Friends or Chocolate?
One day last week, I went to the canoe club straight after work, just like normal. Now, after a full day of work, I got into the habit of taking something for me to eat before the training session and this time I had a Kit Kat Chunky. As soon as I took it out to start eating, one of the juniors, about 9 years old – lets call her Jane – told me how I was her favourite person at the club. In fact she told me I was her best friend in the whoooooooooole world and didn’t I know that best friends have to share everything? Including chocolate? I thought it through and considered the following facts before I made up my mind a) I’d just come from work and was starving hungry, b) I wasn’t sure if it was a good idea to feed her sugar just before a training session without asking a parent and c) I was acting as The Grumpus at that moment in time, and so I decided to explain that I was super hungry and gobbled it up myself. Jane wasn’t very impressed by this and told me that our long lasting friendship was over and she would never share any chocolate with me ever.
The next club training session was my first session after I’d finished my placement, so I wasn’t incredibly tired and I hadn’t brought any food with me. Before I even got out of my car, I saw Jane running up to my door – nothing unusual about this, she often comes and greets me when I arrive. As soon as I opened my door, Jane started talking 19 to the dozen, “Did you know I found twenty pence today and I bought a chocolate bar with it, I ate some and then gave some to Peter (one of my friends from the club, not actually called Peter), do you know why I gave some to Peter? To make you jealous because you wouldn’t give me some of your chocolate the other day, and do you know, if I ever get a pound I’m going to buy lots of chocolate bars and share them all with Peter and give none to you so you get really jealous!”. And with that, she ran off. Then Peter, who had overheard the whole encounter, laughed his head off at the fact that I was being bullied by a nine year old.
All I can say is, well played Jane. Well played.
Edit to add: This morning at training, Jane came straight up to me and offered me a piece of chocolate orange. I offered her half of it but she refused, explaining that she’d already eaten nearly all the rest of it. It turns out her mum (Hi!!) had shown her this post last night and she turned into a bit of a celebrity at the canoe club because of it. I’ve since worked out how children work – Fame > Chocolate > Friendship.
I’ll take it!