We’ve crossed that point with Button where she’s having to learn how to handle insults and teasing from her peers. So she often comes home and tells us what the kids at daycare are saying about her and we advise her on how she should respond.
The big one now is, “They say I’m a cry baby, but I’m NOT a cry baby!” When I asked what she does when they say this, she gasps – like this is the greatest insult in the whole entire world -, yells a rebuke at them, and then starts crying… just proving their point.
So here’s what I advised her to say in response:
“I’m not a cry baby. Prove it! [assuming she’s not crying] See you can’t! Knock it off! Don’t make me make you …”
We rehearsed this several times, and when she came back the next day, here was the report:
“Mama, they called me ‘cry baby’ again. But I told them, ‘I’m not a cry baby. See you can’t! …Prove it! ….Knock it off! Don’t make me make you … You guys crack me up!”
For a couple days, she came back with the same report, all adding “You guys crack me up!” at the end. I liked that – it deflated the situation and showed she was taking it lightly. Or so I thought. The thing was, she didn’t say “You guys crack me up!” lightly, like it is supposed to mean. So maybe she didn’t understand what she was saying.
“Button, what do you mean by ‘You guys crack me up’?”
“They hurt my feelings.” She tosses her head back and stretches her arms out as far as she could. “I’m like Humpty Dumpty, all cracked on the ground.”
Awww. Break my heart! But what an incredible word picture to describe her feelings! On the one hand, I’m incredibly impressed with her connection with her emotions and her ability to express herself. On the other hand, I’m just torn up about how hurt she is by all this.