Wednesday, July 11, 2012

You Mess With My Kid and...

I was putting the Supergirl to bed last night. She wasn't really cooperating so I announced that she would not be getting a packed lunch this morning.

And she lost it. Like "gasping-for-breath-and-snot-flying-everywhere" lost it.  I knew something was up, so I pushed because she is 4 and half and hasn't really learned about keeping information from her parents (thank God for that, I hope that that phase never goes away).

"I have to give a pickle to K*"

*Why I feel the need to protect the privacy of this particular 6 year old is beyond me. Believe me that what I would REALLY like to do is flip her over my knee and spank her bottom, but I would probably be arrested or sued or both and then what would I do?

I looked at her puzzled. "Why, why do you have to give a pickle to K?" I probed as she began to cry harder.

"I-I-I had an accident. My elbow hit her snow cone and knocked it over. I have to bring her a pickle everyday this week or she will take away all of my friends."


My blood boiled. My entire body tensed. I have been that girl before. I have been the youngest in a group of older kids. I have lived this life. I have taken things from home to make nice with the person that controlled the group I wanted to be a part of. I know the heartache of feeling like you were just on the edge of being kicked out of the group for one reason or another.

I packed her lunch this morning. With the extra pickle. Even though it made me sick to my stomach, even though I feel like I am feeding a bully, even though I feel like this is not the right way to handle it. I also had a talk with the 16 year old "coach" in charge of the 5 and 6 year olds - knowing that it was not going to do a damn bit of good because those teens are about as reliable as a bank thermometer (I don't know how it can be 101 at the bank on the corner, but 89 at the bank directly across the street, it aggravates me that only thing I know about the temperature is that it's hot, it's damn hot).

I have been trying not to be all crazy momma about it, because I feel like that is not the right way to handle the situation and I know that a lot of what the Supergirl is learning right now is social skills and how to navigate life without me constantly hovering over top of her, but what do you do when the bullying starts? How do you explain to your kid that this is not how friendship operates? That if her friends can be chased away by one mean girl, maybe they weren't really the friends that she wanted in the first place?

Do I just drop it and let her tough it out like my parents did for me as long as she is not  being physically hurt?

Or do I track down the little heathen's momma and insist that she bring her satan-posessed daughter to church on Sunday so that she can learn about common respect for her fellow camper?

Update 7/13/2012: I talked with the "coach" for Supergirl's age group this morning and explained what has been going on (right under her nose) this week. She explained that she would separate the girls and have them talk it out. I just received a call from my mother-in-law (she is the director of the park that camp is held in), Supergirl is in her office, crying and very upset. None of her "friends" will talk to her, they have been picking on her all morning, and she wants to go home.

I know that this is part of childhood, I know that with heartache and break you become stronger, but does it have to start at 4?


  1. I like that you're giving the pickle...except I would wrap it nicely and include a note: "Dear K, I understand Z accidently knocked your snow cone. You must have been really upset. However, being a bully and trying to blackmail my child is asking for trouble. This is the only pickle you'll ever get. Back off. Love, Z's Mom."

    (Okay, I'm sure there's some very nice way to get the point across without K's Mom going all bat shit crazy when she reads the note her kid brings home, but you get my point.)

    1. If the mom ever got the note. This particular camp is located on the "less advantaged" side of town and a lot of the kids are pretty ghetto. I have had to correct Supergirl from saying, "mines", "for reals" and "pooted" (I hate that word, I cannot even explain to you the anger that that word gives me."

      This morning, she tried to "sag" her shorts by pulling the waistband down under her butt cheeks.


      Only two more weeks until the end of camp.

  2. Please at least meet the parent. See if the parent is one who cares about their child or if the parent is just there, you know just going through the steps. Maybe something has happened in K's home and has caused her to act out. Maybe even talk to the child and Z together. I, as you know am not a parent, but I would most defiantly want to know if my child was demanding a pickle. K needs help.

    1. It's hard to meet up with the parents. Pickup is generally between 5 and 5:30 and I am usually there around 5:15-5:20. I haven't yet met K, but have found that Supergirl is hanging out with kids far older than her group. Being the youngest kid at camp, and having her Grandma there, gives her a little too much room to feel like she can trust everyone. She and I have been having conversations on doing what "feels" right rather than what other people say is right. We'll see how it goes.


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