Saying the right things once we become parents is imperative, but not always easy.
Yesterday as I was gathering Max’s things at day-care he was standing beside me playing with his ninja turtle. Another little boy (the same one that was kicking him in the balls) we’ll call him the little shit walked up and tried to take it out of his hand. Max, doing what any toddler would do, resisted pulling it back. I want you to know that little shit out of anger took his hand and pegged Max right in the eye! When I say pegged I’m talking about how woman are taught in self-defense classes to make a beak with their fingers and strike their attacker in the eye- yeah.
I dropped Max’s backpack almost forgetting where I was at and said, NO! That’s ugly! I guess my outburst along with Max’s cry grabbed the teacher’s attention as she promptly scolded him, sending him to time out. Max and I quickly left the day-care in an effort to keep me from being removed. I wanted nothing more than to rip that little shits arm off, shake him vigorously and ask just who the fuck he thinks he is putting his hands on my kid (yeah, I know he’s only 3) but when you fuck with momma’s baby (and he’s still a baby) I can’t be held responsible for what might happen.
On the way home Max continued to cry. I asked if he was alright. He said yes, that he was just sad because the little shit poked him in the eye and that he was mean. After he had calmed down and was done whaling he said,” Momma when he pokes me in the eye what do I do?” I looked at him in the rearview mirror. This was my chance to say the right thing. My very smart three-year old was asking me what his response should have been after being pegged in the eye out of pure anger. I took a deep breath and said, well (long pause) you tell the teacher.
That’s not what I wanted to say (Since this isn’t the first run in with the little shit) I want to tell him next time that little shit puts his hands on you, you knock the fuck out of him. I wanted to tell him not to allow boys to push him around unless they are both playing. He’s small and I know without a doubt as he gets older he will be bullied. I wanted to set the tone now that it’s not ok for anyone to put their hands on him in an aggressive manner. But, I didn’t. I took the high road- the road that many parents don’t take (hints all the bullying in today’s society) and told him to tell the fucking teacher. At this age, yes it was probably the right thing to do. But bullying does start at this age and continues throughout life. This little shit is a bull; he’s big, he’s strong he’s aggressive and in my opinion probably isn’t getting the appropriate parenting at home which is obviously contributing to this negative behavior.
I wondered if I was raising my kid wrong, I wondered if I was making him weak. It seems other parents aren’t raising their children to respect the other people, it seems like other parents allow their children to do whatever the fuck they please, it seems they don’t use any discipline at home—am I setting my kid up for failure by teaching him to keep his hands to himself, by telling him to inform the teacher any time someone hurts him or does something wrong. Am I raising a kid that bullies will prey on? Am I raising something out of the norm? Listen, I’m sure Max puts his hand on other kids, he’s not innocent, but I will say I don’t believe he puts his hands on other kids out of intimidation or anger, which seems to be the trend with other children no matter what the age.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to make this a bigger issue than it really is. I fully aware they’re only 3, and that while the act was out of pure angry (because he hasn’t been taught to deal with that emotion) it was innocent, however these are issues prevalent in today’s world. These are the things facing our children on a daily basis. As parents all we want to do is protect our children, in fact I see it as our only job, to ensure their safety no matter where they’re at (which seems to be getting harder and harder these days) and to raise them in a manner that reflects respect and discipline.
Anger is an emotion that needs to be dealt with starting at a young age. Before Max was even 1 I would identify the emotion to him verbally when it was obvious he was angry. As he got older I continue in an effort to teach him the appropriate way in dealing with it. This is something many parents over look. Something they issue a spanking or time out for when they should be helping their children figure out why they are feeling that way and the appropriate manner in which to deal with it. It’s not fucking rocket science. (Or then again, maybe it is)
Again, I’m not going overboard with this. This post stems from more than just the innocent childish act that involved Max. I’ve been reading post from fellow bloggers that are dealing with the issue of bullying with their children and it breaks my heart. The emotion felt by both the parents and the children fallen victim to these bullying bastards is just heart wrenching and pisses my off to no end.
I know I my response to Max was the right one- even if it wasn’t the one I wanted to give, it’s the one that he needed to hear. Perhaps the hardest part about parenting isn’t raising our own children, but sending the children we raise out into the world with a bunch of children we didn’t and hoping for the best.