parens binubus

more than you want to know about a law school graduate/bar examinee who is also raising two children and doing her best at being a partner to her love.

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  • Monday, April 30, 2007
    Mother to a Perfect Child
    I wonder how it would feel? To be such a mother to such a child?

    I have absolutely no fucking clue.

    E shared with Beloved and I a week or two ago that some boys have been riding her kind of hard. She said it was happening mostly in her after-school program, and that it was 3 boys in particular. The teasing started as accusations that E liked another boy. She said that she didn't want them to know that it bothered her, so she shrugged it off as in, "so? what of it?" hoping that they'd lay off if they didn't get a rise out of her.

    No dice.

    We suggested that she tell an adult that the joking has been escalating to the point where she's feeling bullied. She said she can't -- that most people will just tell her to "ignore them," others are known to respond to tears, and the boys know it and will cry in order to win sympathy, and others just won't care. I thought perhaps she should talk to one of the boys, who she was able to talk with reasonably earlier in the year, when he is out of the presence of his posse. She sort of hemmed and hawed about the suggestion, but then Beloved stepped in and said no - that it likely wouldn't work. That of all the possible reasons for the boys to harass E, none of them would disappear after a heart-to-heart.

    I ended up leaving her with the advice to ignore the boys - AVOID the boys, and that if that proved ineffective, then perhaps we [i.e., Beloved and I] would need to approach some adults. But the issues surrounding the harassment weren't so huge. It was pesky, but not hateful. They were occasionally encroaching on her personal space, but they weren't hurting her.

    Not a peep about it again.

    Until today.

    And how.

    I got home from class at around 7:30 (Mondays and Wednesdays SUCK). J greeted me by saying, "you forgot to call!" I was so confused. What did she mean? Was I supposed to make some kind of reservation? Did she miss something that I was supposed to give notice of? Who did I forget to call? OH! I usually call when I'm getting on the bike after class, which lets Beloved know it is time to put dinner on, so it's ready when I get home.*

    So J tells me of her headache (she ate all of her packed food at lunch time, leaving nothing for a snack during her acting-group extra-curricular this afternoon, and she always gets a headache when she goes too long without food. I should really get her blood sugar checked) and that it eventually turned into a pukey-feeling belly. She told me about her solo for the play. She cuddled in. I kissed her little(ish) forehead and played with her hair. I see something out of the corner of my eye. It's Beloved. He's making hand motions and mouthing the words "ask E about her day!!" while gesturing toward E.

    "So, E, how was your day?"
    Well, I had lunch, and the ham was good and then I had music, and I played the cello and then my teacher gave me computer time, but the computer froze, and I tried to send an email, but it got stuck, and so I read a book, and I read 47 pages while my friend read 45, and then the teacher said maybe I was reading too fast, but that's just dumbbecauseverybodyknowsthati'mafastreaderandidon't
    I looked at Beloved. What? What? What is going on? He shook his head ... she hadn't gotten to the point.

    "Anything else happen E?"
    Well, yeah, but it's more private, although Beloved knows, I'm sure, b/c [friend of mine, mom to girls' friends] told him.
    Oh shit. We got a call from another parent about a problem? fuckfuckfuck!!!

    Turns out the boys gave E a hard time again today at recess.

    Sort of.

    E's story is that they started to give her a hard time, but not until she went over to the corner of the playground they were in ... then she thought they were about to give her a hard time, so she tried to kick a rock that she thought they were "gesturing menacingly" with so that it was out of their reach, but accidentally kicked one of the boys. Then another boy was mad, so he "attacked" her, and in her attempt to get away from him, she kicked him, too. They then continued to pursue her .... with rocks .... throughout the duration of recess.


    But actually, she didn't even tell me about her part in the situation at first. She just talked about all the wrongs they did to her. Which was to use this invention of theirs to hurl rocks at her.

    In the end ... I think her responses weren't what they should have been. She didn't avoid the boys - she didn't ignore the boys.

    And then, she told on the boys. All 6 of them. They all have a meeting with the principal tomorrow. They're mad. I am guessing that their moms are, too. At E.

    I decided I'm going to the school for 7:30, to try and talk to the principal myself. My purpose is to let her know - E didn't handle that well. Yet, her lack of perfect handling does not mean that the boys are blameless. She should have ignored/avoided them, true. But they shouldn't have been throwing rocks at her, and this was not an isolated incident. At the same time, not all 6 of the boys are the ones who she has this history with --- only 2 of them are.

    I am hoping to gain some credibility by not being that mom who goes in ranting and raving about the perfection of my child. She shouldn't have put herself in a position where all of this could have happened. I want the principal to know that I know that, and that now, so does E.

    And I want her to know that the bullying programs are crap. Kids don't feel like they can tell adults --- they can't tell adults. And when things do come to a head, and adults are involved, well, then the mommy circuit gets on the phone, and toes are stepped on, and relationships that involve entire families are implicated. [Although, my friend and I had an extremely respectful conversation, and neither of us were upset with the other - or the other's kid. I think we both wanted to really know what happened, and wanted to know where our kids need help in figuring out these situations in the future --- but for a kid, it's a bigger deal to have your mom on the phone with another kids' mom.]

    I'm a little nervous about tomorrow. I haven't ever had to talk to a principal before. I think this is best, though. That she knows going in what she's dealing with (i.e., not a 100% victimized little girl), and that she can find an appropriate solution - rather than hearing the boys' story, and then deciding "oh, then they must be blameless" and shifting 100% of the blame to E ....

    I'm gonna be late for my class tomorrow.

    * My class on M/W is 5:30 - 7. I was taking the T at the start of the quarter, b/c it was 700 degrees below zero ... so I wasn't getting home until 8. Therefore, he fed the girls at their normal time (6:30 to 7), and then when I got home, he and I ate. It kinda sucked. The girls missed me, I missed the girls, Beloved and I missed our dinner conversations with the family. So when the weather improved, we said, "the hell with it," and put off dinner until 7:30. It's kind of pushing it for a school night, but it's better than the alternative. In retrospect, I should have dropped this damned class .... it is a horrid class, and I would rather be home earlier. A lot earlier. It sort of balances out, though, b/c there are now 3 days (for the first time in my law school career) where I can pick the kids up right after school if I want to. That is nice.

    Labels: ,

    posted by Zuska @ 10:56 PM  
    • At Tuesday, May 01, 2007 1:19:00 PM, Blogger Pissed OFF Housewife said…

      #1 E knows that Mom will stand up for her. This is important.

      #2 Every attorney knows that reaction to provocative behavior is a perfectly reasonable defense to criminal activity.

      #3 I wanna hug E. In my house she wouldn't be in any trouble at all.

    • At Tuesday, May 01, 2007 1:31:00 PM, Blogger Zuska said…

      oh, she's not in trouble. I think it's important that we talk about which of her decisions could have been different and why - but she's NOT in trouble. She will likely miss a recess at school.

      I obviously want to hug the poor child, too, b/c I blew off school this afternoon, and am leaving the house in 10 minutes to go get her from her classroom and take her grocery shopping with me, and then to hang out quietly at home.

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