Brynn (4) came to me this morning as we were getting ready for school.
“Mommy, do you know what my classmates said to me?”
“What did they say?”
“Well, they were looking at their Hello Kitty shoes and saying they were pretty. I told them I thought they were pretty, too.”
“That was a kind thing to say.”
(Tears well up) “But Mommy, they didn’t tell me thank you. They said, ‘well, your shoes are ugly.”
She has pink Skechers, and they’re cool. I’d wear them. But they don’t sparkle or make noise or have any up-to-the-minute branding. I asked Brynn if she liked her shoes, and she said she did, that they were her favorites. I told her that’s what’s important.
She seemed to accept this but, if I think waaaaay back to grade school, I remember it was the sting of comments like this that stayed with me.
Yes, it’s all part of growing up. Kids can be mean, and we won’t be running out to buy Hello Kitty shoes just because some of her little classmates haven’t quite learned to filter. But I feel like I could have said something better, something more helpful or affirming.
So, if you were in my shoes this morning (pardon the pun), what would you have said?