Author Topic: Everyday Rugrats: The Triplets  (Read 10833 times)

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NEDESAPIO

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Everyday Rugrats: The Triplets
« on: March 20, 2007, 01:01:07 PM »
A few years back I volunteered with a girls' youth group (ages 8 - 11). It was a very mixed group, with all sorts of family backgrounds. The family that stood out most featured The Triplets. They were a pain in the neck, another volunteer actually said "I work with criminals all day - including murderers - and I'd rather be with them than The Triplets."

Sadly, one of The Triplets, Ally, was actually very sweet while Abbie and Addie were obnoxious, rude and cruel. It was the last week before Christmas and The Triplets had just come back from a break (Abbie and Addie had been told they were banned for a month, and could decide if they wanted to come back when the month was up. Sadly, practicality meant that Ally couldn't come either.) At the time we were all very tense because of The Triplets returning, their mother actually said "We're paying you to sort out our kids!" Er, no. They were paying to cover art materials and things. We were not a finishing school.

The timing of the return was problematic as Christmas is a very traumatic time for one girl, Jenny. Jenny's Granddad had died unexpectedly two Christmases before, and her Dad had passed away the previous Christmas. We were trying to make her feel a little better without showing favoritism. For instance, when we played games the girls took it in turns to be it/on/the catcher. We made sure Jenny's turn came close to Christmas, but it was in no way unfair to anyone else.

"Jenny ALWAYS gets picked!" Abbie whined. "Why is Jenny so special?" I jumped in to say that she didn't always get picked, it was her turn. The other girls backed this up, since they were fed up of Abbie and Addie taking other people's turns.

Abbie and Addie then cheated at the games, and were generally rude and difficult. After the girls went home we would have to seriously consider what to do with them, as they were spoiling it for everyone else. We would be sad to see Ally go, since she genuinely benefited from it all, but we couldn't have the other two ruining every week.

Everything came to a head at Prayer Time. We finish each session with circle prayers, and we have a "Prayer Bear," a small teddy, which the girls can pass on when they have finished their prayer, or if they are too shy to speak out loud. We were doing "thank you" prayers, and since w had just received letters from the two girls we have "adopted" in Angola the thank yous were along the lines of, "Thank you we have good doctors," and, "Thank you we can go to school". Then the prayer bear gets to The Triplets. Ally says, "Thank you that we have clean water and nice food, amen."

Then it's Abbie's turn. "Thank you that I'm so perfect! Amen!". Well, that was obnoxious. Addie's turn: "Thank you we're so great that you didn't kill our Dad like you did to skanky Jenny." As you can imagine, Jenny was in tears. I took her outside, and was followed by Ally who shouted, "I'm not a triplet with you two anymore!" and offered the most sincere apologies for her sisters. Ally gave Jenny a big hug, and we all had a talk and a prayer in a side room. Being two very mature eleven year olds they asked to pray for the strength to forgive Abbie and Addie.

Meanwhile the remaining Triplets have been taken to another room where they are shouting at another volunteer. Apparently it's not their fault Jenny is so sensitive and it must be her fault that her Dad and Granddad are dead so she must be really evil. All of this was said with a sneer, so it's not as if they had been taught this. The volunteer is stupid for daring to tell them off and their parents could afford to pay us all to do whatever they ask. At this point said parents turn up to hear two of their daughters screaming and using vile language. Without even asking what led up to it, they join in with Abbie and Addie in insulting the volunteer.

"I'll have your >bleeping< job for this!" is said more than once. Erm, we're volunteers. Anyway, between all four volunteers (the other girls and parents had left by now) we managed to get across that Abbie and Addie would not be welcome back, but Ally would. Ally knew full well her parents wouldn't be prepared to take her on her own and we were all upset to lose her.

As it happened, Ally and Jenny became good friend and an arrangement was made for Ally to stay at Jenny's house after school so they could go to the club together. So at least some good came of the horrid situation.

 EDRugrats1214-06


Asharah

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Re: Everyday Rugrats: The Triplets
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2007, 01:17:27 PM »
With parents like that, I'm amazed Ally had such good manners.
Quote
At the time we were all very tense because of The Triplets returning, their mother actually said "We're paying you to sort out our kids!"
And then they cuss at the volunteers for confronting them about their bad behavior? Sort out your own kids lady, IT'S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY!
Asharah

Amy Rose

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Re: Everyday Rugrats: The Triplets
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2007, 01:40:23 PM »
Something always struck me as off about this story- just that it sounded like all of them were somewhere between 4 and 10, until she said that the girls were eleven. For example, an 11 year old wouldn't call someone a skank in the front of the class, or assume that parental death is punishment for someone else, unless they belong to a very fundamentalist religion.

