Whatever Happened to What’sHerName?

When I was younger, I had several friends that I spent time with on a regular basis. Of those friends, there were a few that my mom just did not care for. She’d, whether or not she was aware of it, turn up her nose or adopt a certain tone when I spoke of those friends. At the time, I  didn’t get it. What was her problem? She didn’t have to hang out with them. They were my friends.


Now I get it.

The Princess is quite social. Initially, her circle of friends consisted of the other girls in our neighborhood (there are several – though most are two to three years older than The Princess). Given the proximity, these girls are the friends she plays with most frequently – it’s far easier to trot through the backyard or around the block than it is to call someone, make plans, convince a parent to drive someone here or us to drive her there, and then sort arrangements for getting back home.

Proximity is not necessarily the best way for a child to choose friends. Proximity seems to breed desperation – as in, I know that they’re not very nice and that they make me feel badly when we play together but they’re here and if I’m not playing with them then there’s no one else to play with. Proximity – it poses rotten challenges.

Recently, the two neighborhood girls snubbed my daughter. “Ummm, we’re playing with our iPod Touches and since you don’t have one, you’re going to have to go home.”

Maybe it wasn’t all about the iPod. Maybe it was. Maybe they just didn’t want to play with The Princess at the time (which is fine – that happens), but to tie that to a material object – we have this thing and you don’t have this thing and therefore because we have something you don’t. you don’t fit now – well, I don’t like to get all helicopter mommy, but frankly, I was pissed.

I told her, “We don’t choose our friends based on things they have or don’t have. We are friends and we spend time with people because we like to be around them.” I don’t want her trying to keep up with the Joneses – she’s EIGHT.

And so I find myself, like my mother, when the names of those children come up. Thinking, “Wouldn’t you rather play with so-and-so? She’s such a nice girl!”

I ran into so-and-so’s mother at school a couple weeks ago – and we chatted amicably in the school hallways about how much I missed having her daughter come play at her house and she missed having my daughter play at hers. We joked about how sad it is for moms – our daughters end up in the same classroom, they become close friends, we get used to these friends of our kiddos’ and then? Next year, new classroom, a whole new slew of friends.

Her daughter had encountered some mean girls in her class, as mine had found them in our neighborhood – and as parents, sometimes you have to sit back, keep your lip zipped and STAY OUT OF THE HELICOPTER. But, you can’t help but wish that your kids would gravitate towards the nice kids.

The Princess and So-And-So ended up getting to hang out for several hours last weekend. They had an amazing time, they didn’t bicker, they didn’t fight about things they have or don’t have. It was just…good.

Those moments when I get my mother. I hope they don’t start happening too frequently. Or involve NASCAR.

About sarah

Sarah is a book nerd, a music lover, an endorphin junkie, a coffee addict. Oh, and a goof ball. She writes, she tweets, and she sings off key.


  1. I nearly choked on my Diet Coke when I read the last line! 🙂

  2. You probably will turn in to your Mother, I have to admit I am turning in to mine.

    It’s horrible when someone is mean to our kids and we can’t do much about it. It’s not a bad idea to set up a play date with someone else for them, see if the new friendship sticks.

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