Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Mama's Little Preshy

The other day a kid a year older than Bo came up to him happily sitting on a swing and told him he couldn't sit there. Bo obediently got up and left. Later when I found him loitering by our car, I scolded him for not being where I could see him. The poor boy can't win. When we got in the car, he told me that the boy had told him to get up and so he had. He was really quite sad about being treated that way.

My immediate reaction, "Next time, you come get me!" or "You tell him your mom said you can sit there if you want." Or some other really stupid, "I'm gonna get my mommy and make you want to kick my sissy butt" response. Without saying out loud to me what I was doing, J started offering suggestions of his own. "Or you could say, 'mind your own business, I'm Bo B, I sit wherever I want to sit!' " and other equally ridiculous responses. Okay, they weren't ridiculous, they were more appropriate than my solution. But J tends to err on the side of, kick butts, ask questions later, and I tend to try and create precious little mama's boys.

Soon enough J and I sort of met in the middle and gave Bo some more appropriate responses, and made it clear to him that what the boy had done was bullying and it wasn't okay. I could tell that Bo felt a little better in the end. But I felt sad because these kinds of things always spiral my mind into thinking about all the crap my kids are going to have to face in life. Even if they never get bullied, which is next to impossible, they still have to deal with stupid people. You may or may not know, stupid people make me feel homicida1. I personally think bullies and stupid people are often one and the same. But then, that might not be fair to some bullies.

Today when I picked up Bo from school he ran to the car before I had pulled up, a dangerous no-no that he is well aware of in his 7 month of preschool. He kind of got scolded by his very very sweet teacher and Bo got his vacant, "I'm actually raising Bowser and Yoshi right now, I can hear nothing you are saying to me" look that has been frustrating the tar out of me lately.

Then he sat in his seat and said, "I have two things to tell you after I finish buckling my seat belt."

This is huge. I have a hard time getting any info out of Bo after school. If I hear anything about his day, it's because they've had a party and he's high on sugar. Or. It's 3 days after the fact. He will start to monologue about school and I'll say, "Did that happen today?" and he gets all annoyed with me and says, "Nooooo! It happened like a year ago last week!"

So, he tells me. "Sasha" said to him, "Your jokes aren't funny and you can't tell jokes anymore."

I tell you what, right then and there I was finna slam on my brakes and go hunt that little twit down. Don't nobody tell my baby he ain't funny. Except me. And that's only after the 532nd banana knock-knock joke. That and giving birth to him gives me the right to say, "It's not funny, stop telling that joke."

Immediately I wanted to say, "Well, you tell her your mom thinks you are hilarious." But I thought twice. And then I wanted to say, "I'm going to talk to your teacher on Friday and tell her Sasha's being a twit" but I thought again and got a mental picture of J grimacing at my overt efforts to sissify his boy.

So I channeled J, added a little me, and said, "Bo, you are one of the funniest kids I have ever met. Remember how hard that one man laughed at the joke you made up? He thought you were so funny he got out a notebook and WROTE YOUR JOKE DOWN. I don't know very many 4-year-olds who can make a grown-up laugh like that." A little smile crept across Bo's face as I said these things. He looked out the window and said, "I just didn't know he wrote it down."

Then I told him, "Next time Sasha says you aren't funny say, 'Well, smart people think I'm funny.' " I figured if she was smart, she'd nark on Bo for calling her stupid and thus bring the situation to light, and if she wasn't smart, then no harm, no foul.

I'm smart. That's how I thought of that.

I wish there wasn't unkindness in this world. I really really wish that. I could even be more tolerant of stupidity if there was no unkindness. Of course, if I were completely kind, stupidity wouldn't bother me so much.

And I wish I didn't have to send my babies out into a world where there are people who actively work to bring other people down. I know they are just 4 and 5---but I tell you what, my 4 year old is just learning that not everybody says, "Wow you are so awesome, that's amazing!" to every.little.thing you do in life. And that's how it should be. He'll learn soon enough that buttoning your own pants isn't really worthy of a festival and a parade, but until he figures it out on his own, we'll act like it is in our home. Maybe we need to go to Sasha's house and have a sweater-buttoning parade or something.

I think I'll give her mom a call....


Bryner Family said...

I like your comeback for Bo. I am also not looking forward to the harsh realities of mean little kids attacking my little J. She is very sensitive, so next year should be interesting. Why don't people teach their kids the rule, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." Well, I think Bo is funny and I'm very smart, so there! :)

Rebecca said...

I hear you sister.. we celebrate the little things in life.. and I am okay with that. Its amazing how cruel kids can be.. I have impowered my kids by who made Sasha queen of jokes, or something like that, takes the power out of the bully when you kids says so what I am short.. whats it matter to you!! You handled it well.. he is funny.. impatient ghost still gets me!! You tell that funny kid an adult even used his joke.. impatient ghost.. ha ha..

Millie said...

The more we celebrate the little things with our kids, and the more stupidity and crud they experience outside our homes, the more they'll learn to appreciate home and the people who live there and consider it a refuge.

I hate when people are mean to my kids too, but that's what I think of... at least they're learning, "At home, people are nice to me."

TheVasquez3 said...

oh i like your idea if a sweater buttoning parade for Sasha...clearly the girl needs a little L O V E.

and for the record...i think Bo is funny AND smart.

Sarah said...

You are right, only smart people get his jokes. I keep telling the sausage in the frying pan joke and it gets big laughs.... to me kids should know that the world is harsh and home is safe, comfortable, and caring... that's why it's called home

S said...

ring........Hello Sasha residence...hi, this is amazing hilarous Bo's mom......I was wondering if we could have a party at your place friday nite.......oh...what for?....sweater buttoning party OF COURSE!

S said...

....aaaaaaa no click.

portuguesa nova said...

This is why I intend to accompany my child to school every day until she's done with her medical degree. So I can prevent any of this from every happening in the first place.

Leslie said...

hear hear millie. thanks for that.

nice post, nobody.

glittersmama said...

Smart people think that nobody is a good mama.

Smart people know that there are lots of stupid people, but we just realize that they are idiots.

Traci said...

Everyone needs a place where they can be Mama's boy and have parades over every little thing, because the world is RUDE. All the love you pour into Bo (with just a very little healthy bit of "That's not so funny") is the magic potion that will make him be able to handle any old stupid bully.

MommyJ said...

I can totally relate to this post. It's hard to find the balance when teaching your kids to stand up to bullys and not be pushed around, but at the same time, discourage them from bullying or pushing other people around. The last thing I want is for my kid to be a doormat!!

I think you did handle it well. If we celebrate our kids at home, then it doesn't really matter what people say out in the world.

Traci said...

I also wanted to say..."I just didn't know he wrote it down." THAT is the most precious thing. Evoh.

Sketchy said...


I hate that the world isn't always a nice place too. Sometimes it's all I can do to not call some kids out myself. But I try to remind myself that this is the time for my kids to learn how to handle things for themselves while they still have a mommy to run to for advice and unconditional love.