I'm not proud of what I'm about to say, but here goes...
I'm a real a**hole on the playground.
More specifically, I may be ruining young psyches with my playground politics.
Case in point: The little blond girl we'll call Julia.
In my defense, Julia's a real prima dona. Blonde. Prissy. Know-it-all. She may only be five or six now, but I see Julia's future. She's that cliquey sorority slut you run into at frat parties in college and instantly despise.
But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Back to little Julia. I see her at the playground often. She and her friends (whose 40something Mexican nannies are also clique-ish) are always running AWAY from The Wee One, who genuinely just wants to make friends.
Here's how that goes:
Julia and her friends (all around the 5-6 year old range) are playing in the sand. The Wee One (all of 18 months) plops down to join them. Julia and her friends run away. The Wee One, thinking it's a game, gets up and runs after them, smiling, giddy. Julia gives The Wee One the stank eye as she and her friends run faster or climb a tree to escape.
The adult in me gets the dynamic. My inner brat (we'll call her Bratty McBraxton) does NOT. Personally offended, I swoop in, try to distract The Wee One with one of her toys or the enticement of THE SLIDE (it really IS the best thing to do on the playground). Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. For the most part, The Wee One appears untraumatized by the playground politics.
I, on the other hand, feel overly emotional and rejected.
Who's the REAL baby, you ask?
Insert dramatic eye roll.
So back to Julia and me.
I've spent the better part of six months studying her behavior. And I don't like her. She's bossy. Possessive. Demanding. A real six year old.
So imagine how I feel when she tries to steal one of The Wee One's toys the other day...
INT. PLAYGROUND - DAY
The Wee One has left her sand toys to wander aimlessly after yet another kid who's not interested in being her friend. (Oy, all my issues come up on the playground!)
Julia makes a grab for The Wee One's coolest toy.
I catch Julia in the act and say...
"Is that your toy?"
Julia looks up at me with her big blue eyes, feigns innocence.
"I don't think so," I counter. "That's her toy."
"But I want to play with it," she says, twisting a lock of blond hair around her finger, assessing if her charms will work on me.
"Too bad. You're not very nice to her so we're not going to share today," I say in my best scolding voice. (This will SO be one of the scenes God plays in my Albert Brooks' Defending Your Life montage.)
Julia looks at me, surprised. Most people don't say no to her. She knows it. I know it. She hates it. I love it.