13 May 2009

The Sorrows of Being Nine

I thought this day would come in Kindergarten. Crimson is such a gentle, sensitive girl. I figured the kids in Kindergarten would eat her alive and change her forever. I didn't happen. Every year, I keep thinking "It'll happen this year" because I don't believe that sensitivity can make it through the torture of elementary school and I KNOW it can't survive junior high. Crimson is at the tail end of 3rd grade, I'm thinking this is another year that went surprisingly well. But no, it's finally the year that Crimson realizes that kids can be mean and that there isn't much one can do to change that. I feel so bad for her. Her feelings are really hurt. I told her to just avoid them the best she can and if they lay hands on her, beat the daylights out of them or die trying. Crimson, my obedient one, says "Mom, I'm supposed to tell the teacher if that happens. We aren't supposed to hit back." *sigh* Alrighty, I told her to do it that way the first time and if it happens again, wail on them til someone pulls you off and I'll tell the school that they didn't solve the problem the first time with their hippy nonsense so I told her to issue a beat down. She seemed satisfied with this. After talking to her step-mom, I discovered Crimson has been hiding her face and standing there when these kids are berating her, so then I had to get her back on the phone and give her The Lecture. Much like sending a soldier to war, I had to tell her to suck it up and not show weakness to the enemy.

Why is public school like this?? Is it so friggin' hard to just go to class and mind your business? Crimson pretty much does her own thing to the tune of her own drummer. I doubt Crimson even understands when this kid says "you think you're all that" and does everything possible to exclude her and demean her. This year has been so hard on Crimson. She's had to deal with discovering she is not great at everything, that people can be mean, that home life is not what it could be, etc. She all the sudden has started to catch the nuances of life and the faults of those around her, as well as her own. She has no hard exterior because she never knew she needed one. I really wish I could just take care of this stupidity for her, but I can't. I really hope she can learn how to never let them see her pain. It's really the only way to make that sort of thing stop (short of punching them in the face anyways).

I miss my Crimson. People, teach your kids manners. Seriously. Kids don't have to be mean ya know. They can learn to be civil just like anyone else. They just have to learn it AT HOME!! So, ban the snarky cartoons and speak to them kindly as much as you can. Oh, and take the teacher's side whenever there is a problem. Grrrrr!


Jessica Bair said...

Yup, the advice you gave to pound them is just what I've told my kids. It worked great for me on the playground, bus etc. I would put up with crap for so long then give those bullies a good punch in the nose. Each one that had a bloody nose never bothered me again. My parents backed me up each time I got in trouble at school for defending myself. Ava will deck people in a second, but Bianca is a lot more apprehensive about it. I had to go to the playground and rip into a nasty boy oneday for her. He shapped up quick. I don't think the playground teacher liked that but...to bad! Soon school will be over and she'll be back here where it's safe.

Anne Basso said...

I had the same concerns about Reagan. I didn't know it at the time we put him back into public school, but his Asperger's made it hard for him to read people, so he was just nice to everyone, even if they were mean. And he couldn't understand why they would be mean. I couldn't either. He's just like me.

Of course, I say that you fight words with words but if someone makes it physical, you respond physically. That did get him suspended one day this year. He tried to move away from the kids, and they kept following him. When they attacked, he defended. Especially important for boys, I think. If he didn't defend himself, it would only get worse.

It's just so hard to watch the world rob your children of the idea that people are good.

As a total aside, I have a friend in CA whose daughter is named Crimson. I'd never heard that name before, but it's really cool.