Yesterday E told me that there was a girl at school that was trying to be a "baloney". I couldn't get much else out of her, other than that this girl wasn't very nice, and that her teacher said that she was just trying to be a "baloney".
I tried to let it go. E didn't seem to be too interested in talking about it more, and we moved on to other topics. But it lingered. If someone is not being nice to my daughter, they have my attention. "Baloney" sounds an awful lot like "bully" to me.
Today, the Baloney came up again. This time, I wanted answers. Apparently, the Baloney told her that E could "never stick with her", and looked at her with a "very angry face". She didn't touch her or yell at her, but she was mean. I asked E if she told the teacher and she said no. I asked her what she said to the Baloney when she made the angry face, and E said "I just stared at her".
Up until this point, E was just talking matter-of-factly about the whole thing. But all of a sudden, she broke down. Her face crumpled, tears sprang to her eyes and she did that open-mouthed silent cry before letting out a big, painful wail. I cuddled, I comforted, I asked her repeatedly why she was crying. And eventually, when she finally answered me, all she could say was "Do I go to school tomorrow? I don't want the Baloney to be there."
Now I know that I'm a first time mom and this is the first time she has been out of my care and this all may be just a mountain-out-of-a-molehill situation. Maybe the girl looked at her sideways and E was overly sensitive about it. It's Friday, it has been a long week for a girl that's not used to all of this preschool stuff and she was pretty tired tonight. But my absolute worst nightmare as a mom is the idea of my daughter being bullied, and I am just beside myself. I have this sweet little kid who is not the least bit aggressive or mean-spirited, and I get that not everyone will love her (grudgingly), but I just can't wrap my head around how someone could be mean to her. And now she doesn't want to go to school, the place she was so excited about for so long, because of Baloney. Mean girls in preschool. Seriously?!?
I'm going to try to keep a lid on it for the weekend. We have a couple of days off and I'm hoping that distance might mellow things out a bit for both of us. On Monday morning I'm going to talk to the teacher and see what else I can find out. But it's going to be a long couple of days as I come to terms with the fact that my daughter has taken her first steps into the world outside of mom and dad's watchful gaze, and it's not all going to be roses. How do you ever come to terms with that?