Mean Girls

The kids and I sat at the table for dinner the other night, talking about our days and the people we’d come into contact with. I told a funny story about a parent who came to my counter and Joseph told us about the nests he’d built for the birds with his friends. Elizabeth joined the conversation talking about her best friend in the whole wide world, a little girl named Nelly.

No. Of course her real name isn’t Nelly.

Nelly, apparently, told Elizabeth that she is her very best friend.

“She’s just saying that,” Joseph said matter-of-factly. “She’s not nice to you and friends are supposed to be nice.” He took a bite of his nachos.

Yes. Sometimes we have nachos for dinner.

“She is my friend!” Elizabeth looked ready to cry.

“She pokes you with a stick and hits you,” Joseph said.

“But she said she’s my very best friend,” Elizabeth pouted.

Joseph shrugged and looked at me, “She’s mean.”

“Is she mean to you, baby?”

Elizabeth nodded. 

“In this case, your brother is right. Even if she says she’s your best friend, her actions are agreeing with her words.”

I looked back at Joseph and wondered if I should call the daycare provider. “How old is Nelly?” I asked concerned Elizabeth was dealing with an older bully.

“She’s three.”

I nodded and decided to let it go. Nelly’s young.

I learned two things at dinner that night: First, mean girls start as young as three. Second, Joseph’s got his sister’s back.

Let’s hope Nelly is just going through a phase.