May 23rd, 2012
No, not emotional pain. Emotionally I’m actually doing fabulously, thank you.
It’s the PHYSICAL pain that’s kicking my ass today. Today. And yesterday. And the day before that, and before that, and before that…the past 2 weeks or so have been like one long laundry list of physical ailments. It’s draining me. So much so that I swear, I don’t even have the energy to make this a long post. I just want to curl up with a blanket – despite the humidity AND the heat – take some sort of nerve-numbing meds, and drift off into la-la land.
And I WILL do that, in just a minute or so. But I did write here for a reason. What the hell was it?
OH! I wanted to remember, and I wanted Punksin to remember, how she used to say her middle name.
Her middle name is Elizabeth.
When she was a tot, she would tell you her middle name was “A Little Bit.” Which was apparently what SHE was hearing when we said Elizabeth.
Today, as she came home from tennis, she was gloating about the fact that she had been the last one standing on the court in a knockout game of volleying. “Do you know who I AM?” she snorted, indulging in some smack talk.
And as she reminded us of who she IS, and said her entire name, I was transported back to the days when she was less than 2, and would seriously announce that her name was _____ A Little Bit ________.
The irony is, that now I have to teach her to have that attitude towards some little bitch on the court – yes, I called a 6-year old kid a bitch – who has been pushing my daughter around. Not verbally, mind you. PHYSICALLY.
That was one thing that pulled me out of the miasma of pain as I sat at tennis, keeled over in a chair. I’m sure the other mothers thought I was drunk or hung over – not that I gave a shit. Nothing like hearing about your child getting bullied by some little twat to raise the beast in you.
“Tell the teacher,” I told her.
She did. Apparently nothing stopped.
It was only AFTER tennis that I discovered that she had not even covered step 1: tell the little bitch to her FACE to stop it.
I thought she had done that. I mean, it’s not like we haven’t covered this shit.
So her dad and I had to have a talk with her afterwards. I supported the 5-step plan:
- Tell the girl to stop.
- If she doesn’t, inform the teacher.
- If she still doesn’t stop, inform me.
- I will approach her mother and inform HER that if it continues, I have authorized my child to take it defcon level step 5:
- Push that fucking kid back.
My husband says push her back immediately. And in my heart of hearts, I actually agree with him, but I know how these schools and organizations operate. They want the kids to Try To Work It Out. And if my daughter immediately pushes this girl back, a girl who is smaller and younger and, dare I say, whiter, well, then guess who could get branded the bully? I mean, frankly, even my steps 4 and 5 would draw frowns from most official organizations. But I don’t sanction being a wuss. My child has the right to defend herself. And if talking to the kid doesn’t work, and talking to teachers doesn’t work, and the kid’s parents don’t make it stop, then I think she is perfectly justified in pushing her back.
So before pushing, there needs to be talking. And just as Punksin announced “Do you know who I AM?” I told her that that was EXACTLY the tone – and perhaps even the WORDS – that she needed to use on that little heifer.
“THAT,” I said. “THAT RIGHT THERE.”
“Okay, Mommy,” she said, reverting to her demure self. “I’m sorry.”
“What do YOU have to be sorry for? Some little twerp is pushing you, you need to let her KNOW that that is NOT ACCEPTABLE, not just because of the teachers and the parents but because of YOU. YOU will not take that from her.”
“But, it just makes me feel like a mean person. And I don’t want to be mean,” she replied.
“You are not a mean person. Defending yourself does not make you mean, sweetie. Being a nice person does not mean you have to endure other’s bad treatment of you. You also have to be nice to yourself. Mean is when you treat other people poorly with no reason. All you are doing is letting HER know that her behavior is WRONG, and will not be ALLOWED. And if you say it sternly, you stand a far better chance of getting the idea into her head than if you say it meekly.”
“But what if she doesn’t listen?” she asked.
“Then you tell the teachers,” I asked.
“But I did,” she said.
“Yes, but you should have talked to her FIRST. YOU have to be your own first line of defense, honey,” I responded.
“What if the teachers don’t do anything?”
“Then you come tell ME,” I said.
“I did,” she replied.
“Yes, but again, you hadn’t talked to her FIRST. So now if I go to her mom, she’s going to come back with “they need to work it out,” or “there was a misunderstanding.” You need to talk to HER and be CLEAR. So that by the time I GO to her mom, she doesn’t have those excuses to fall back on.”
“Okay, and THEN what if nothing happens?”
“You punch her in the face,” I blurted out.
I know. I know! Shut up, I KNOW.
I recanted immediately and explained that I was joking. Which I wasn’t really, but I knew it was The Right Thing To Say. Trust me, if I thought there was a tiny chance that she would actually DO that, I wouldn’t even have said it. But…a part of me just wishes she COULD.
But I was bullied in school, so yeah, there’s some bitterness there. Let me tell you, if I had it to go back and do ALL OVER AGAIN, I would PUNCH ALL THOSE LITTLE BITCHES IN THE FACE. REPEATEDLY.
I am not a violent person. I do not allow my child to bully people, and I won’t even let her be too harsh with her brother. BUT…and this is a HUGE but…I will also NOT ALLOW HER TO BE BULLIED. Not by ANYONE. Do NOT, for one MINUTE, think that I espouse this Turn The Other Cheek bullshit. Because these fuckers out there, they will just look at The Other Cheek, and then hit that one too. NO way, NOT my child. Trust me, it’s better if Punksin defends herself, because if I have to get involved and defend her, it will not be pretty. I am not above pulling that little heifer aside and whispering in her ear:
“Touch my child again and I will KILL you.“
And she’ll tell her mom. And I’ll smile sweetly and say I have NO FUCKING IDEA WHAT SHE IS TALKING ABOUT, where could she POSSIBLY have gotten an idea that someone would SAY something so horrid and awful? And I will shudder, and tell the mother in a voice dripping with concern,
“You know, maybe your daughter needs to SEE someone. You know, just to make sure there’s not something SERIOUSLY wrong with her. I mean, an active imagination is one thing, but this…this is BAD.”
Yup. That’s how I roll. No matter HOW much pain I am in. DO NOT FUCK WITH MY KIDS.
Maybe I should get a t-shirt that says that?
I’ll get back to you on that.
- When Girls Bully (education.com)
- The Joys Of Disciplining Someone Else’s Child (themanoftheminivan.com)
- What Should I Do If I’m Bullied? (education.com)