So, basically, I’m pathetic.

Flea At the moment, one of the greatest weapons in my parenting arsenal is the “no school” threat. Flea loves school so much that if she’s dawdling getting dressed or refusing to brush her teeth, all I have to say is, “Fine, we won’t go to school”.

So it was a bit weird when I woke Flea for school yesterday and she cried. Flea’s not a big cryer as a rule (if she thinks you’ve seen her crying, she pretends her eyes are itchy) so I was a little worried, and mentioned it to the teacher. I suspect Flea’s just really tired (she’s had red eyes and black shadows around them for the last week) but you never know, I guess.

At home time, the teacher called me to one side, and said Flea had indeed been a bit tearful during the day, and they were concerned because it’s so unlike her. The teacher wondered whether Flea was a little upset because there’s a new girl in the class, and perhaps Flea feels threatened that the little girl she sits next to might become friends with the new girl. There are only 10 kids in the class, so a new pupil is quite a big deal.

Flea hadn’t mentioned anything about this – but that’s not surprising since she tells me nothing about school at the best of times. Still, that night at bedtime, we were curled up on Flea’s bed after having a story and I decided this was the perfect moment to demonstrate another one of my amazing parenting techniques.

“You know Flea, sometimes if you’re friends with someone, and then they’re friends with someone else, it can feel a bit sad,” I said.

Flea looked at me with big eyes.

I decided to keep going. “So, you might be a bit worried that they won’t be your friend if they’re friends with someone else.” 

Still silence.

“Erm, so, you know, it’s okay to feel sad. But the important thing to remember is that you can be friends with lots of people at the same time, can’t you?”

My four-year-old daughter reached over and stroked my arm, sympathetically. “It’s okay Mummy,” she said. “I’ll be your friend if you haven’t got one any more.”

I’m being patronised by a four-year-old. My life is officially pathetic.

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