It's a Fine Line

When children are involved, Momma Bear will do anything.

Usually, that's a good thing. However, it can sometimes cause problems. I can tell you that, fortunately, I have learned from my past mistakes and am now very careful when I run headlong into battle for my children, although I would still rip off someone's head if they so much as made my kid twitch. Just kidding. Maybe.

A few weeks ago, my boy Dennis told me he was upset with another boy in his class. Now, boys have their disagreements, but normally they get into it, deal with it, and then get on with it. I usually don't have to worry too much about Dennis and his friends because they seem to have this innate ability to fix the problem on their own, whether it be discussing it like two mature 10-year-olds, or punching each other a couple of times, throwing rancid mud in each other's faces, and wrenching arms out of sockets. By the next day, they're best buddies again. Not this time. This time, Dennis said this boy (let's call him Ass) was perpetually picking on him, both physically and mentally, making him feel just awful about himself. Every day there was a new derogatory nickname given to Dennis, every day another push or shove into the library bookcase, or onto the pavement in the schoolyard, or a nice, swift kick to the shins.

Dennis and I discussed it, and I asked him if he felt comfortable enough to talk to Ass about it. Dennis said he had, but to no avail. The Ass attacks got worse, multiplying per day now. I strongly suggested he speak to his teacher about it, and Dennis promised he would. But he didn't. He would forget, or not remember. It was always one of those two excuses. "Dennis, did you talk to the teacher today about Ass?" "Oh no, I forgot," or "Darn, I didn't remember AGAIN."

Being the astute mother that I am, I believed he was not telling the teacher ON PURPOSE. Chalk one up for mom. So, I asked Dennis if he wanted ME to speak to the teacher, and at first the answer was an adamant "NO!!" screeched at the top of his lungs, just in case I couldn't hear him at 100 decibels lower. Then, one day last week, Dennis initiated the conversation, saying, "Mommy, can you please talk to the teacher?"

So today I did, and things should be resolved soon.

I did the right thing, but let me tell you how difficult it is to NOT do something about it when you know your child is being hurt in some way by some other brat. What I wanted to do was somewhat different.

Like the time my daughter, Milly, came home from school (this was a few years ago, when I was still relatively naive about the workings of parent/child responsibilities on the playground), and said this other girl (let's call her Angie for the absolute hell of it) kept hurting her in the playground during recess, either pushing her to the ground or stepping on her, hitting her, etc. You get the picture. I let it go for a little bit, but then I broke. I stomped off to school that cold February morning, and I sought out that little freak of a child, and I started screaming at her, telling her she was not to come near my daughter ever again or else she would be seeing me again, and the next time, it wouldn't be so pleasant. I couldn't contain myself. I could feel the sweat beading on my forehead, the fire in my stomach rising rising rising to my chest, and I wanted to punch the living daylights out of that 7-year-old little girl who had the face of an angel.

I was quickly stopped by a teacher, who ran up to me and said, "Hello. Who are you?"

It was like the light switch was flicked on suddenly and I was back on earth. Oops, my brain text messaged the other part of my brain, the part that actually has some logic in it. What have I done?

I explained the situation, and the teacher calmly (which just pissed me off that much more) said, "Well, you need to go speak to the principal. This is not the proper way to deal with this matter. You can't be coming in here and yelling at the students." Really? I felt like I was a little kid in school again and was being sent to the principal's office. I was NEVER sent to the principal's office. EVER. I was as innocent as they came. Apparently not.

So, I did as the teacher insisted I do, but grudgingly. Who is SHE to tell ME what I NEED to do? I said to myself. SHE doesn't have a kid here who is being perpetually abused. Ha! Whatever.

Things worked out fine from then on, and Milly and Angie are now the best of friends. Go figure.

There is a moral to this story, in case you've read this far and you are scratching your head wondering why you even started reading. I don't really know what the moral might be, but I could guess. It would probably be something like 'Take a deep breath, then punch the offender out.' Sounds good to me.


My 6 yo won't tell on anyone who picks on him beccause "We aren't allowed to tell on people at school, that's tattling!"

Helllooooo teachers!!! Shouldn't kids "tattle" if another kids is hurting them? I understand the point she is trying to make about not being a tattle-tale about every little thing, but some things need to be told!

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