So take a bunch of girls with new hormones messing with every emotion known to them, mix in some clueless mommies and you have, well, a mess.
This afternoon I took the kids to meet with some other friends at school. I was told who going to be there and Miley was excited about the group. When we got there, there was an extra family with a girl Miley's age (I'll call her Bess). And Miley was not happy.
We stood beyond the table and Miley made faces, groans and everything else.
"Why does she have to be here?" she whined as I tried my very best to fill five cups of water while holding a toddler and trying to keep an eye on two other kids.
"Honey," I began. "I didn't know. But maybe you'll have fun. She seems really sweet."
"Mom, pleeaase. She's got that fake smile and then it just goes away when a teacher isn't looking. She's so fake."
"I'm sure she likes you."
Again, eyes roll but with a bonus sigh.
I look at her and plead with my non-rolling eyes to try getting along.
She looks down and walks over to the table.
Mistake #1--I believe her behavior is obvious to every mom at the table.
Mistake #2--I feel the need to discuss it.
"I'm not sure we'll be able to stay long," I begin. "Miley isn't in the best mood. She and Bess are having some issues."
I pause and then it gets better.
Mistake #3--I ask the Bess' mom if she knows anything.
"Do you have any idea what's up?"
Bess' mom take a bite of salad. "No, I'm not aware of anything."
And she proceeds to stare down at her plate for a good few minutes while others join the table.
Great going Lisa--you made this mom incredibly uncomfortable. Rock on.
Of course, the whole thing was more or less Miley being her age. She did play with Bess. In Miley's words 'she was nice, today at least'.
So you'd think that after three mistakes and Miley and Bess getting along, you would think a mom who has weathered the politics of new motherhood, the craziness of pre-school and the cliques of grammar school would know to shut up. Nooooooo.....
Mistake #4--Talking about how you can't handle your tween's emotions.
"So is anyone else dealing with some crazy emotions in their girls," I begin looking at the blank stare of Bess' mom. "I mean Miley gets in tears if someone looks at her the wrong way and then thinks about it for days. And she takes everything so personal....." I'm sure I said more but I think I am mentally blocking my other words to save my own psyche.
I am met with blank stares from the moms of tween girls.
Mistake #5--Ignoring all nonverbal cues.
I continue, "Do your girls ever act like that?"
"Is it just Miley?"
And then one mom nods her head.
"Mine is like that sometimes," she mumbles.
Bess' mom continues to look at me as if I am wearing a tin foil hat.
I think I should have ordered a glass of wine at that point. I could have blamed it all on Merlot and not my own social cluelessness.