It’s been a banner week here at my house. I am not a drama seeker. Really, I’m not.
But this week, mama bear (me) got poked. Twice.
I just want to shake my head at these pokers. Really? Have you met me? I may appear to be a humble, non assuming person, but really, I’m not. I seethe when I am poked. I have a razor sharp tongue and I’m not afraid to use it.
And I got poked. Twice.
I am trying to be a reasonable parent who is not raising an asshole for a child. I am attempting to teach my child tolerance, forgiveness, and strategies to self rescue. Really, I am. I teach so many children each year who are never taught basic manners and problem solving skills at home. I swore I’d never be ‘that’ parent who let their kid run amuck.
I do not want my child to be afraid of me, but I do want him to realize boundaries. Some behaviors are not ok. I want him to be empathetic and considerate. I want him to have (and use) common sense. It’s a work in progress.
My child has been repeatedly pummeled at school (daycare) by another child who is oblivious to rules. For about a month now, I’ve heard this child’s name mentioned morning, noon and night around my house. My child has actually had anxiety attacks on the playground because of this brute. Apparently, all it takes is one good sucker punch to the tummy to scar my child for life. We tried to talk to my son. We tried to equip him with strategies (use your words, move away, ask a teacher for help) to no avail. He continued to talk about this turd, his voice trembling with fear. I talked to the daycare and they did make an effort to move the child away from mine at the one time they would see each other on the playground. They tried.
So, the other morning, I dropped my kid off as I usually do. Because I have to be to work so early, my child is usually one of the first ones dropped off. I hate it. Every morning it rips me to shreds to leave him there. (side note- it is a great facility and he is happy there. I just have working mother guilt).
And Tuesday morning, it happened. Turd boy got dropped off early. That meant my son and his arch enemy were dropped off at the same time (which had never before happened). The look of panic and fear that crossed my child’s face is one I will never forget. And I had to walk out the door of the daycare and go to work.
I truly didn’t know whether to sweep my son up in my arms and make a run for the door, or collapse into a sobbing heap. I figured the latter wouldn’t have been a good choice, and on second thought, neither was the first. So, I dealt with things the way mama bears do. I bared my teeth and sharpened my claws.
I followed Turd Boy’s father out to the parking lot. I had never met him before. I figured this was a stellar time for him to put a face to the name. After all, his son has been terrorizing mine for a little over a month.
And I let loose.
It was not my best moment, nor was it appropriate. But somewhere in my head I felt Mr. Turd needed to know that his son’s behavior was affecting REAL people. Namely me and my son.
I proceeded to tell him that my son is terrified of his son and is having anxiety attacks over it.
He seemed bored and disinterested. He told me they’re “working on it”.
Never being one to be dismissed, I pushed a little more telling him he’d better work a little harder because other parents are talking and are very unhappy. (not a lie).
He of course was not at a loss for words either and thanked me for my ‘attitude’.
Ok, I get it. Not the best way to protect my kid. But my son is truly afraid of this child.
And then I sobbed all the way to work.
Fast forward to today’s soccer game. Before the game, my son and another child were rough housing. Ok, I get it. Boys will be boys. The child rough housing with mine is a chronic whiner. He pouts and sulks when he doesn’t get his own way. He doesn’t listen to his parents. A lot of people have noticed his lack of discipline. This was not a first time occurrence.
So he and my son were rough housing. No big deal. Boys being boys.
Except when I looked over, Pouty boy was attempting to pull both of my son’s arms out of their sockets and fling him to the ground while his own parents looked on. I rushed over and used my teacher voice. I firmly told him not to treat my son that way. I may have thrown in a finger wag.
Well, that poked HIS mama bear. She approached me a few minutes later telling me the way I handled the situation was too harsh and inappropriate.
Not wanting to a) punch her or b) make a scene, I simply said “I’m sorry you feel that way, thank you for letting me know”.
Apparently that wasn’t good enough.
She continued to lecture me. She told me I should have talked to her first about the incident.
Not wanting to a) punch her or b) make a scene, I simply reiterated “I’m sorry you feel that way, thank you for letting me know”.
She continued on.
Not wanting to say a) Look you freaky granola home schooler, your kid is a turd, or b) make a scene, I simply reiterated I was sorry she felt that way and thanked her for letting me know her concern.
By the fourth time she continued on I didn’t care anymore. I told her she needed to keep a better eye on her kid. To which I got an indignant “humph” and she tried to jaw on some more.
I think I moved away from her at that point.
While I know my tactics aren’t always the best, my intentions are. I am reasonable. I know kids get hurt. I know there are bullies. I understand not everyone thinks like I do. But really kids… there are limits. You are a KID. And it’s my job as a parent to remind you of your limits (albeit not really my place to tell another kid that unless they are hurting MY kid which was today’s case)
And that was the week that was.