Thursday, February 5, 2009

Birthday Ups and Downs

My birthday ended up being quiet most of the day. I added just over 2K to the current revisions which means that I've only got about 20% more to go to beef this one up.

My children get home from school and the bus driver calls me over and tells my that my 10 y/o 4th grader was shoving a 1st grader around on the bus and wrestling him. 10 y/o says "But he was calling me names."
I said, "That no reason to start shoving someone around. You don't pick on kids younger than you- or anyone for that matter." Told the bus driver we would have a talk with him.

(I swear on the few and rare occasions 10 y/o had gotten in trouble over the past 5 years on the bus, the bus driver always looks at me like he thinks I should just spank him right then and there as though public humilation would make him straighten up...Grrrr!)

We come in and I give lecture- "You don't pick on kids smaller than you and just because he called you names doesn't give you the right to get into a fight or physical dispute with him. Sticks and stones, etc. We've talked about this before...."

I asked what the boy called him. He gave me three specifics, but I won't get into them, but needless to say we had to discuss them. Both of my children also claimed the other boy was a 2nd grader(not 1st) and that he told my 6 y/o daughter "Shut your mouth."

I hope I was able to get through to 10 y/o (and 6 y/o) that the name calling was one thing- yes- that's a form of bullying, but him wrestling the other kid is worse because he has no right to lay a hand on any other kid and that in the end- HE was the one that got in trouble, not the other way around, so it made him look like the bully and troublemaker. I don't imagine the bus driver said a thing to the other boy's parent(s) when he dropped him off.

The second shoe dropped after the dust settled over that incident. My 6 y/o thinks that because her brother has a little girlfriend she can give our OUR phone number to anyone she wants, too, and has already had a little girl call here after school earlier in the week. She wanted to call her yesterday and I wouldn't let her cause I was still talking to 10 y/o and trying to sort out exactly what happened.

Well, then I find out that she gave our number to a 13 y/o boy on the bus who happens to be one of the mean kids who has to sit in an assigned seat. That boy wrote it down and told 10 y/o he was going to call to talk to ME (not them) and that he was going to tell me what a bad kid 10 y/o is and then he was going to cuss me out. 10 y/o says he also teases him constantly that he's a Momma's Boy. (It's not nice, but kind of true, but I had to explain to him what that meant as well.)

So anyway---- EXCUSE ME? First off, 6 y/o gave our number out AGAIN after she'd been told NOT to, but then to top it off, she gave it to some strange 13 y/o troublemaker that we don't know...to me that's no different than "Never give out your personal information on the Net"...a 6 y/o girl has NO BUSINESS giving out her home phone number to a 13 y/o boy, or ANYONE for that matter. Panic flew all over me. The thought of one of a mother's worst nightmares clogged my heart with fear. 6 y/o burst into tears and ran to her room sobbing before I barely knew what was going on.

Time for damage control....- get as much truth about the situation from 10 year old and calm my daughter and try to get her to understand that, though I was really upset with her, I still loved her, but she was NOT to do anything like that again because that's dangerous and she's not to be sitting with kids like that, cause you just don't know about people and what they're liable to do.

So, my decent birthday was starting to look like it had gone in the crapper and would stay there. We had to have a family round table to explain several things to the kids- the bullying, the not giving info to strangers, etc. I told them to sit together today so at least I know they are together until this blows over so maybe it won't get worse. Told 10 y/o to ignore the name calling, but not to tell them "I'm ignoring you" cause that will just make matters worse and all these kids are doing are trying to push his buttons and provoke him into an argument. There are always going to be kids who are going to be mean and hateful and say and do things like that, but they need to keep their heads and not let it get to them or get THEM in trouble.

I don't really know what to do about it. It was the first time I'd heard about any of this, though 10 y/o said the name calling had been going on for a while. I told him he needs to start telling us about it so that if it escalates, WE can handle it by talking to the bus driver or someone in the school system.

I know I can't protect them from everything, but I had hoped I'd been doing a good job as a parent and had raised them to know right from wrong. Apparently 10 y/o had taken all he could of the name calling, but that was still no excuse for his bad behavior. The bus driver saw HIM misbehaving but didn't see/hear what the other kid was doing and I can only go based on what my children told me.

So I was ready to crawl in the bed and hide under the covers after that. Joked that I should have stayed in bed yesterday morning and really pretended it wasn't my birthday at all. But then wonderful, sweet hubby comes home and gives me a beautiful card and three peachy roses for my birthday (No presents cause he's planning to take me to see New In Town Saturday and offered to take me to Barnes and Noble to spend my b-day money from family on books. Today though I'm thinking if I have enough I might skip books- SHOCKER!- and get a new digital camera. Mine is just about shot.)

What a birthday! Too much excitement!

3 comments:

Devon Matthews said...

Taryn,

{{{Hugs}}} Raising kids these days is not fun. There's so much that can happen out there. Or even in our own homes! I was so relieved to get my son into adulthood with no major mishaps along the way. I was lucky. The worst thing mine did was looking at naughty stuff on the internet when he was twelve. Also, I found a naked picture of Britney you-know-who stashed in his closet. It was a picture someone had doctored and stuck her head on someone else's body--he printed it off Ebay, of all things, because a kid at school told him about it. At the time, this behavior scared us to death. But several people who'd been there and done it assured me, it was natural behavior for a boy whose hormones were beginning to kick in. We had to have several big talks with him. I think--I hope--he's turned out to be a nice, normal guy. But when we're in the moment, these things seem so devastating and we wonder where we've gone wrong. Funny how we always want to take the blame for anything our kids do. Maybe that's what makes a good parent--that feeling of responsibility.

I feel your pain. My son used to get picked on, too, and there were many times he defended his sister when someone called her names because of her disability. It all comes out in the wash--eventually.

Taryn Raye said...

Thanks! {{{{hugs}}}}

Jennifer Madden said...

So, be glad you don't have my son. Two years ago he started Kindergarten, and the first week he came home and told me, "Mom, I have a girlfriend, and she kissed me, and she's older too. She's at least eight!" It's been downhill ever since.
Reading your blog sounded so much like my life, except mine started a little younger.
I guess you just have to grin and bear it. I am thankful, though, because according to my mother-in-law, hubby was worse when he was a child.
Good luck!!!