On your marks, get set, go. Count to five, then wait for someone to start crying. That's what happens a lot lately with Twig and her friends. Competition has entered the arena. Between that and the increased awareness of all of the Disney princess' and their names, I'm cringing a bit. Sometimes the conversation between the girls is about who got down the stairs faster, or who ran faster, but sometimes it's about hair being longer, skirts twirling more, or my least favorite one... who is the prettiest. When I hear feelings being hurt I step in but otherwise, I carefully try to keep out of it.
I know its all natural and that this, just like everything else, is a phase. I just hate to see my kid who loves to run fast, make everything about beating someone else. Competition isn't all bad. After years in a highly competitive sport, I know that competition has it's positive side. I just didn't expect it so young. I also see how sometimes, unintentionally, the girls hurt each other's feelings. Side by side with this comparing they are doing also comes telling each other what to do. I hear a bossy tone come from Twig sometimes and wonder if that is how I sound to her. It's adorable when I hear her quote me with something sweet like "I love the way you did that" but when she comes out with "I do NOT like it when you do that" to her friends, I tense my shoulders and scratch my head at the same time.
I only know what I hear when I am privey to her conversations with her little friend. I drive them both home from school together and listen as they tell each other what to do and comment on which one "wins" what. I step in as little as my impulse will let me and most of the time when I stay out of it, they work things out themselves. After all, most of the time they play well together as we adults hang in another room. When it gets too much for one, they know how to kindly ask the other for a bit of quiet time. Much to my surprise, they give each other that break whenever it's asked without any offense taken. If only we could all master that as adults.