Thursday, May 30, 2013

Nobody gets into a Bathroom Stall with my Baby!

photo courtesy of Photo Bucket
Today, my daughter came home with another bullying story. It’s not the first time someone did her wrong, and it won’t be the last! I listened to her long winded story of what happened...the girl was bugging her....wouldn’t shut up....told her to just leave me alone, go away...she said that nobody liked her....climbed over the top of the bathroom stall...

Wait, she what!? Yes I had heard it right, this mean, obtrusive bully, climbed over the top of the bathroom stall when my daughter went in there to get away from her.

I asked her next, “Did she put her hands on you?”

My daughter looked at me, she knows I can be fierce, and she put her head down and said no. I asked her again, wondering if her body language was showing tell tale signs of a lie. “Tell me now, the truth, did she put her hands on you? Did she poke you, push you, or did she shove you?” A mutual friend of my daughter and the bully had to actually drag this girl out of the bathroom, in order for the situation to stop. This girl did not put her hands on my daughter, but at this point, it didn’t matter.

I put on my shoes, told her to do the same and I asked her where this girl was right now! Possibly she was at the neighbors (the mutual friend) or at the school yard. We went to the neighbors, as I knocked on the door and rang the doorbell, to no answer; I could feel my anger growing.

As I said, when it comes to my girl, I can be fierce!

We walked to the school yard, and she was not there.

I took a breath, and took a cue from my daughter. My adrenaline was pumping, and I could see it got her pumping too. I knew I needed to calm down, and hopefully, I wouldn’t really find this girl. Instead I decided to walk into the school, to tell the principle.

As it turns out, this bully was being suspended, for what I know to be the 3rd or 4th time this school year. We told the principle what happened, we told him what she said, and I remembered to include the part about her wishing my daughter would die in a hole. Who says that? A few girls have bothered my unassuming daughter before. I have talked her through it, done and said all the things I believed to be right. This time though was different. Nobody, I mean nobody, gets into a bathroom stall with my baby!

When I was a teenager, a fair share of girls hated me. They didn’t like my long “spaghetti hair” (as they affectionately called it). One time, I even got chased out of one of the boys houses because one girl found out I was there hanging out.  They didn’t want me to hang out with any of the guys; they didn’t want their boyfriends talking to me. They seemed to wish I had never come to their school.  I wish back then I had someone to protect me, to stand up for me. I wish I could have been better at standing up for myself. I know firsthand how mean and cruel girls can be. I won’t be able to protect my daughter from all of them, but I can damn well try!

On the walk back home, my daughter thanked me for standing up for her, and for talking to the principal, and for all of the things I told her. One of the things I told her was that if anyone ever shoved her, she was to use all her strength and shove them back. Her response was a wide eyes, “mom, then I will get expelled and I will get into trouble!” To which I replied, “Honey, I already home school you part time, you can come to my school and you won’t get in trouble from me for standing up for yourself, EVER.”

Did I tell her the wrong thing? I know violence doesn’t solve anything and “violence begets violence”, but really, if someone cornered you, and punched you in the face, would you smile at them? I don’t think so!
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Thursday, May 2, 2013

Doing the Doggie Paddle

Today I feel like a child learning to swim. The only thing I can manage today is the doggie paddle.

Today, this kid doing the doggie paddle is getting so tired from being over exerted, is ready to stop, and can’t breathe. Today I feel the fear inside that kid, who wonders, what will happen if my arms stop paddling, if my legs stop kicking, if my head goes under water? Will I drown, will I find my strength to keep going. Will vim and vigor kick in at the last moment?
I will be off to yoga in less than an hour and I will hear the words of my yoga instructor telling me to clear my mind, connect with my breath; let the stress of the day go. I may hit “publish” today to this post; maybe it will be in a day or two. Whenever it is, I hope that I no longer feel like I am treading water for survival, I hope I am gliding, arms stretched, sun on my face, head under water, then head up again, breathing with ease.
Today, while I am trying to connect with my breath, will I be thinking of the weight of last week upon my shoulders? When I close my eyes, will I see the look on my daughter’s face, when the arguments of the day became too much for her and she slid down her locker to the school hall floor to have a good cry? Will I remember her disappointment in not attending the spring concert because we just could not get past the day’s events... the prior week’s events... the meltdowns... the frustrations? Maybe I will connect with the hard pit in my stomach, the lump in my throat or the guilt in my heart.
Perhaps writing these words will be enough, and in the days ahead I can refocus. Find that vim and vigor.
Last night we went to the library. My books of choice were, Organizing the Disorganized Child, The Homeschooling Handbook, and Solve Your Childs School Related Problems. Not exactly easy reading, is it? I know I won’t possibly get them all read in the time I have them on loan from the library. I know I will not possibly be able to retain all of the information in the pages of these books. I know that chapters will go unread, of things we have tried, milestones we have achieved, accomplishments met, things still yet out of reach. I will look at the book on my bedside table, the one I wish I was reading, and the one I wish I could get lost in.

Another day, perhaps.
Treading water, doing the doggie paddle, sometimes it’s the best we can do, and that is ok.                   
I am about to hit the “publish” button on my blog, and all the while thinking....I said I wouldn’t do it. I would not vent on my blog, I would not be negative, and I would not use my blog as a “friend” when I thought none would understand. But you know what? Sometimes, when all you can do to keep your head above water is flail your arms and kick your feet, survival instinct has to kick in, and you just have to do whatever it takes to endure. Because if you don’t, you just won’t survive it!
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