I was put in the somewhat awkward position of being a mediator for two friends recently, and completely by accident.
Let me give you a little bit of background (and please note that the names and places have been changed to protect the innocent - namely, me).
Two little ladies, we shall call Thing 1 and Thing 2 have been good friends for ages (and in four year old terms that's about a year). They go to each other's houses, spend time together at the park and just recently, started at the same pre school. So, for all purposes, things are just wonderful.
That was till about a week ago, when apparently (and this is all just heresy, as the only people present were the two little ladies in question), Thing 1 told Thing 2 she didn't like her anymore because, and wait for it, she smells funny. Now, I'm no child psychologist, but one would think that with them being all of four, that this would eventually just blow over and they would be friends again, within the week. Right? Wrong. Because their Mommies got involved.
It would appear, that when Thing 2 went home and told her Mommy what Thing 1 said, Thing 2's Mommy got very upset (I believe the term 'went ballistic' was used) and immediately called up Thing 1's Mother to give her a piece of her mind. I don't know how the whole conversation went, but I believe this was the gist of it.
Thing 1 Mommy: Your daughter just said she wouldn't be friends with my daughter because she 'smells funny'. What on earth are you teaching her? (the tirade went on for quite some time apparently).
Thing 2 Mommy: (speaking somewhat irately as she now feels she's being talked to like, well, a four year old) Well, if you would stop feeding her the crap that you do, maybe she wouldn't smell funny.
You get the idea. This conversation continued for a good 20 minutes with neither Mommy backing down.
Now, I'm friends with both, and just by sheer chance, I happened to be at the park with Thing 2 and her Mommy, when Thing 1 and her Mommy turn up. Almost immediately, they start at it. It got so bad that I had to step between them, I thought they were about to throw down and get nasty.
When I was finally able to separate the two screaming women and put them in their respective corners, I asked them what their problem was with each other. And to leave the girls out of it. As it was obviously more about them than it was their girls. That shut them up, big time.
After a pause, Thing 2's Mommy said she felt she was always being left out. That even though their girls played together, she had only been invited into Thing 1's house once. And she knew others had been in there more. To which Thing 1's Mommy said she didn't think Thing 2's Mommy would want to come in. Thing 2's Mommy had a much bigger house, in a nicer neighborhood, was always talking about how nice it was, yadda, yadda, yadda, so Thing 1's Mommy just assumed she would feel like she was 'slumming it' (her words, not mine) if she was in their house.
To be honest, I kind of tuned out, after they started talking. I figured they were on their way to making up and didn't need me to point out the obvious anymore. So, after much crying and blubbering, as only women can, both Mommies, agreed to talk more, not assume anything and all was forgiven. Meanwhile, Thing 1 and Thing 2 had gotten over it way before their Mommies had. While this had been going on, they had been playing together with Little P and having a ball. So when it was time to go home, and their Mommies told them it was okay to be friends again, the look of confusion was well founded. I figure they had long forgotten the whole 'she smells funny' conversation days ago, and were just happy to be able to play together again.
And me? I'm just glad I managed to avert WW3 between these two.
So, till next time, try and avoid feeding the kids asparagus when they are going to be playing with their little friends, okay? No one want's to be told they 'smell funny'.