I may be wrong, though.

mlkind1789

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Re: Everyday Rugrats: The Triplets
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2007, 01:59:43 PM »
For example, an 11 year old wouldn't call someone a skank in the front of the class, or assume that parental death is punishment for someone else, unless they belong to a very fundamentalist religion.

Trust me, after hearing my 12 yo dd telling all of the horrible things the girls have been saying to each other in class for the last year and a half, I can completely believe an 11yo calling someone a "skank."  The part about death being a punishment I'm not so sure about, but I can believe the other.

Amy Rose

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Re: Everyday Rugrats: The Triplets
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2007, 02:15:36 PM »
For example, an 11 year old wouldn't call someone a skank in the front of the class, or assume that parental death is punishment for someone else, unless they belong to a very fundamentalist religion.

Trust me, after hearing my 12 yo dd telling all of the horrible things the girls have been saying to each other in class for the last year and a half, I can completely believe an 11yo calling someone a "skank."  The part about death being a punishment I'm not so sure about, but I can believe the other.

Just to clarify- an 11 year old wouldn't get up in front of a class and say "Jenny is a skank"... she'd tell Jenny "You're a skank" to her face, or spread a rumor about Jenny's promiscuity.

The phrase "I don't wanna be triplets with you anymore" also sounds like someone younger.

Bob Ducca

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Re: Everyday Rugrats: The Triplets
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2007, 03:28:50 PM »
It has been my experience as a teacher that meanness and evil doesn't correspond to a certain age.  I have heard very young children make comments openly that shocked me.  I have also had older children exhibit much younger-style behavior when confronted with that kind of nasty behavior.  Regression to a younger age is a fairly common defense mechanism.

In my personal experience, the behavior these kids exhibited may seem unbelievable, but not because of their age.  I'll bet it is a true story, and that they haven't changed a bit.

As far as the punishment = death question, if this was a religious camp, and they had only been paying half-attention to the stories and lessons, I can see where they may have gotten that idea (or decided to use that idea to be mean, more likely). There are several Bible stories which, if not paid close attention to, give the impression that sickness, disease, and death of loved ones are viewed as a punishment.

NEDESAPIO

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Re: Everyday Rugrats: The Triplets
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2007, 03:39:33 PM »
It has been my experience as a teacher that meanness and evil doesn't correspond to a certain age.  I have heard very young children make comments openly that shocked me.  I have also had older children exhibit much younger-style behavior when confronted with that kind of nasty behavior.  Regression to a younger age is a fairly common defense mechanism.

In my personal experience, the behavior these kids exhibited may seem unbelievable, but not because of their age.  I'll bet it is a true story, and that they haven't changed a bit.

As far as the punishment = death question, if this was a religious camp, and they had only been paying half-attention to the stories and lessons, I can see where they may have gotten that idea (or decided to use that idea to be mean, more likely). There are several Bible stories which, if not paid close attention to, give the impression that sickness, disease, and death of loved ones are viewed as a punishment.

It does sound like the camp in the story was a religious one.  Also, kids often repeat what they hear their parents saying...The triplets' parents sound like pretty nasty people; I wouldn't be surprised if the two mean ones got the death=punishment idea from them.

mlkind1789

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Re: Everyday Rugrats: The Triplets
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2007, 03:50:05 PM »
For example, an 11 year old wouldn't call someone a skank in the front of the class, or assume that parental death is punishment for someone else, unless they belong to a very fundamentalist religion.

Trust me, after hearing my 12 yo dd telling all of the horrible things the girls have been saying to each other in class for the last year and a half, I can completely believe an 11yo calling someone a "skank."  The part about death being a punishment I'm not so sure about, but I can believe the other.

Just to clarify- an 11 year old wouldn't get up in front of a class and say "Jenny is a skank"... she'd tell Jenny "You're a skank" to her face, or spread a rumor about Jenny's promiscuity.

The phrase "I don't wanna be triplets with you anymore" also sounds like someone younger.

