid.
I overheard a group of year 4 girls today discussing who was rostered on to play with Emily. Yes, Emily rosters out her available playtimes. See, apparently Sarah gets to play with Emily on Mondays, Georgie gets her Tuesdays and Julia gets her Wednesdays and Thursdays, but not at recess because Sarah is back on for Thursday recess. I don’t know what Emily does on Fridays because Fridays were not discussed.
Part of me loathed Emily on sight (good hair, neat looking, entitled) and part of me felt sorry for her because a forty year old stranger loathed her on sight*. I wanted to go over to that group of year 4 girls and say ‘hey, girls. Listen to yourselves! A roster for friendship. What’s so great about Emily? Why don’t you all play together and leave her out for a change? See how she likes it? Roster her on for no-day, never, no way. Or, if you’re not mean and jaded like me, you could just ditch the roster system (which is overly complicated and surely not sustainable) and all just play together. See, you don’t ever want to let anyone have that kind of power over you. Don’t let them be the one to decide what you’re going to do and what you’re not going to do. As soon as someone is ‘letting’ you do something, it’s time to run, run for the hills and don’t look back, not even to pick up your favourite dolly. You hear me? You listening, girls? Girls?’
Instead, I backed away slowly. It was best for everyone.
I want to know what Emily’s got. What makes people flock to one kind of person and not another. Is the charisma thing working for them even in primary school? Does Emily just have more barbie dolls or parents that think that high heels and daisy-dukes are suitable attire for an 11 year old? What is it about Emily? And how can we best deal with her kind? (I can so feel a ‘difficult people’ post coming on …)
Every grown up person you talk to who must have been cool for school because they’re so hot right now attests to feeling just as left out as the rest of us. Will Emily say something like ‘oh, I was popular, but I just never felt like I fit in at primary school… I always just wanted this cool girl called Kate to like me but she wasn’t free on Fridays so… you know, that was that…’
[Image uncredited via weheartit, please let me know if it’s yours]