Big Girls Don’t Cry - September 6, 2012

Is there a cap on the number of tears that can fall from my toddler’s eyes on a given day?  Where is all of this water coming from anyway?  She certainly doesn’t drink this much.


This week on her preschool’s activity schedule: ALWAYS cry over spilt milk.  I don’t know if this is a phase or she’s picking up bad habits from her peers, but my daughter has cried more in the past two weeks, than in the past 4 years.  At this rate, it may be beneficial to purchase stock in Kleenex.


If her friend decides she doesn’t want to play with her, she cries.  This is a big NO, NO for me.  I don’t want her to cry every time some kid decides they prefer someone else.  Or, worse yet, when she’s 18 years old and some loser dumps her, I want her to walk away with dignity.  If someone doesn’t want to play with her, then they’re just a big, fat loser, L-O-S-E-R.


Okay, I want her to “think” (not out loud) they’re a loser, but her response should be rose-colored and full of tact.


How it went down:

Friend: I don’t want to play with you, Babyface.  I want to play with Brenda.

Babyface: Waaaaaaaaah… [Sniffle, sniffle]  Waaaaaaaaah…

Me: Honey, why are you crying?

Babyface: She, uh, [sniffle], uh, doesn’t want to play with me.

Me: Ask her again and if she says “no”, then go ask someone else to play with you.


Crying continues for 10 minutes and the world stops.  I do not cave and coddle her.  I tell her to shake it off and act like I’m having a seizure to get her to laugh. I don’t cave because I don’t want her to cry over spilt milk.  I want her to be able to handle life on her own.  I want her to defend herself, not cry for mommy or the teacher every time she doesn’t get her way.  I am now the evil, Phantom “Mommy” Menace.


The End


How I wish it went down:

Friend: I don’t want to play with you, Babyface.  I want to play with Brenda.

Babyface: Okay, bitch, see if I take you back when she dumps you.  Sayonara.


Okay, all jokes aside.


Friend: I don’t want to play with you, Babyface.  I want to play with Brenda.

Babyface: Hope you eat glue and have to poo poo in the potty all afternoon.


Okay, but seriously.


Friend: I don’t want to play with you, Babyface.  I want to play with Brenda.

Babyface: Can I play with both of you?

Friend: No, Babyface, I don’t want to play with you.

Babyface: Okay [turns to Tina].  Tina, do you want to play with me?

Tina: Yes, let’s go play.


There’s some skipping and the new friends live happily ever after (all afternoon, that is).


The End


Worst-case scenario, both friends don’t want to play with her and we go to the bathroom and cry together, silently.


Then, there’s the crying over something breaking or someone taking away a toy.  Two weeks ago, she would’ve just picked up the pieces or played with a different toy.  Yesterday, at Mom’s Day at her preschool, she left a nice-sized puddle on the classroom floor, over a broken, beaded bracelet.


She spent about 5 minutes putting together a bracelet.  It was cute, but we have a collection of these from birthdays and classes already.  I can empathize though.  When I write something great, even if it’s the 100th thing, I still love it just the same.


As we were walking away, the band broke and all of the beads scattered everywhere.  My first thought, “I feel sorry for her teachers who will have to clean up this mess.  I’ll pretend I’m helping by picking up a few beads.”  My second thought, as I looked at Babyface’s expression, “Ruh roh, here come the waterworks.  Better get the mop out, Teach.”


Mommy’s intuition was correct and she quickly nestled her face into my pants and covered them in snot and tears.


How it went down:

Me: Sweetie, they’re just beads.  We can make another one.

Babyface: But my [sniffle] bracelet [sniffle and wipe more snot on my pants] broke.

Me: There are more beads.  No need to cry.  Find a solution.  The solution here is to just shake it off and make another one [Shaking it off, like I’m having a seizure again].

Teacher: It’s time to go and sing our songs for the moms, but I can put some beads in a baggy with some ribbon and you can make another one with your mommy at home.

Babyface: Waaaaaaaaah… [Sniffle, sniffle]  Waaaaaaaaah…


Again, the crying continued for 10 minutes and the world stopped.  We missed most of the singing.  I hugged her and gave her solutions, but I didn’t want to coddle her.  I pretty much spent the rest of the day trying to explain cause and effect and not needing to cry over spilt milk.  We did a lot of role-playing with her dolls, which pretty much filled my quota for pretend play for the week.


How I wish it went down:

Bracelet breaks and beads fall to the ground.

Babyface: [running to the other room] Oops.  I wonder who did that.  They better clean that up.


The End


Not really, but at least she would be thinking up a solution to the big, fat mess and not just crying over spilt milk.


  1. Sometimes my kid starts crying over something that seems inconsequential but it turns out that the real issue is that she’s emotionally overcharged from something else happening and that straw breaks the camel’s back, so to speak. Or, she was waiting to see me so she could unload in a safe space.

    Comment by Alison — September 7, 2012 @ 12:44 pm
  2. I’m sure there’s a reason for it, as you have suggested. It’s just driving me bonkers because she’s been “opposite girl” for the past two weeks!

    Comment by Mommy Unmuted — September 7, 2012 @ 12:52 pm
  3. I am that same as you- I don’t ever play the crying game. But I had a hard time on Friday – I had to leave my kinder at her class before class started and she wanted me to stay and I really wanted to stay so when she cried. I almost did stay luckily another mom came over and distracted her and I got away :)

    Comment by Nicole — September 8, 2012 @ 4:01 pm

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