Wednesday, September 26, 2007


N gets out of school 20 minutes before Em does, so we wait on the playground and he hangs around with his first-grade friends and the other first-, second-, and third-graders who have fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-grade siblings. (The middle of that sentence--"and he hangs around with his first-grade friends"--is a freaking miracle, by the way, and don't think I'm not well aware of it. I thank God, the universe, and whoever else might be responsible for it on a daily basis, don't think I don't.)

As I stood talking to another first-grade mom today, N suddenly came over, crying, and hid behind my back. "He called me 'weirdo'," he said, pointing to a third-grader standing across from us. I looked where he was pointing, and the little boy immediately began sputtering apologies--"I didn't mean it! We were just fooling around! He was bothering me!"--in that way busted little kids always do.

I pulled N around so I could look at him and said, "You're not a weirdo, and you know it. You can tell that boy it's not nice to call names, or you can just ignore him, but go and play with your friends."

N nodded, then walked right up to the boy...and shoved him. Not hard. Just one good, solid shove.

I gaped for a full minute, then began the official dressing-down-and-punishing routine, which included going over the little, I mean, the boy he'd pushed...and apologizing to him.

But, really? In my heart? I wished he'd kicked him, too.


D said...

O.K., I know this is wrong and it'll be first on my list when I ask for forgiveness next Yom Kippur but....can I just say how my heart leapt in the air when you said he shoved the brat! Go N!!! I know its wrong and all but wow, he showed him! Bet he never messes with him again!

Green said...

It sounds like the older boy did it jokingly, not realizing that N knows he's different from other kids. I used to work in a school district, and to be honest, sometimes when one kid would physically attack another kid who'd been picking on them as long as there was no physical damage (like blood or heads hitting metal or cement), I pretended not to see what had happened.

Good for N. I hope that boy thinks twice about calling younger kids names, joking or not.