Every once in a while, I like to peek in the window at Melody’s preschool and watch how she interacts with her classmates. I took a moment to do that today and discovered that Melody is currently a follower. And a bit insensitive.
After I said “good bye” she went over to her two little buddies (and when I say little, I do mean little as compared to her) and the three girls were holding hands and singing a song. A little boy came over and wanted to play with them, but one of the little buddies (I have as yet to figure out which child matches up to which name) told him no, he could not play with them. The other little girl seemed like she would have reached out and held his hand, but the first little girl said again “no, this is for girls!” Melody and the other little girl both put their free hands behind their backs and didn’t allow the little boy to join in their play. He tried to take Melody’s hand a couple times and she kept wiggling away from him like he was trying to pinch her.
Well, I don’t want to be known as having an a-hole for a kid, so I went back into the room and told Melody that she has to share and play with all her friends so that everyone can have a fun time. I swept my gaze over the two little buddies while I said this, and the magic of a Mom Look took hold. Suddenly all four were playing Ring Around The Rosey like that was exactly what they had planned and they were all happily laughing and falling down together.
The observation I made was that Melody was watching her classmates to follow their cues. Surely she wants to fit in as much as the rest of the kids. There are born leaders in every peer group, there are those in the middle who could step up and lead or step back and follow as appropriate, and those who will be born followers. If Melody isn’t in the born leader category, I at least hope she winds up in the middle category. Not that being a follower is bad, I just hope that she will develop those characteristics that make people strong enough to stand up for what is right. I like to think she wanted to let the little boy play, but didn’t want to rock the boat.
Maybe I was wrong to step in, but can I just say that the “she looks too young to have kids” preschool assistant just stood there watching the whole exchange, and didn’t even say a thing when I stepped in? I find that a concern, although to a much lesser degree. How exactly would she have handled it if the leader of the little buddies had socked the little boy in the eye? Sigh….