Monday, March 7, 2011

Preschool Lindsay Lohan?

“So is there anything you want to tell me so I’m not surprised?” I asked Natalie as we drove to her parent/teacher conference at her preschool.

Natalie tapped her chin. Oh God, she was totally about to tell me that she’s a complete hellion in school.

“I like the peanuts,” Natalie finally replied.


What did that have to do with anything? Sometimes talking to a three-year-old is like talking to Gary Busey. Or, these days, Charlie Sheen. What was she going to tell me next? That she has Tiger Blood?

“That’s nice,” I answered slowly. “But how is it going in preschool?”

Natalie didn’t respond. She was busy flipping through a Princess book.

“Like, do you listen to the teacher?” I tried again.

Natalie calmly turned the page in her book. It was as if she were purposely ignoring me. Oh no. What if she does that in preschool? What if the teacher is trying to get her to name her shapes and Natalie blatantly ignores her?

“I’m talking to you,” I said firmly as I turned the car into the parking lot at Natalie’s school.

“Belle is my favorite princess,” Natalie finally responded, shutting her book when she realized she was at school.

“Belle has nothing to do with anything,” I said, my teeth clenched. She really tries my patience.

“Preschool!” Natalie said excitedly.

I helped her out of her car seat. “Is there anything you want to tell me before we go in?” I prodded.

If she mentioned the peanuts again, I was going to lose it.

Instead she just clamped her mouth shut.

Fine. Whatever.

We walked to her classroom and waited outside the door for a few minutes.

“Last chance to admit stuff to me,” I warned Natalie.

“Look! My cubby!” she said grandly.

When we were called back, I was a little nervous. It’s just, you never know with Natalie. She has a mouth on her and she can be stubborn, which is my polite way of saying bratty.

I settled down in the seat across from the teachers.

And waited.

“Natalie is very bright,” one of the teachers began.

I relaxed. She’s bright! Everything is okay.

“She goes along with the classroom routine and sits during circle time,” the other teacher continued.

Good. Great.

“But,” the teacher said.

But. What’s with the but? Buts are never good. (Cue butt joke here.)

“Natalie tends to be a follower when she’s with other girls. For example, she plays with two other girls and we had a new girl begin preschool...and one of those girls told Natalie that she shouldn’t play with the new girl or let the new girl play with any of the dress up clothes and Natalie went long with that.”

Wha—why did I feel like I was in that movie Mean Girls? Was Natalie being Lindsay Lohan? She couldn’t be Lindsay Lohan!

“That starts already?” I said stupidly. “These girls are 3 and 4.”

One of Natalie teachers nodded. “It starts early. Natalie isn’t the one suggesting that everyone be mean, she just follows along. We’d like her to be more of a leader and to stand up for herself.”

I flashed back to Natalie screaming at me that morning that she would NOT wear the pretty blue dress. She certainly doesn’t hesitate standing up to ME.

“And also, Natalie can be shy in class. She answers questions, but she speaks softly so we have to ask her to speak up,” the teacher explained.

Softly? What’s softly? Natalie never does anything softly when she’s with me. Unless she’s flat out ignoring me.

Still. At least it meant she wasn’t loud in class. I suppose it’s better that I get her, um, NOISY side.

“But basically, Natalie is doing great,” the teacher finished.

Only she’s Lindsay freaking Lohan.


We needed to have a talk. And talk we did as we left the classroom.

“Natalie,” I began. “If you’re hanging out with friends and they tell you to be mean to another girl, what will you do?”

Natalie shrugged. “I say ‘okay.’”

She says OKAY?

“No,” I said. I stopped and bent down to her level. “It’s never okay to be mean to someone else. If your friends say to be mean, you tell them to—” I paused. What I wanted to say is, ‘you tell them to stop being little bitches’ but that wouldn’t be appropriate to tell a preschooler.

“You tell them no,” I said. “You tell them that you are friends with everyone. Okay?”

I thought Natalie would be moved by my speech. Instead she took advantage of my talk and was digging through my purse. “Are there candies in here?” she asked sweetly.

“Natalie,” I tried again. “We have to be nice to everyone, okay? No matter what your friends tell you to do. Trust me, you don’t want to be Lindsay Lohan.”

Natalie cocked her head to the side, taking this all in. “Okay,” she agreed.

I relaxed.

“Now can I have some candies?”


  1. Girls start at that age?! Ahhhhhh

  2. they most certainly do!!! My daughter is in 4 year old preschool - and there is clearly a 'leader' girl in the class. My daughter will absolutely beak down in tears if for some reason the leader doesn't want to play with her that day. How to deal???

  3. that's scary that it starts so young! Hopefully Natalie will come into her own leadship role.

  4. Oh. My. Gosh. Amber.

    You couldn't have written this post at a more relevant time for me. Colin's teacher has been telling us that Colin is also a follower - like, there's this really bratty kid in his class that, unfortunately, Colin has become friends with. And his teacher has informed us that Colin has been going along with this kid's bad choices. On one hand, I'm glad that it's not him INITIATING the troublesome stuff, but on the other hand I'm really irritated that he's PERPETUATING it, you know? We've had the talk with him about it, but I'm not sure it did much good.

    And I totally don't have any advice for you because I haven't a clue what to do about it myself. Yet. It's on the top of my mental list of "things to Google as soon as I finish reading blogs." :)

    If you find out a good solution, please let me know - and I'll do the same! Good luck!