I hate to seem like I'm beating a dead horse, but yes, I do think that an 11yo would say something to the effect of "Jenny is a skank" in front of the class.  Particularly if they have been acting that way all along and have been getting feedback along the lines of what I assume their parents had been giving them based on the OP. 

Cz. Burrito

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Re: Everyday Rugrats: The Triplets
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2007, 10:19:15 AM »
For example, an 11 year old wouldn't call someone a skank in the front of the class, or assume that parental death is punishment for someone else, unless they belong to a very fundamentalist religion.

Trust me, after hearing my 12 yo dd telling all of the horrible things the girls have been saying to each other in class for the last year and a half, I can completely believe an 11yo calling someone a "skank."  The part about death being a punishment I'm not so sure about, but I can believe the other.

Just to clarify- an 11 year old wouldn't get up in front of a class and say "Jenny is a skank"... she'd tell Jenny "You're a skank" to her face, or spread a rumor about Jenny's promiscuity.

The phrase "I don't wanna be triplets with you anymore" also sounds like someone younger.

I hate to seem like I'm beating a dead horse, but yes, I do think that an 11yo would say something to the effect of "Jenny is a skank" in front of the class.  Particularly if they have been acting that way all along and have been getting feedback along the lines of what I assume their parents had been giving them based on the OP. 

I agree.  It's typical passive aggressive behavior to insult somebody in a general statement to the world.  My best friend when I was 13 would do that to me all the time.  I have since developed better taste in companions.

Reddie321

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Re: Everyday Rugrats: The Triplets
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2007, 12:48:23 PM »
The phrase "I don't wanna be triplets with you anymore" also sounds like someone younger.

Eh, I disagree...with two sisters like the OP describes, I wouldn't be surprised if Ally was a bit stunted emotionally/socially, especially in the face of such a tense situation.

As an aside, girls can be downright nasty!
Says Reddie, who has very few female friends for this reason.  Boys may hit, but I doubt that'd psychologically scar you for the rest of your life!

Bob Ducca

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Re: Everyday Rugrats: The Triplets
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2007, 12:53:05 PM »
The phrase "I don't wanna be triplets with you anymore" also sounds like someone younger.

Eh, I disagree...with two sisters like the OP describes, I wouldn't be surprised if Ally was a bit stunted emotionally/socially, especially in the face of such a tense situation.

As an aside, girls can be downright nasty!
Says Reddie, who has very few female friends for this reason.  Boys may hit, but I doubt that'd psychologically scar you for the rest of your life!

I totally agree with you there.  Also, I hate to nitpick, but the quote from the original story was "I'm not a triplet with you two anymore," not "I don't wanna be triplets with you anymore" which sounds much more childish.  I can hear an eleven-year-old saying the first thing with absolute conviction.  "I don't wanna" automatically sounds like a 4-year-old.
I'm sure the misquote wasn't deliberate, but it does make the statement sound much less mature.

Edited to add: Reddie321, I was agreeing with you completely, it was Amy Rose's quote I was calling attention to.  Just wanted to be clear! 
« Last Edit: March 21, 2007, 12:54:42 PM by Deb1000faces »

kherbert05

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Re: Everyday Rugrats: The Triplets
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2007, 07:23:32 PM »
Something always struck me as off about this story- just that it sounded like all of them were somewhere between 4 and 10, until she said that the girls were eleven. For example, an 11 year old wouldn't call someone a skank in the front of the class, or assume that parental death is punishment for someone else, unless they belong to a very fundamentalist religion.

I may be wrong, though.

I have had 10 year olds call each other skank - and know what it means. We have had 5th graders, who were having sex (at their houses not school). It took raising the rafters with CPS to get them to do a neglect investigation.

 4th or 5th grade aged girls can be very catty. A third grade teacher was saying today that she couldn't figure out why her girls were so catty last year - till she was filling out paper work and it clicked that 4 of the girls had been retained 2 X and should have been in 5th grade, and 3 had been retained 1X and should have been 4th. They are in 4th grade now - pretend to not understand a word of English when I give them instructions - their home room teachers (bilingual program) say they are fluent. I am not looking forward to them being 5th graders next year.

The death as punishment could come from 2 directions - immaturity if something happens to my family it is my fault so if something happened to your family it must be your fault. The other - I know this makes Jenny sad so how can I hurt her.

