Mean Girls and Stupid Boys

It’s June, and looking at the calendar this morning I realized that there are only six more preschool classes left until summer break. Only one child in the class will be in kindergarten with Mark next year, and none of them will be in Jake’s new pre-kindergarten program next year, and so I feel a bit nostalgic, already, about the children in the small, cozy, church-run preschool that they are currently attending. I know all the parents and I like them all, and I know all the children and their little quirks, and I will miss them next year.

However, I have noticed a funny thing in the preschool this year, which I did not notice last year. It is the emergence of the mean girl, the girl who befriends another girl one day, and excludes her the next. This really surprised me, because it’s preschool – I wasn’t expecting to see mean girls for a few years yet. For me, mean girls really surfaced, and I mean really surfaced, around Grade Five. I was the victim of a girl who was frequently cruel and then, suddenly, friendly. Years later, when I read “Cat’s Eye”, I had to put the book down and catch my breath, the memories were so raw.

In my experience, this is a female thing. It seems like it is always the girls who are excluding and ranking. The boys, it seems, have a “more the merrier” approach to life, much more inclusive and welcoming of newcomers into their environment than their female counterparts, who need to do some major evaluation first. This carries on into adulthood, where guys will invite pretty much anyone to watch the game, but women need to have serious conversations about whether or not to allow new members into their book club.

The thing about boys, though, is that they are stupid. Or maybe it would be better to say that they do really stupid things. Or maybe, in the interest of not offending my dear readers, I should say MY boys do really stupid things. I’m not even talking about the gale of laughter that occurs when the ketchup bottle makes a farting sound or the game that Jake plays in which he is a ghost covered in a blanket, but continually smacks himself into walls, due to his obscured vision.

The other day I heard hysterical laughter, coupled with the sound of squeaky dog toys. Since the dog was outside, I just figured the boys were playing with his toys. Then came the bloodcurdling scream, and there was Jake, staggering around with a giant welt on his forehead. It seems that they were taking turns lying in the dog bed and pelting each other with the soft squeaky toys, when Mark decided to use, in lieu of said soft squeaky toy, the hard pointed rubber bone “for vigorous chewers”. His aim was perfect.

His response? “Sorry Jake! I didn’t think that would hurt.”

Jake: “That’s okay. Let’s play again!”


  1. I was so weepy when K. left preschool. Of course I was also pregnant.

  2. Anonymous says

    September, the time when you meet new friends, except now they are your kids’ friend’s parents. Perhaps there will be a wild one who you can convince to take a belly dancing class with.

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