Letter to Camille: When Others Don’t Play Nice

Hello sweet napping bear. I’m so proud of you! I just put you in your crib for an afternoon snooze, and so far so good. You still don’t really like napping – wait, let me rephrase. You LOVE napping if I’ll put you in our bed and take a nap with you. But napping on your own – not so much fun. You’ve only been asleep 15 minutes, but this is your second crib nap today, so we’re on quite a winning streak.
Yesterday, you, Grammy, Daddy and I went to the mall. Around lunchtime, we grabbed a table at the food court, and once we were finished eating, I tried feeding you some baby food. You sat in a big girl high chair and ate a couple of bites, but were very distracted by the little boy sitting in an identical high chair at the next table. He was a little older than you, but still a baby.
You stared and stared at him, smiling and scrunching up your nose, and he’d ocassionaly glance in your direction. Then, you leaned toward him as far as you could and started making these funny, throaty “oooo oooo” noises. We laughed and laughed until I turned around and realized the little boy was not paying attention.
You continued to “oooo oooo” at him, and he’d look at you every now and then, but didn’t show any real sign of amusement. I felt myself starting to get a little angry. How could he not light up at the mere sight of you? Couldn’t he see that you were trying to say hello? Why wasn’t he saying hello back?
But most of all, I couldn’t stand to think he might make you feel ignored. Might make you feel like you weren’t worthy of his attention. You are such a wonderful, special creature, and I didn’t want him to make you doubt it for one second. I shot him a few nasty looks, but thankfully, you didn’t seem deterred.
But baby girl, if I got that aggravated when this little boy wouldn’t talk to you, what am I going to do when you enter 7th grade and the world of angry little girls? Girls can be so mean and jealous and hateful. There’s always that one who will try to make you feel bad or feel somehow “less than.” Or there may be a boy who hurts your feelings. You might not make the cheerleading squad or get that part in the play. Your science fair project may not get first prize.
Oh sweetie, life is good, but also has disappointments. And I believe most people are good, but some just aren’t nice or thoughtful or caring.
But when I was growing up, for every person who wasn’t nice, I was surrounded by 10 others who were encouraging and kind. I wish that for you, too. If some little girl – who is really acting out of her own feelings of inadequacy – says something mean about you in class, I know it’ll hurt your feelings. But it’s my goal that you’ll always come home to a family who showers you with love, support, and positivity, which will help kiss away those aches. You are such a beautiful soul, worthy of so much love, and don’t you ever forget it.
After we ate, I took you into the restroom for a diaper change. Daddy says while we were gone, the other family cleared their table and left. As they were strolling by, the little boy craned his neck around everyone looking toward your high chair. Looking for you. Ha. You snooze you lose, sucker.