Playing Nice In The Sandbox...
Playing Nice In The Sandbox
It is important to abide by the rules of the sandbox:
Throwing sand is never OK.
Being mean will eventually result in you playing, unhappily, on your own.
No taking of other peoples buckets without asking
No kicking or breaking other peoples sandcastles
Playing nice with others is best.
I play nice, ask my friends. I do sometimes want to throw sand, but I know better. I am good at making friends and helping everyone in the sandbox to get along, even when there are meanies who come to play.
This is the story of what happened in one particular sandbox…
Once upon a time a group of my friends decided to build their own sandbox. At first it was just a big old pile of sand, but we found some wood and built sides and places to sit. We knew how to make a sandbox because we had all played together in a good one, before. This was exciting. This was ours. We were the in-charge people. Well one of my friends was really in charge of us, but we all did stuff together.
Our sandbox was really popular and we had to make it bigger so that more of our little friends could join us. Every day there were lots of happy sounds coming from the playground. It was fun to play there.
Then, one day, the people who were helping us be in charge said, “No, we are in charge,” and “so there” and stuff like that. Some sand might have been thrown. There were tears.
The new in-charge people got mad at the big girl who was our friend, who we thought was in charge, but now, really wasn’t. She did throw sand. She was in so much trouble, she was totally thrown out of the sandbox and could not play with us at all. All the shouting and stuff was really bad, but the rest of us kept building stuff and letting everyone have fun.
With the big girl gone, I was told by the in-charge people that I was now in charge of playing in the sandbox with this one other girl. We had to share and it was not for keepsies.
Then, this one day, a new boy came to play, and the people in charge made him the boss of my friends and me. He was kinda mean and said he didn't like the stuff we had built. We tried building new stuff together but he wasn't very good at explaining what he wanted, so he got all mad and told the in-charge people, and I got in trouble.
I tried really hard to make stuff like he wanted, but he would just kick it over and say it was no good. I really wanted to throw sand at him, but I tried super hard to be good. I even let him play with all my friends and even with my toys that I had had for a long time, but he just didn't understand the play nice rules.
Two of my friends went to sandboxes far, far, away and I don't get to play with them, ever, any more. Then my bestest, my dearest, friend, who was very old, left the sandbox to go to heaven, and I don't get to play with him any more, either. So I was the last of the friends left in the sandbox, feeling all on my own.
The mean boy then went and found a friend from another sandbox and gave him all my toys. He said I didn't want them anyway. But I did. I was very sad.
I told the in-charge people that I was not happy, but they liked this new boy. I wanted to tell them that he was a kaka poopoo head but I would just get in more trouble for saying bad things. The rest of the people in the sandbox didn't want him to get mad at them, so they made out like they were the bestest of friends, but it was mostly pretend.
My mom said that, if I wanted to be happy, I was going to have to find another sandbox, and a whole new group of friends. I looked and looked, but when I found a new one, the people there would not let me play. "We are all full up," they would say, though sometimes I could see a space that I would love to play in.
This made me very sad. I always played nice and made sure everybody got along, so why did they not want to play with me? None of the in-charge people would tell me.
A week or so ago, I went to a super sandbox place, where all the in-charge people were looking for new people to come and play in their sandboxes.
I was really excited; I spoke to lots of in-charge people, who said they would love to talk to me. So I waited, very patiently, but none of them called me or wanted to speak with me. Why? I wondered.
After waiting for a really, really, long time, I decided to ask one of the in-charge people that I kinda knew. He was friendly and all, but he told me that no one was ever let me play in their sandboxes. I asked why, I mean I play nice and don't throw sand and I love to build, but he said that didn't matter. I had somehow caught the "reputation". This was a bad thing, like the mumps, or cooties. No one wants to play with you when you have the reputation.
I asked how I had got the reputation, and the in-charge guy said it was 'cause I had been close to the big girl that had argued with her in-charge people and got sent away. She got the reputation from that and we caught it from her. It is very, very, bad to get into fights with in-charge people 'cause that's how you catch the reputation. That was why all my friends weren't in the sandbox any more, because we had been too close to the big girl.
Now, I have been away from the sandbox for a very long time, so I felt good, no symptoms at all, so I was surprised to find I still had the reputation. I asked the in-charge guy how long the infection would last. He just lowered his head, and said quietly, “always.” It seems that unless you go far, far, away, where people are resistant to the reputation, it can’t get better by itself.
I am not going to ever be allowed to play in a sandbox again.
I don't want to go far, far, away, so I have to be a big boy and find a whole new way to play. I’m not quite sure where to look, so, I'm hoping my friends will help me find a different place to play, or that they will let me play with them at their place.
After all, the reputation is not catching, it’s just a sandbox thing, and I really do know how to play nice...
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