Today when I picked Miles up from preschool, I was told by his teachers that he wasn’t feeling well and showed me the digital thermometer readout of 101.6. Great, I thought, and let out a big sigh. He was splotchy and tired looking with tiny tears in his eyes. He hadn’t eaten his snack and only half of his lunch. Very unusual for my big eater. As I walked him to the door with his school bag dragging on the floor, I promised that we could go home and I’d make him feel all better soon. That’s a mothers job, right?
He kept his head down as we walked to the car and just kept saying my name like he wanted to tell me something, but didn’t know how. When we finally reached the sidewalk next to our car he told me that boy 1 and boy 2 (names omitted for obvious reasons) hit him. He was crying then. He said that when he was feeling sick and laying down on the carpet, the 2 boys had kicked him and hit him, saying that they wouldn’t play with him anymore. He said that his foot hurt from where they had kicked his foot. “Why? Why did they say that Mama?”. I was crying then, “I don’t know, honey.” I kissed his warm head, held his round little cheeks in my hand and told him that he was very much loved.
Driving home, I tried to explain that sometimes kids do mean things to each other and it doesn’t make them bad kids. I tried to remind him of the times he’d been mean to his little brother or his friend because they weren’t doing things the way he wanted them to. I told him that no matter what a couple of kids do or say, he is a good boy that is loved and cherished by many. I also tried desperately not to turn the car around and hunt down boy 1 and boy 2 and their parents. I’m proud of myself for driving all the way home instead of going postal on some unsuspecting 4 1/2 year olds. After sitting quietly for a while he said, ” I had a rough day, Mama.”
It is of course terrible when bullying happens to your child. It breaks my heart that I wasn’t there to protect him and scare the bejeezes out of those boys. I know how it feels to be bullied. For me, it didn’t happen until middle school. Maybe I was lucky. Maybe the kids are getting meaner earlier. Whatever the case, I’m so proud of him for telling me and trusting that I would help. Even if the help was hugs, kisses and loving words. The bullies were dealt with by the teachers when it happened, so I guess there’s no need for me to make a big fuss with the parents at this point. If it happens again though, boy 1 and boy 2 better watch their backs!