November 29, 2007

To Become Her for Just One Day

My daughter came home from school today with a mark on her leg from where another child had kicked her.  Through sweatpants, there was a little brush burn on her shin.  I asked her what happened and she said that she walked up to this little girl, said "hi" and the girl kicked her.  Big I asked the girl why she kicked her and the girl wouldn’t answer.  She then proceeded to chase her around the playground, trying to kick her again.

(Deep breath.)

(One more.)

(Deep breath.)

She told her teacher and the teacher told her to go and try to work it out with the little punter.  She didn’t get it worked out.  I have let things go throughout the year and a half that Big I has been in school.  I didn’t call when the group of brats was laughing at her last year.  I didn’t call when this same little girl was stealing her snack and her crayons daily.  I told her how to handle it and let her handle it herself.  She always seemed willing to fight her own battles when it came to the previous incidents. 

However, when another child leaves a mark on my kid????  Oh NO she DIDN’T!

I immediately called the school and asked to speak to the teacher.  I told her what happened and that I was upset about it.  I was livid and I think she knew it.  She went to talk to the kicker who was still at school and called me back. 

Meanwhile, this is me to Big I: "The next time that kid even looks like she’s going to touch you, you tell her that if she kicks you, then you are going to kick her back.  And when you kick her, you drop her, Big I.  And if you get in trouble at school, know that Mommy will go in there and raise hell because you have a right to defend yourself, and . . . "

So the phone rings.  The punter has to sit inside for four recesses.  She’s also going to see the principal tomorrow, and she’s going to apologize.  Apparently the whole incident had nothing to do with Big I.  The girl was frustrated with someone else so she took it out on an easy target.

I am tired of my kid being the easy target for everyone, just because she’s nice.  Even the teacher said it’s because Big I is a "kind and gentle soul." 

Fast forward a few hours to Big I’s karate class.  I talked to her teacher (also a dad of several little ones) and told him what happened.  They then spent much of the class working on playground situations, speaking up, yelling "KNOCK IT OFF" or "STOP IT" as loud and as mean as they could. They worked on using some aggression by pushing someone’s hands away or pushing someone back and yelling at the same time. 

Big I started out smiling and tentatively saying "stop it."  By the end of the class, she was yelling and only popping an occasional smirk.  I’m going to have Mr. BBM work on some things with Big I, and have her role play some situations.  She has to understand that she DOES NOT have to be nice to someone who’s not nice to her.  It was great that karate class tonight reinforced sticking-up-for-yourself behavior.  Now we just have to work on pulling out her inner warrior.

In the meantime, I really need to figure out some way that I could embody Big I for just one day. . .

Just one day is all I would need. . .   

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