One day last week I went to pick up Zoe from school. As I lingered near her, the usual pack of girls came over and started pushing books in my face (this has become an unfortunate ritual at pick up time. "Zoe's mom is here! Quick! Find something to make her read to us!"). I sat down with them and the usual bickering started. Pushing, whining "I caaaannnn't seeeeeeee!", trying to sit in a chair that someone else is already sitting in- you know, the usual 2-3 year old behavior.
But what I noticed most of all was, of course, my darling daughter. The light of my life.
The apparent school yard bully.
She started out wanting to sit next to me (reasonable) and she wanted "her" dolly to sit on the chair next to her. But there weren't enough chairs for kids AND dolls so I told her to hold the baby and give the chair to a girl who needed one. So she turned to the girl on the other side of me and said "Get up". AND THE GIRL DID. Before I could say anything, Zoe sat in that seat and turned to the girl on the other side of her and said again "Get up" and THE GIRL DID. Zoe put her dolly down and smiled beatifically at me. I was speechless and once again told her there were NOT enough chairs for dolls and kids and she would have to hold the baby on her lap. This did not go over well but was quickly enforced by the adult in charge, which would be..... oh yeah ME.
Later, when one girl had a book Zoe wanted she whined/yelled "IIIII WANT THAT BOOK" and the girl just dropped it and walked away.
I should clarify too that some of these girls are tough cookies. One was an unrepentant biter for months. Another was known for pushing kids down the ladder on the jungle gym. They are all verbal, smart girls not pushovers. How did my daughter get to be the bossy one here??
GG and I have been worried about this bossy streak for some time. She can be very bossy with us at home; often when we ask her to do something she'll say "YOU do it" or if she wants something that she's totally capable of getting for herself (say a book from her bedroom) she'll whine for me to do it for her. (It's a bit maddening how she wants to do anything dangerous or impossible to do at her size/ability "BY SELF" but anything else she wants us to do it for her.)
I think we've done a pretty good job of not giving in. We don't do things for her unless she really can't do them for herself or, in the case of borderline things like finding a lost toy, HAS TRIED. And if we need to help her we try to involve her in doing it with us and ask her questions to get HER to problem solve. We don't get up from suddenly preferred chairs, though we are often ordered to (yep, chairs are a recurrent problem). We don't do things for her unless it's a reasonable request and she has asked it nicely. We don't let her push Sweet Dog around though Zoe always seems to suddenly NEED to sit wherever Sweet Dog is on the bed/couch.
We aren't giving in.
But I guess some of the kids at school are.....