Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Oh, parenting.....

As a mom, I had an interesting day yesterday dealing with  physical altercations involving both of my children.  It wasn't my kids hitting each other, that's not even worth mentioning since I bust up those kinds of fights daily.

No, yesterday both ends of the striking spectrum gave me a whack in my mama heart.  The first blow riled up my mama bear and the second one made me scared of the mama bear next door.

Let me explain, Zoe came home from school and told me she got pushed by one boy and then pushed down by another boy at recess making her cry.  My mama bear was ready to call around to find out addresses so I  could drive over to and slap these boys in their faces while screaming "You little shit!".

And I was ready to take their mothers ON! Your boy shoved my girl down and made her cry!  Let's go! Bring it on!  BRING IT!

But, I asked her what happened, using all my willpower to not run around screaming I was going to get those guys, and if she'd talked to her teacher.  Zoe said she did but she didn't know what her teacher had said to the boys or if they'd been punished.

Scott and I both react, let's say strongly, to any signs of bullying towards our children.  We were both bullied in school,  Scott quite badly and me somewhat less so.  There were a couple of guys who would kick Scott in his ears when they sat behind him in a class where the seating was arranged on risers, so their feet were right at the level of his head.  I'd get bonked in the back of the head on the bus and had the stall door kicked in when I was in the bathroom.  I just learned to hold it, for years I don't think I peed at school more than four or five times between 7th to 12th grade.

So, when Zoe came home I had to take a very deep breath and decide what to do.  I communicated with Scott right away and we decided I'd email her teacher to ask for a little clarification.   I simply wrote to her what Zoe had told me and wondered if there was anything I needed to be concerned about.  I wasn't accusatory or demanding to know how the boys were going to be dealt with, I just asked if she knew about it and was very proud of myself for being calm.

I'm sure her teacher was expecting us to want to talk with her, since we told her at the first parent/teacher conference Scott and I had a hot spot with bullying.  Zoe's school has a clear position that bullying and teasing are not to be tolerated, making it a very different atmosphere than schools were in the 60's and 70's, where you just had to suck it up and deal with it.  So, I was fairly sure the answer would be satisfactory to our paranoid selves.

And I was right, the groups involved, boys and girls, were told to not play together anymore, all students were told to report any incident like this one right away and not to try and handle it alone.   The other 4th grade teachers know what happened and all the teachers at her grade level will be watching carefully in the coming days.

I feel better now.  I'm really glad the kids at her school can talk to their teachers and not be scared to say they were pushed down or yelled at or pinched.  And bullying awareness starts pretty early these days, early on in first grade for my child.

When she brought home the coloring sheets that said 'No bullies!' it gave me and opportunity to talk to her about bullies.  I told her that, a lot of the time, bullies have something happening in their lives that makes them mad and sad.  They don't know what to do when they feel that way so they take it out on the kids around them, making other kids feel sad and scared makes them feel better.   It's not okay for them to do that to other kids, so Zoe needs to tell her teacher right away and she can always tell her teacher she wants to talk privately.

After this first trauma where I wanted to swoop down and have vengeance for my wronged child, my OTHER kid got sad and mad and struck one of the kids from next door.  When we moved into this house, we lucked out to have two kids next door really close in age to my children.  Built in friends!

We've put a gate in the fence between our yards allowing them to come and go between the houses without having to go in the front yard and they spend at least two days a week playing together.  My neighbor home schools her children to great success, which makes a great situation for Zoe because it's not like she's been with these kids all day at school and now has to spend MORE time with them.  The four of them don't have to deal with any school politics when they spend time together.

Weeeelllll, Will didn't have a nap yesterday and when the little girl from next door did something benign that made him mad, he hit her in the face, took her glasses and threw them on the ground.  I spanked him right away (I know fighting violence with violence but I was lost as to what else to do at that moment) and he was sent to his room.  I made sure her glasses were okay, cleaned them and put them back on her face.  She also had a scratch near her eye, I gave her a cold pack to put on it since she said that would make her feel better while I sat around and felt awful.  I eventually let Will come out of his room to apologize and get a reminder that he doesn't like it when people hit him and it's not okay to hit ANYONE, if he gets mad he can go to his room and beat up what ever he wants.

In addition to these predicaments, I baked ten loaves of pumpkin bread, did four loads of laundry, loaded the dishwasher twice and walked on the treadmill.

Needless to say, I was tired at the end of the day, as a matter of fact, I'm still tired.  Time for Ellen and coffee.  See ya!

Amanda's beauty tip of the day:  Believe it or not, walking in the mud in your bare feet will do a beautiful job of making them soft.  


Kirsten said...

Oh I am NOT looking forward to Bailey going to school and having to deal with bullying....Sometimes I wonder if SHE will be the bully :( God I hope not!!!

What ever happened with Zoe and the boys? I hope Will learned a lesson too!!

Anonymous said...

You're such an awesome mom. Just sayin'.
*massive hugs*