I remember wanting long hair and pierced ears. I wanted to buy my lunch instead of brown bagging it every day. I got lost in department stores, got caught telling little white lies, and got caught in places that were considered off limits by my parents. I was teased and teased others. I fell down in the hallway on the way to lunch. I threw up on Sammy Glasik's lunch-box standing in bus line. Kids dumped my books. I forgot my sneakers on gym days. I left my mittens on the bus. I left my homework on the kitchen table. I left my books at school. (Betty)

As a small child, I knew how to get adults to 'approve' of me. It was quite simple - be cute, do what you're told, and don't question authority. My third grade teacher was a firm believer in my theoryand she loved me! If that old woman only knew how I felt about her, it would break her mean heart. (Eleanor)

My goal in this book is to document that children, even very young children, may experience, in the ordinary course of their childhood, what they view as hardships. I want to make clear at the outset that when I use the phrase 'the little trials of childhood' I do not refer to experiences such as poverty, malnutrition, starvation, serious illness, neglect, and violence. In no way do I mean to minimize the severe physical and emotional hardships encountered by some children but simply assert that my concerns here are different. My project is to identify and examine some of the ordinary, everyday difficulties of simply being a child in relation to adults, other children, and the broader social world and some of the strategies that children may use to deal with those difficulties. I seek to learn about the lived experiences of young children, the richness and complexity of their lives, and the many spheres of their competence. My intent is not to reduce the importance of severe hardships nor to elevate little trials to an inappropriately lofty position but to grant to the latter a position commensurate with their importance to those who endure them. What then might children define as the little trials of childhood, the difficulties, struggles, and

problems? And what methods might children develop to offset, forestall, and endure those trials?