When I took Ella to school on Monday morning, we were 20 minutes late. Her two best friends were having their morning tea at the outside table and started calling her name as we walked through the gate.
I had asked Ella to hold my car keys, as I had my hands full. When we reached her friends and I had off-loaded all her stuff, I went to get the car key out of her hand and she pulled it away from me. Her friends laughed and immediately started egging her on: “Run Ella, run!”. So she ran… Away from me and up the play equipment, where she started dodging me when I came near.
Needless to say that I was not particularly in the mood to play games, being 20 minutes late already, and I am not known for my patience. So after she dodged me a few times – her friends still yelling “Run! Run!” – I threatened with taking some of her morning tea snacks away if she would not listen to me and give me the key. It was enough for me to start heading in the direction of her schoolbag to make her give in to me.
Very reluctantly though. I told her:
Me – You don’t have to do everything your friends tell you to do, you know.
Ella [teary] – But mu-um, I want to be funny to my friends!
Me – Everbody wants to be funny to their friends, sweetie. But not if it is going to annoy other people.
From a very early age, Ella showed great loyalty towards her friends. I have always found it very cute, but I know there are going to be downsides to this trait. And this little snapshot was a perfect demonstration of what I might expect in that area. I can only hope that her common sense will override this strong urge to entertain and appease her friends at some point!