Kids can be very underhanded. We have a kinder who would throw away her sad notes at day care, hide them in other people's backpack at day care, hide the around the day care - now we give them to the day care provider (with Mom's permission no privacy violation). She has also stabbed one student with a pencil and another with blunt scissors "To see what would happen". We are trying to get her help but the parents refuse to allow testing. We don't see any physical signs of abuse, or the usual signs of sex abuse.

Then there was the kid who told his mom I was cussing in class - we were doing weather in science the cuss word Hail - which I admit is one word that I say with a Texas Twang but this is a G&T kid he knew what I was saying.
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Amy Rose

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Re: Everyday Rugrats: The Triplets
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2007, 08:39:08 AM »
The phrase "I don't wanna be triplets with you anymore" also sounds like someone younger.

Eh, I disagree...with two sisters like the OP describes, I wouldn't be surprised if Ally was a bit stunted emotionally/socially, especially in the face of such a tense situation.

As an aside, girls can be downright nasty!
Says Reddie, who has very few female friends for this reason.  Boys may hit, but I doubt that'd psychologically scar you for the rest of your life!

I totally agree with you there.  Also, I hate to nitpick, but the quote from the original story was "I'm not a triplet with you two anymore," not "I don't wanna be triplets with you anymore" which sounds much more childish.  I can hear an eleven-year-old saying the first thing with absolute conviction.  "I don't wanna" automatically sounds like a 4-year-old.
I'm sure the misquote wasn't deliberate, but it does make the statement sound much less mature.

Edited to add: Reddie321, I was agreeing with you completely, it was Amy Rose's quote I was calling attention to.  Just wanted to be clear! 

It was an accidental misquote.

I guess I just don't know anything about kids. I mean, in my experience, 6th grade was when girls started going behind the backs of the targets of their torture. That was when they started the "friend to your face, enemy behind your back" thing. I mean, I'm not a teacher, but after the age of 10, I don't remember anyone standing up in class and saying "Amy is a (skank, fatso, lezzie, *******, etc.)". But I do remember overhearing rumors that I had sex with my judge and that's why I won the science fair, or the rumor when I gained puberty-related weight in 7th grade that I was pregnant. With the other loser kids, when we reminisced, we all recalled 6th grade as when our lives became truly hellish.

It just seems to me that middle schoolers would be more backhanded and sneaky. As I said, I could be wrong.

RoseRose

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Re: Everyday Rugrats: The Triplets
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2007, 10:31:53 AM »
The phrase "I don't wanna be triplets with you anymore" also sounds like someone younger.

Eh, I disagree...with two sisters like the OP describes, I wouldn't be surprised if Ally was a bit stunted emotionally/socially, especially in the face of such a tense situation.

As an aside, girls can be downright nasty!
Says Reddie, who has very few female friends for this reason.  Boys may hit, but I doubt that'd psychologically scar you for the rest of your life!

I totally agree with you there.  Also, I hate to nitpick, but the quote from the original story was "I'm not a triplet with you two anymore," not "I don't wanna be triplets with you anymore" which sounds much more childish.  I can hear an eleven-year-old saying the first thing with absolute conviction.  "I don't wanna" automatically sounds like a 4-year-old.
I'm sure the misquote wasn't deliberate, but it does make the statement sound much less mature.

Edited to add: Reddie321, I was agreeing with you completely, it was Amy Rose's quote I was calling attention to.  Just wanted to be clear! 

It was an accidental misquote.

I guess I just don't know anything about kids. I mean, in my experience, 6th grade was when girls started going behind the backs of the targets of their torture. That was when they started the "friend to your face, enemy behind your back" thing. I mean, I'm not a teacher, but after the age of 10, I don't remember anyone standing up in class and saying "Amy is a (skank, fatso, lezzie, *******, etc.)". But I do remember overhearing rumors that I had sex with my judge and that's why I won the science fair, or the rumor when I gained puberty-related weight in 7th grade that I was pregnant. With the other loser kids, when we reminisced, we all recalled 6th grade as when our lives became truly hellish.

It just seems to me that middle schoolers would be more backhanded and sneaky. As I said, I could be wrong.

Amy, I was a kindergartener the first time someone spread rumors about me, and pretended to be my friend, while really being my enemy.  I figured it out pretty quickly, but not in time to not have ANY friends at that school (fortunatly, I moved in 2nd grade).



Amy Rose

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Re: Everyday Rugrats: The Triplets
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2007, 10:50:23 AM »
Maybe my classmates didn't get any good at it until 6th grade.  ;D