Three’s a Crowd?

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Managing friendships is hard. Even when you’re only five years old, as my daughter discovered yesterday.

My girl was lucky enough to click with a little girl, “L”, right off the bat last year. Both were in daycare together and the same JK class. Charlotte has named dolls after this friend. She writes her cards. They give each other big hugs and do that girly scream thing when they see each other. They are BFFs.

This year, while the two are still together in daycare in the afternoon, “L” goes to French Immersion SK in the morning, while Charlotte is in the English SK. This is where “E” comes in. “E” is also in French Immersion and afternoon daycare. She says she and “L” are best friends. Charlotte begs to differ. I have heard many stories about how “E” tells “L” to leave Charlotte out of things. I remind Charlotte that she has LOADS of friends. I know this because not a week goes by that a different small fry doesn’t ask me when they can have a playdate with Charlotte.

However, this friend triangle dilemma came to a head yesterday afternoon. The daycare teacher told us that both Charlotte and “E” had been jostling for a spot near “L” in the home centre. Push came to shove. Both girls claim the other started it. No matter. Both are not allowed in the home centre for the rest of the week. That’s the equivalent to hard time to the daycare set.

The thing is, Charlotte likes “E”, they’ve attended each other’s birthday parties and they do play well together. But when you add “L” into the mix, well, things get dicey. Poor “L”. She is the loveliest kid. I can see why they both want her as their friend. She’s also going to grow up to be gorgeous, so I can only imagine the feelings she’ll draw out in potential suitors.

This morning I asked Charlotte what she had learned from this experience. After much thought she said, “No pushing.” I reminded her that there will be lots of times when “L” will want to play with both the girls, one at a time and sometimes with other kids completely and that’s okay. “Uh-huh,” she responded, looking at me like she wasn’t sure I was getting the whole “L”-is-my-ultimate-best-friend thing.

We’ll see how this afternoon goes.

Have you had a similar experience? Let me know in the comments below.

—Robin, CF‘s senior editor

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