Now, I know what you’re thinking, “kiss that friendship goodbye”, but it has actually been fine. There are some things that a person hopefully learns by the time she is wearing big girl panties, and one of them is a lovely thing we all call boundaries. Tessa's began to show themselves this week.
I would like to explain myself, but that will require a story.
Go get some popcorn. I'll wait.
Tessa is getting the idea of how to take care of herself at her sapling age, and I’d like to fool myself into thinking I had something to do with it. I try to explain to my kids that if you lay on the ground, people are bound to wipe their feet on you. If that happens, don’t come crying to me. I have a strict no-doormat policy. If you are standing upright, it’s really hard for someone to swing their feet up there for a good wipe. If some fool manages to swing a foot that high, I am always available for tear wiping. Now, if for some reason you feel that the view from down there on the ground is one you simply can’t miss, well, that’s your choice, but for heaven’s sake, cover yourself up so you don’t get hurt and muddied.
Our neighborhood is slim-pickins' for playmates, and our other kids don’t get home from school till nearly four. Tessa has taken to playing with the two year old next door. He is rough and tumble, all boy, and all “two”. His favorite toys are balls (he recently berated his mother on the evening of the full moon because she wouldn’t get the big “ball” out of the sky for him to play with) which he throws, along with everything else, with the force of a major-leaguer . When Tessa goes over to play, she often comes home in tears. I comfort her and then explain again that she is choosing to play with him, and she knows he gets rough. Then I let her choose what she will do next. She usually stays home for a while for a snuggle, but eventually goes back.
The other day when Tessa came home, she went straight into the garage. She came back moments later with her bike helmet and asked for help with the buckle.
“Are you going to ride your bike?’
“No, I’m gonna go back to play at Maxie’s with my helmet
cuz’ so Maxie won’t hurt me, cuz’ he’s frowing stuff at my head.”
“Good thinking!” came my reply.
She smiled confidently and marched out the door.
Talk to the hand.
This child ain't no body's doormat.
("No more pit'chers mom!")