Parenting an infant is a tough job. And many mothers out there will understand when I say I really couldn’t wait for that stage to end. Yes, babies can be cute and cuddly, and have the added benefit of generally staying where you put them, and not talking, I know. But, for me, and many others out there, the time could not pass fast enough. Months stretched into what felt like years of endless crying, diaper changing and sleeplessness. (And doing multiple kids at the same time, agh, don’t get me started.)
I could not wait for the next stage. I wanted the talking, learning, conversationalist stage. I wanted to be able to reason with them. (Yeah, right) I wanted the kid, not the infant, not even the toddler.
And now I am there, and she is in school and it is supposed to oh-so-much easier. This was going to be my time to shine.
But, I have a confession. It’s not.
Let me clarify. In some ways it is much, much easier. Generally I can sleep through the night now. She mostly refrains from tantrums in public places. She doesn’t generally pee on the floor or wipe feces on my walls anymore. She talks, and can articulate what is wrong most of the time. I don’t have to play guessing games for hours on end. (Note the use of mostly, and generally here.)
But there is a whole new set of problems I was really not prepared for. (Someone needs to update that parenting manual they send you home from the hospital with, really.)
The Other Kids at School.
This is going to be a never ending issue, it seems. I was not completely blindsided by this one. Everyone knows kids can be quite nasty. I was not expecting however, such nastiness in kindergarten. So far, in just the first semester of school, she has been spit on, In her face, no less, told to fuck off, yes, by a five year old, told she is worthless, and had a violent death of another child explained to her in detail, again by a five year old. And that’s just the stuff she tells me about.
One kid in particular is pretty nasty, (the spitter) and I’m kind of at a loss. The internet, as usual, is full of advice, and as usual, it’s mainly unhelpful and just serves to make me worry more. The things I have found so far are along the lines of “Kids will be kids” or “Bullies Kill!”
Yeah. I think both are bullshit, honestly.
So far, I have told her just to stay away from this kid, no matter how nice he is to her during the times when he is not being a little asshole. I feel so badly sometimes, because she really liked him at first. And so when he snaps and says something hurtful, it’s just that much worse. She’s pretty sensitive.
I have mentioned it to her teacher, who gave me a vague response about how he had ” issues” and was “getting better”. I did request that they not be seated together. And talked to the Kid endlessly about how friends that are nice to you and then hurt you, over and over again, are not really friends at all.
My favorite part of all this was one day when she came home and informed me that “Andy said I could be his friend today!”
My response was pretty much, “Um, no.”
I don’t want to be a hover-mom here and I’m not able to micromanage her playground interactions, but I need to figure out a way to toughen her up some and keep her poor heart from breaking every time. Because I know this is going to happen over and over again throughout school. I suffered some serious self esteem damage because of other kids in my time. Yes, I am a geeky wuss, I was that kid. I want to make sure she isn’t. She’s incredibly smart and happy so far, and I really want her to stay that way.
I’m open to advice. Really. Help.