Best Frenemies Forever

Ahhhh with the New Year comes a new parenting obstacle. The dreaded “frenemy”. You’ve had them. I’ve had them. Being the mother of a girl I knew Bean would have them, I had just hoped we wouldn’t have to deal with them until her teen years. This frenemy lives across the street. She started out very nice. She’s polite and even though she’s older, she seemed very eager to become friends with Bean. At first it was great. It was summer time and we had just moved here so it was great for Bean to make a friend so quickly. E’s dad works from home and her mother doesn’t speak very good English. She also has a 16 year old sister, so I’m guessing the attention given at home is kind of sparse. I should have seen the warning signs. But I didn’t, and now I have to explain to Bean why her friend behaves the way she does. You see, E is kind of dishonest in a very covert sort of way. She once claimed that Bean wanted E to “take care” of an awesome new toy Bean had gotten for her birthday while Bean was gone for the weekend. It was at that moment I realized what was going on. E wanted this toy, wanted to play with it unencumbered and in all honesty just didn’t want Bean to have it. Of course both Bean and myself saw right through her little ruse, as Bean swiftly spoke up to say “No I didn’t say that.”

E has also tried to make it a habit to say that she can play with Bean, but E isn’t allowed to play outside, i.e. she wants to be inside with all the cool toys. See when we lived in WA we bought Bean these toys because the weather was so unpredictable that she spent the better part of the year playing indoors. Here in FL it’s a different story. If it’s not raining, her little butt can be outside where it belongs. So to counter E’s attempt to monopolize Bean’s toys, I tell her that Bean isn’t allowed to play inside on such a nice day and I even offer to sit outside while the girls play. Unfortunately for Bean, the playing doesn’t last long because E’s attempt was thwarted and therefore she has no further use for Bean.

The latest behavior is one that I find quite hilarious, seeing as I’m dealing with an 8 year old girl. There are several kids on the block. 1 in particular is a boy around Bean’s age. Now I may be biased, but Bean possesses a unique beauty that does not go unnoticed by people. Apparently several different boys chase her at recess. But back to this boy….he and Bean play together often. He’s a very well mannered child, so I don’t mind him playing in the house. But every time he comes over to play, E isn’t far behind with a claim the his mother wants him back home. Now I just recently found out that this is just a ploy on E’s part to get the boy to herself. E steps in a takes over and tells blatant lies to Bean about what said boy is doing just so Bean will come home disheartened. I have no other term for this other than E is a cockblocker. Now i DO NOT mean that in any sexual manner so please do not take it as such…..you perverts 🙂

So how do I deal with this little green-eyed monster? More importantly, how should Bean deal with her? Bean has such a kind a gentle heart, whereas I earned my high school battle scars from frenemies. It’s hard for me to explain to Bean why E acts the way she does and why she says the things she does. I feel like all I can do is sit by and wait for Bean to come to the realization on her own. She already has made comments about E’s dishonesty, so my guess is that this friendship will soon find its own end. I wish I could tell her that this will be the last time she will have to deal with a frenemy, but speaking from personal experience, this is only going to be the first in a long line of green-eyed monsters.

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