Yesterday in the car, on the way back from carpool, we had an interesting discussion. I asked T., as I always do, how her day went, who she had sat next to at lunch, who she had played with at recess. The response is usually the same--she rattles off a string of girls' names, one of whom is always a girl named S., her BFF from the neighborhood. But yesterday she left S. out, and the girls' names were different ones from the usual.
"You didn't sit with S.?" I asked. "Or G.? Or K.?"
As it turned out, S. had decided that this week she and G. and K. would sit with some different girls, because she had "promised" them that this would be "their" week and not T.'s. As she told the story her face looked a little lost, the way it gets when she's processing something difficult, or especially confusing. I have been bracing myself for this type of thing. It's hard to be the new kid at school, and although she and her friend S. do love each other, S. has already built up a little pool of friends. I expected the dynamics to be present some problems--just not this early in the school year.
"Hmmmm...." I said, which is my customary response when I'm trying to sort something out for my children, but also trying to tread carefully. Better not to make a big deal out of it, I decided. T. didn't seem too upset and there was no reason to give her cause to feel badly about it.
L., however, was quick with his reply. "You know, I just don't understand girls," he said.
"What don't you understand?" I asked.
"All these games," he said. "The popular stuff, the I'll-sit-with-you-today-but-not-tomorrow games. Why does it have to be like that?"
I sighed. "I don't understand it either," I said. Why does it have to be like that?