  5. Lord have mercy! The things preschool parents have to deal with! Who knew kids started doing that crap so early! That's awful! Poor you - I hope you get your daughter to do the right thing :) She sounds adorable so I'm sure you will succeed!

  6. Scary. I can't believe it starts that young.

  7. It's so sad that it starts that early, but good for you for talking to Natalie and letting her know how it is. Thankgoodness she isn't the acutal bully.

  8. It's hard to believe it starts that young but ya - kids are mean.

  9. I'm sure you were shocked to find out she is a follower. From the way you talk about her, she seems like a leader.

    Hopefully she'll start being a nice girl. Poor little thing.

  10. I'm sure Natalie will be just fine. You're setting a good example for her at home.

  11. Omg!!! I keep hearing it does start quite early. Boys aren't like this, right?? Lol.
    I feel for you, but you are doing the right thing. Just keep reminding her. She is listening ;-)

  12. Crazy how early that stuff starts isn't it. You did the right thing. Just keep guiding her the right way and she'll learn soon.

  13. I just posted today about the bully in my daughter's kindergarten class. It starts way too early.

  14. I do NOT know what I will do in Kindergarten. Boo Boo's pre-k is in a church and is SMALL! There is none of this behavior allowed. Ugh.

  15. My friend and I were just discussing this as her 4 year old is going through similar stuff. Wow. I can't believe how early it starts. Good for you, nipping it in the bud!

  16. Oh, it does start so early!

    And isn't it amazing how different kids can be at school?

  17. It's scary how early the Mean Girls syndrome starts!

    It sounds like Natalie is doing great at school though!

  18. I haven't read it, but I heard the book "Cinderella Ate my Daughter" is supposed to be a very good read.

    Just give the new girl some candy to share - the other kids will all come a-runnin.

  19. I can't believe that starts to early! I do love that you referenced Mean Girls if only because that's one of my favorite movies :) And I'm glad she likes peanuts. Me too.

  20. Well, I know I'd say anything for some candies too! lol

  21. I am sure someday soon you will know that she REALLY heard you. And I think she has a long way to go before we can annoint her a Lohan! :)

  22. Isn't it crazy that it starts this early! I imagine that it's worse with girls though, at least in preschool.

  23. Oh, it hurts me heart a little to know how young it starts, though it sounds like your little one has a good role model in you.

  24. Ugh. I haven't had to deal with this yet in preschool, but I know kindergarten come August will be a whole new world!

  25. This totally gave me flashbacks to kindergarten. I was the "new girl" and the girls in my class didn't want anything to do with me. So, I made friends with the boys. I went to their birthday parties, played with them on the playground, and basically just became a little tomboy. It's crazy how early it starts!

  26. They sooo start this garbage this early. I had no idea till our parent teacher conf. too! I am horrified at how some of the "cute" little girls can act--mine incuded...

  27. Oh man... wow! Kids are doing EVERYTHING earlier these days. I didn't know it went all the way back to preschool. Sheesh.

  28. this is totally un-related, but i just wanted to let you know that i got a shamrock shake because of you! haha. i was thinking that it wasn't so great and i wasn't a fan, but then i realized i sucked it all down in about 2 minutes.

  29. Of course she stands up to you. You're 'mom'.

    So don't worry about her being Lindsey Lohan.

    But, just to be on the safe side, make sure she's always wearing panties when she leaves the house.

  30. After this post, and reading the comments, I'm again reminded of why I'm so glad I have a boy. Despite the fact that one day he will abandon me for a girl and I will be left alone to grow old......

    Yeah, isn't it funny how they are completely different in a classroom?

  31. I smiled when I read Gigi's comment. :)

    Mine's a boy and I think I'm having the same problem as whispering writer. Trying to keep it low though. Hope our kids listen to us for once.

    They'll grow up though, and with constant reminders... pretty good.

  32. aww! this is sooo cute.! haha. yes, i think it's cute!

    i suddenly want to fast forward time and have a little daughter and talk to her about stuffs... ♥

  33. Natalie sounds like she's doing great! The girl who told Natalie not to play with the new girl, on the other hand...

  34. Its amazing how early the girl cattyness starts!

  35. Relax....she's too young to be Lindsay and your teaching her right from wrong!

  36. Lindsay Lohan......LOL!
    I don't think you have anything to worry about.
    Sending my son to preschool was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do.
    Now he's 8 and I can't wait to send him to school most days. Ha!

  37. Yuk, no one wants to be Lindsay Lohan! :) Although, to be fair, in "Mean Girls" she was the LEAST mean one. Of course in real life...

    I don't know how parents do it. I mean, when you NAP?

  38. I used to secretly wish that I had a little girl. But after hearing your story (and many others from my firends IRL) I am SO glad that I have little boys.

    I think you did the absolutely right thing by telling her we have to be nice to everybody, regardless of what our friends say.

    Good job, Mom. And good luck!

  39. Hey now. Let's not say it's all little girls. Boys are JUST as mean and JUST as gang following as girls. They may initiate and follow through in different ways, but it's there folks. Boys are NOT easier than girls. Trust me.

    Amber, we all try on different shoes. We all pick on people, follow people, lead people and are harassed or at the bottom of the pile. It's a part of life and it's not always pretty but Natalie has got plenty of spunk in her to allow her to rise above the crap and become the beautiful woman you'll role model for her.

    Oh wait. I forgot who her mommy was... dang. She's in deep trouble, girl.



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