I tend to avoid confrontation. When people are acting stupid I just ignore them. Cut them off and let them think about the stupid shit they are doing. When it comes to my husband I let him go. I can’t win an argument with him anyway so why even fight with him? But the one person I will go to blows over is Lael. I will rip your eyes out with my bare hands if necessary.
Remember I told yall that something was going on with her. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it? I found out. And I feel like a bad mother for not figuring it out sooner. It has nothing to do with me, or the new baby. It was your classic case of bullying.
That’s right. My little girl was being pinched, spit on, having her hair pulled and downright bullied by another 1st grader. A girl she considered to be her friend. Of course she was going to lash out. She didn’t know how to take it. She has this “cool” girl that she wants to be best friends with but doesn’t understand why she hurts her and makes her cry.
How I found out? As a black family there are certain unspoken rules we have to go off of. One of them is “Never send your daughter ANYWHERE with her hair looking a hot mess.” Because of this rule I spend a good amount of time every night making sure her hair is just right. She always comes home from school looking pretty decent but the last few days her ponytails were hanging loose and were all frizzy. I couldn’t figure out what she was doing for her hair to look such a mess after being in school for a few hours.
Thursday night as I’m about to re-do her hair I ask her a question. “Lael, has anyone been playing in your hair? I don’t understand why it looks this messy.”
She stops and turns around and looks at me. Then the flood gates opened up. “The girls on the bus have been pulling my hair. And today INSERT NAME pinched me. And the other day she spit in my face. And such-and-such was sitting with me but then INSERT made her move and sit with her. And they made me cry. And on and on and on.
I was horrified. It all made sense now. My husband walked in her bedroom after I had done her hair and put her in the bed and she was still going on and on about all the things that have happened to her over the last few weeks. He was angry with her because he asks her everyday how her day was and she never led him to believe anything was wrong.
I was furious. I couldn’t decide whether to call the Bus Supervisor who could pull the tapes and call the girls parents. Or speak to the bus driver about keeping an eye on them. Or speaking to the girls mother since they were in Gymnastics together and I would see her on Saturday.
I decided to speak with the bus driver on Friday morning. I told him that I wasn’t sure what was REALLY going on but I’d like it if he could keep an eye on them and have Lael sit up front where he could see her. His response just about pushed me over the edge. “I sit all the elementary school kids up front together. I can’t do everything!” For fucking real? That’s your answer?
I was fuming by the time I got back home. I called the Bus Supervisor right away. But she didn’t answer. I called a few more times throughout the day and couldn’t reach her. I’m sure it happened that way for a reason. My husband had calmed down and suggested that I just speak to the girls mother that next morning during Gymnastics. Apparently Lael had gotten home from school Friday and declared that her and the girl were friends again because they decide to stop being mean to each other. Really?
Saturday came and I was afraid I would be too bitchy so I rehearsed what I wanted to say.
It went well. The mother seem mortified that her daughter was behaving this way. I explained that the girls were probably both at fault and that I had spoken to Lael about how to treat her friends and all people for that matter. She understood. She spoke to her daughter as soon as gymnastics was over. The girls hugged and asked for play dates and a sleepover.
I am quite relieved. Because even though I won’t hit another person’s child. I will shake the shit outta them if anything like that happens again.
No, not really.
#tbt: friendship in the ethiopian countryside
2 hours ago