argh. boys.

Mostly I am super-glad I have boys instead of girls, because I never understood girls, even when I was one. Never swooned over Shaun Cassidy, never cared about horses, always off in a corner with my nose in a book – usually science-fiction or Tolkien.

However, boys do present certain challenges, I’m finding. One is the growth-spurt, I told you about the shoes, right? They’re both outgrowing their clothes faster than they can wreck them, something that hasn’t happened since they learned to crawl. And another is the fighting.

I’m not sure how much I want to tell you about what happened. I’m still not sure what I think about it all – well, yes, I know how I feel – dodecabivalent. On one hand… but on the other hand… however, don’t forget… yes, but even so… augh.

It started with a call from Robin’s mom. We’ve known Robin for awhile, he was in the transitional first-grade with the Sniglet, and they were friends then, though I’ve never liked him. Anyway, she calls me occasionally to complain that my kid picks on her kid. Now, I’ve had two kids for awhile now, and when someone yells “he hit me!,” I’ve learned to ask, “and what did you do immediately before that?” There’s always something. My kids can be irritating as hell, but they don’t just pop people at random, not even eachother. Mrs Robin doesn’t really think like that. She tends to swallow Robin’s version whole, and I, well. Like I said, I’ve never liked that kid.

So I asked the Sniglet what happened about forty times, until I got the same story twice.

Three kids were picking on him, teasing him about his name. It started in class, and a teacher put a stop to it (the art teacher, not his regular teacher, who is a useless, lazy, inert, complacent waste of space bit of a problem), so they continued it in the cloakroom. He told them his name isn’t stupid, and he told them to stop, but they didn’t. They carried it out to recess. They threw rocks at him. He walked away. They followed him. Several times. Finally he lost his temper and beat up Robin, just as recess was ending and everybody was lined up to go inside, so everybody saw it. There were no witnesses to the rock-throwing, so only my kid got caught.

Now, of course I know that hitting is not okay, and we told him that many times today. He’ll miss recess for a few days, which is as it should be – hitting is never the solution, and should always carry consequences. But what do you do when kids are picking on you? You tell them to stop. You appeal to a grown-up. You walk away. He did all those things, and none of them worked. Hitting is always wrong, but he was being bullied, and that’s also not okay.

So I’ve written a note requesting a conference with Mrs Inert Mass, his main teacher. While I’m up at the school I’ll request an appointment with the school psychologist and see if we can get him some outside help, because he’s been having trouble since he started school. I put off seeking help because we’re moving, and what can a therapist do in a year six months four months? Well, she can listen to him. Focus wholly on him and helping him address his problem, instead of thinking about classroom dynamics or school policy. Suggest a few coping strategies to get him through these last few months, and maybe hit the ground running when he gets to a new country where he’ll be even more different.

I don’t know what else to do. I hate this.

Song du jour of the day: no song. Too anxious.

4 responses to “argh. boys.

  • amy

    I don’t, in general, like other children, especially in a group. You’re being very tactful, but I’d probably be reduced to calling them little effing bastards. It’s a good thing I don’t have to deal with schoolyard politics at the moment.

    Good luck. Tough luck for Robin, but I hope they all think twice about picking on the Snig, who has a WONDERFUL name, by the way.

  • Melanie

    Aw, this is one of those very very hard ones. I remember my sister and her son going through this (pastor’s son calling him a bastard and saying “at least I have a dad” to which my neph replied “Jesus was a bastard” – love him!!) Anyways, they went through the teacher/principal conference, kid apologizes, happens again, and again, etc. Until my sister said “punch him, you can’t go through life as a victim”. She, also, didn’t know what else to do. Of course, when asked, neph said “my mom told me to do it” and of course, the principal is a guy my sister and brother were in high school with sooooooo….. At some point later, that kid became friends with the neph again AND apologized to my sister and got all weepy and they had a big hug (had a self aware moment: “sorry about all that stuff, I had hard year, my dog died” etc. ) I just don’t know what you are supposed to do in these situations. Not looking forward to mean girl behaviour , eeeeeeeeekkkkkkk. Hugs!!!

  • Nate

    Well, you could always remind the teacher, the principal, and the police that while you certainly would never stand for such behavior, it’s just about always the bullied kids that show up at school one day with automatic weapons and leave feet first with company–maybe they’ve watched the news some time in the last 10 years or so. No parent can control EVERYTHING their kid does, and they should be damn thankful Gus was kind and stable enough to do their job for them and put a stop to it before things got much worse. The bullies throwing rocks crossed the line, and you might also ask the principal/teacher what the punishment is for THAT, because if there isn’t one, then it’s up to Gus to do what he can to take care of it, and you have a right to know what the hell kind of place they’re running here. or, maybe in Germany you don’t. not sure on that one.

  • alala

    I wish I could, but I don’t know how to say all that in German.

    Also, you are awesome. Thanks.

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