A whole lot o' nothing. And then some….
Random header image... Refresh for more!

Fight Club

Parental playground question : who’s got it worse – mother of the victim or mother of the perp?

Poor victim. No one wants to see their child hurt. You feel awful, wishing you could absorb your child’s pain. So the victim’s mom gets righteous indignation. Not the perp’s mom. Or Dad. Or Nanny. Or whatever Guardian has to cringe as their charge taunts, teases, or beats the crap out of another small fry. After all, there is only so much you can do to, erm, train your child. Despite your best efforts, at some point, your kid’s gonna be the bad guy.

And how will that make you feel?

Complicated answer.

I remember my older babe had these “friends” who liked to push him around after school. By day, they were all pals. In fact one of them constantly referred to my son as his Best Friend. Well! With friends like these…The second those tots were released into their parent’s charges, mayhem set in. Every afternoon, like clockwork, these two little f&ckers would torture my angel. Push him, poke him, yell, scream, hit. You name it. Oddly enough, they were tiny things compared to my strapping lad. Possibly half his size. Did Napoleonic complex set in at 3? Maybe, Cuz they were like ratty little terriers.

I’d watch, loathe to get involved, as my son would tell them it was enough. He didn’t like that (his emphasis). Part of me was proud. My son chose words. Brain over brawn. Another part of me wondered why the parents of these monsters didn’t remove them, rather than issuing half-hearted warnings amid discussions of Christmas presents. And then there was the other part of me. The one I silenced. The one that secretly wished my son would realize his own strength and just wallop his tormentors once and for all.

One afternoon, as the moms stood around pretending to be pals, I noticed the kids playing one the slide. Together. Nicely. What a relief. Maybe I could make friends with these people. Maybe those boys were my son’s best friends. Maybe….Suddenly a man started yelling about the kid in the red jacket. I pretended not to notice. There were lots of kids with red jackets, right? Then the waterworks started. And they weren’t our brand. I turned to see this Dad holding my son by the hood of his coat. The look of defiance on my son’s face was all I needed to know that he’d gone from victim to perp. He looked me in the eye and told me he hit —-. When I asked why, he said he had to. Before I could respond I was being berated on all sides. He didn’t just hit —-, he kicked him in the head.

Suddenly, my child was the devil. The enemy at the schoolyard gates. I tried consoling the hysterical bully-turned-victim. I tried forcing my child to apologize, but no chance, Lance. I grabbed his hand to take him home, my face blazing with anger. But inside, I was jumping for joy. Atta boy, son! You showed those twerps. At last, he stood up for himself. Granted, he took it a little further than the pushes he’d experienced, but still… His “best friends” never bugged him again.

Yeah, I felt bad. Ish. And my son was punished. Sort of. But the fact is, that kid kind of deserved a swift kick to the head. It’s a pity that my son had to be the one to give it to him. And, yes, it did make me feel guilty. Guilty that he got caught…

Share

1 comment

1 Janella Mahmoud { 08.20.10 at 4:42 pm }

wow, awesome post.Really looking forward to read more. Keep writing.

Leave a Comment