Is it frowned upon to slap your neighbor's daughter? Because I swear I almost did tonight.
Let's work backwards.
Savannah had been cooped up in this house for the last three days with her allergies/strep/cold thing. By last night I'm pretty sure we had broken the record for the most consecutively played games of Connect Four, so today we were both aching to get out of the house.
We ended up going to see Meet the Robinsons and when we returned Chris casually mentioned that two hours earlier our neighbor Susan had invited Savannah to come over to her house and play with her daughter - THE Lindsey - and two other neighbor girls.
Lately, we've been letting Lindsey come over every so often to "secret agent babysit", which mainly consists of her eating all my 100 calorie snack pack Doritos while glued to my TV, just so Savannah can have a few precious hours with this girl she adores.
And adore her she does.
Which made the ensuing actions all the more heartwrenching.
So, Savannah catches wind of this missed invite and while it was now nearly six at night, I felt for her lonely little form sitting on the front lawn. So I told her to go ahead and call Susan and ask if it was too late to come over.
She did. And I overheard Susan say "Sure! I'll have Lindsey come get you".
Do you know what my daughter did? She could barely contain her joy. She rushed upstairs and changed into her new skirt and shirt. Then she came rushing down with hair accessories and asked me to do her hair before the girls came by to get her.
And then she waited.
All the while I'm assuring her that I'm sure they're on their way over.
And then do you know what happens? They go running by our house, holding hands and giggling. And shushing each other when they see our front door is open. As if to say "don't let her hear us because then she'll want to play".
And we saw it all from the front window.
And my heart broke.
"Mommy", she cried, "Why are they running away?"
I quickly said "Oh, I'm sure they're in a hurry to get to the other neighbor's house for dinner. They just need to change out of their bathing suits. They're...uh..."
Her lip shook. "Do they not want to play with me?"
"Of course they do!" And my hands shook. With rage.
I realized I was going to have to play the bad guy.
"You know what, honey? I'm sure they're running because it's getting dark. And I'm sure they're about to call you. But, you know what? I'm going to have to call Susan and tell her you're not going to be able to come after all because it's gotten too late."
And of course she crumples on the floor sobbing with disappointment. So, while Chris soothed her I took the phone upstairs.
And I laid into our neighbor. I was sure to let her know that it wasn't her fault, but I made damn sure she knew how devastated Savannah was over her snotty little girl's cruelty. I was absolutely shaking with fury. Even her apologies didn't calm me down and I had to hang up on her.
So, when the doorbell rang an hour later and the mean girls were on my doorstep with a letter covered in rainbows and hearts and a big "We're sorry" I could only muster "Yeah, right" as I took it and shut the door in their faces.
The saddest part is I know mean girls are a fact of life. I know this won't be the last time Savannah is crushed by another girl's actions. But, the thing is, she didn't know that yesterday. And today she does.
So, how do you handle these situations? Because I'm guessing a Slam Book passed around the neighborhood is out of the question.