The Whoofle (singular) looks a little like an armadillo, according to Z. She is, thus far, the only one to have any knowledge of the Whoofle. She’s quite afraid of it. She worries about it eating her toys, and even eating her (so glad I hid that “Travels of Babar” book with the cannibals). It’s sad that we’ve worked so hard to keep her from scary things, that she’s resorted to creating scary things out of her imagination. We have to prop up Z’s giant stuffed triceratops, Penelope, to stand guard at night. And she has Mr. Fox to hold, as well. And her turtle star night light.
The Whoofles (plural) look a lot like your average group of four-, five- and six-year-old girls. The Whoofles travel together in packs during the day, and don’t include everyone in their fun. They are, I think, far scarier than the Whoofle (sing.).
Dropping Z off at school yesterday, I was a mixture of jubilation and uncertainty. I was looking forward to some quality writing time, but unsure how she’d handle her first day back after two weeks off of school. But she was so excited about going back and playing “Princess Beauty” (a new game – I think it may have come from a Disney princess book her cousin shared with her).
But when we dropped her off, the other girls didn’t flock to engage her in play, and she stood there, bouncing and excited, by herself. Before walking across the street to our car, we spied her on the playground and watched as one of these little girls basically told her she couldn’t play with them (we couldn’t hear the conversation, but the body language and Z’s resultant lack of bouyancy were clear enough).
I came home and it was hard not to cry into my breakfast.
I didn’t recognize any of the girls, so I’m pretty sure their moms aren’t reading this. So I can easily give way to angry venting and vilify these little three-to-six-year-olds to my heart’s content.
That’s all the venting I’m willing to do, because I’m sure once upon a time I was a Whoofles, and Z may someday be a Whoofles too, although I will do everything in my power to teach her compassion & inclusiveness (is that even a word?). And I want to show her it’s possible to a) make friends who aren’t cruel and b) have fun by oneself. And while I’m at it, I’d like to somehow get her to figure out how to solve all the world’s problems and also make enough money to set Husband and myself up in a nice retirement home someday. Maybe in a warm place, by the ocean. Surrounded by our non-Whoofles friends.
Kids can be very cruel. It’s sad. I know I was a Whoofles-victim, and I’m fairly positive somewhere along the line I was a Whoofles. Z will find her group of much awesomer friends eventually.
Now The Whoofle I don’t know what to do about that. I don’t think I had a specific imaginary monster; just a vague fear of what COULD be hiding in the closet.
I didn’t have a specific monster, either, although I remember being afraid of a nightmare named Helen or Holly or something for awhile. But usually it was just the fear of whatever that had me cowering under blankets.
Now I’m afraid of mean four-year-olds.
It’s quite likely the very next day they had no problem with playing with her. Kids can be fickle, especially at that age. One day they’ll be best friends, the next they have a new best friend. They’re not purposefully being cruel, they are just still learning about all that social stuff (well the majority aren’t intentionally cruel, there are the occasional exceptions). It’s hard as a mum to see your child not included and to see their disappointment (believe me, I’ve had the same anxiety with my son this past year), we can only teach them to be accepting of others when the shoe is on the other foot. I think all children around that age have uttered the words ‘I don’t want to play with you’ or ‘I won’t be your friend’. Their concepts of friendship are still developing and are not the same as ours. Trust that her teacher will step in and ensure she is involved with the other children if she is upset about being excluded. Preschool is a great learning environment for social interaction.
Yes, I agree! I know it’s all changing, and they’re ALL learning (even the accused Whoofles). And yes, it is so hard to watch it. Thankfully the teachers are great, so if I ever get really worried about it, I can talk to them, but I trust they’ll step in if they see anything they think they should interfere with.
Oh, gosh–so hard to witness. I’ve seen some of the same and I know there’s more to come, which kind of makes me want to tear my hair out, but instead I reach for the parenting books to ease the angst and anger of my inner-Whoofle. Whoofles would comprise a great picture book, BTW…
Hm. Not sure I meant “comprise”. Clearly it’s naptime.
PB, you’re the second person to tell me the Whoofle would make a good picture book. Hmm. As long as I can illustrate it with the Paint program, I’m happy to do one. 🙂
I remember when I was a victim of the Whoofles…. and because of that, I was never a Whoofles myself.
I don’t remember being a Whoofles, because I was always really sensitive to feelings (mine, as well as other peoples’, animals’, and those of personified inanimate objects – i.e. stuffed animals & dolls). But there might have been a time when I was accidentally a Whoofles. I tried not to be, though.
I feel wisdomless…just filled with an overwhelming sense of wanting to come down and hug my sweet Z. Lord, protect her, and all children, from the Whoofles, both real and imagined.
I feel wisdomless, too. And helpless. Because I can’t go rushing in and banish the imagined Whoofle, and I can’t give the Whoofles a piece of my mind, either.
Jerky Whoofles. I know a guy…
Hehe. Thanks, Trina.