What would you make of this bad behavior?
Ashley was pushing her daughter Ella in the stroller through Nordstrom to the men’s department to buy a shirt for father’s day.
At the foot of the escalator Ella said: “Can we go up to the video?”
“Not this time, Sweetie,” responded Ashley. “I want you to stay with me, so I can just find a shirt for Daddy, and then we can go.”
“I want to watch the video.”
“We will go another day, Sweetheart. Today we’re just buying a shirt for Daddy.”
“But I want to watch the video.”
“No. I told you: we are getting a shirt for Daddy, and then we are going home.”
Ashley saw an angry look come over Ella’s face and could see the wheels turning behind her eyes. Then out it came: “You’re not even pretty!”
“Well, look at that,” thought Ashley, “My sweetly dressed little daughter has found in her devious mind the perfect hurtful thing to say,” but Mom kept it together enough to say: “I understand that I don’t look pretty to you right now,” and started flipping through the racks of shirts.
The sales lady said, “Don’t say that. Your mother is very pretty.”
“No she’s not,” shot back Ella.
Angrily, Ashley wanted to say, “Shut up, Lady. That will just provoke her. Just ignore her and mind your own business. Find me a shirt so we can get out of here,” but didn’t. Instead, she just picked out a shirt, and rolled her daughter to the register.
Is Ella doomed to still be a mean girl, when she is in fifth grade?
Little girls are cute and small only to adults. To one another they are not cute. They are life-sized. ~Margaret Atwood