Four Foot Ten Inches Is Plenty Tall

My middle son is no stranger to being bullied, and if I was a better blogger, I'd have tagged and SEO'd the three or four posts on this blog about various incidents with "bully" or "stupid little a$$h*les who messed with the wrong mama bear" but no. No tags, so I can't find any of those posts to link back to anything. 

Things I can link back to aside: This is why I will never succeed as a mommy blogger. That and the fact that I hate both cupcakes and bacon - but to my credit, I've got the xanax thing daaaaoown, yo.  

Better blogging through $ymbols aside: I'm trying to swear less on my blog, partly because I have a job that inspires me to play a professional adult on the internet now, but also because swearing on your blog screws up your SEO, did you know that? It's true. Google is not afraid to wash your potty mouth out with a bar of Lowered Page Rank. 

All of these confounded asides aside: My anti-anxiety meds are working really well. (confounded: excellent substitute for bull$h*t; totally SEO friendly.) Maybe too well

So my teency tiny little snack sized blue eyed precious little munchkin-butt came home from school yesterday in tears. Tears, friends. By the time they hit 6th grade, I expect them to come home weepy because the girl they like is into some other boy, or because they accidentally smelled themselves in PE class, but what I do not expect is for them to come home crying because some kid decided to choke them in 4th period over a Pikachu origami. 

Choked my child. That happened. 

This came after a bunch of kids called him an over-sensitive bee eye tee see aych in 3rd period, and was followed by the kids from 5th - 7th period laughing at him because he cried, which made him cry more, which made them laugh more, and this is why the poor bugger begged me to let him stay home from school today.

Which I didn't.

Because I suck. But also because if I let him stay home, the terrorists win. 

We talked about my thoughts on why people were calling him names - that it was just his turn in the Junior High School crappy day rotation and that tomorrow, they'd probably move on to fresher meat. We talked about the kid grabbing his throat and I reminded him that he's trained to fight, and that kid probably isn't, so if push came to shove he could most likely lay that kid flat f*ing out with very little effort.

Bad Language for Good Aside: I find a well-placed f*bomb in the middle of an inspirational speech to be a more effective morale boost than all the homemade cookies and glasses of cold milk in all of the whole world. 

So my point was merely that the worst thing that could happen is that people could say more words, and maybe he'd have to knock a fool out - and sure, he'd get suspended for that but, you know, bygones. I told him that the sad fact of life is that the world is full of a whole lot of raging a$$holes and the best you can do is stick by the people who aren't and stand tall. Going to school is standing tall. 

So he went to school, white-knuckled and trembling. Sometimes I hate being the one in charge of making adult decisions. 

But he came home sunshine and roses and I found out that the counselor who'd spotted him crying at lunch yesterday pulled him into the office and had a long talk with him about how awesome he is in general, and the kid who choked him yesterday forgot he existed today, and the kids who thought he was an over-sensitive bee eye tee see aych yesterday didn't think anything of him today at all.

And he learned that sometimes, his dumb old mom is right, but more importantly he learned that we never, ever have to let the terrorists win. At least not without a fight. 

I Give Myself Very Good Advice.....

Speaking of being over-protective:

My son came walking across the bridge the other day exactly when I'd asked him to so that we could get out the door for an appointment.  I shouted down from the deck that it was time to go and he should get a clean shirt on, and when he looked up at me I saw that he was almost but not quite crying.

He came upstairs and we sat down together and I asked what was wrong.  He said that Older Liam had called him 'kid who plays with Barbies' in front of all the older kids.  And then the tears came a'pouring down.

Older Liam lives across the street.  Older Liam used to come over for sleepovers and dinners last year, but then he hit grade 4 or 5 or whatever he's in and decided it was high time to become an asshole.  He doesn't come over anymore.  One of his little thugsta' friends lives in our neighborhood and so he's around occasionally, riding his skateboard with all of our neighbor kids.  He's a jerk, but a harmless jerk, and I don't worry about him too much because he knows that I have his mom's digits, so if I tell him to knock it off already, he usually listens.

He does, however, like to pick at my 2of3.  Most thugsta's do.  He's kind of easy pickings.

I have countless times had the talk with 2of3 about how some people have brown clouds around them (not to be confused with brain clouds, which are incurable except by long rides at sea on luggage and sex with Meg Ryan) and some people have rays of sunlight around them, and the people with brown clouds like to block out the sunshine, so it's best to just keep your sunshine as far away from them as you can.  I have countless times told him that the only way he's going to get Older Liam to get off his back is to stop caring, that when he reacts, he makes Older Liam act more.  I've explained to him a bazillion times that people who call names do so because they don't have any better weapons in their arsenal, and that smart people have much better ones, like intelligence.  Like the ability to laugh at stupidity and walk away from it.  Like the ability to look over their shoulder and say, "It must really suck to be so obtuse" and then go somewhere else.  Because god knows, the nany-nany-boo-boo kids have no fucking clue what Obtuse means and the most fun way to stop an asshole in his tracks is to make him think for a second.

I'd much rather have an intellectual snob for a kid than a bully.  Personal preference.

I decided when I saw 2of3 crying for the upteenth time over something Older Liam did that it was time for me to stop coaching and start fixing.  So I got my shoes on and off we went.

I always bring him with me when I have to put out his fires.  When he got mugged at the bus stop and the school did nothing to fix it, I let him stand right next to me when I found the kids who did it and scared them so bad one almost peed in his pants and the rest started out all, "Whatever, bitch" and ended up all, "Sorry, ma'am" because I want him to see that I will protect him, and I want him to see how to stand up to a jerk.  Because god knows, no one ever showed me how to do it.  So he and I started walking across the bridge together to go find Older Liam and Let. Him. Have. It. when I paused for just a second, thought really hard about what I was about to do, and for whom, and then asked him, "Dude, how about you tell me the whole story before I go do this."

He swore he had.

I glared at him.

He said No, really.

I said he better start in with the whole truth.

He sighed and said okay.

And then he told me his whole story about how some little "chubby" girl was riding her bike and Older Liam was making fun of her because she was wobbling on it and that he told Older Liam to stop teasing her and then Older Liam told him to shut up, kid who plays with Barbies, right in front of everyone.

Fair enough; time to put and end to this once and for-all.  After much ado we found Older Liam across the street at the tennis courts with, you guessed it, Kid Who Mugged 2of3 Last Year.  That explains a lot.  So I call Older Liam over and he came over and I said, "Dude, you see that neighborhood right there (points to mine)?  2of3 lives there, you don't.  You cannot come into his neighborhood and call him names and make him cry.  Go find somewhere else to play from now on."  And he starts in with the whole But he's and the I didn't's and I put my hand up and said, "Stop.  I know what happened and you're not talking your way out of this one.  This is our home.  You can't play here anymore." And then he said, "But he chased me with a skateboard."

Enter the slow, painful glare of death towards my son.

You. Did. What?

No I didn't, mawwwwwm!  Yes you did, 2of3!  Nah uh!  Uh huh!

And then Older Liam told me his whole story.  That he'd been teasing the chubby girl on her bike and 2of3 told him to stop and he told him to shut up, kid who plays with barbies and then 2of3 came at him.  With a skateboard.

Enter blue-screened, Matrix style head explosion.

And that's when I let 2of3 have it. Right in front of Older Liam, right in front of Kid Who Mugged Him at the Bus Stop, right in front of every neighborhood kid, because god knows they'd all gathered around to watch the mom get all up in the thugsta's grill.  I may or may not have rather loudly informed him that I didn't appreciate being made to look like a asshole in a public forum, I may or may not have reminded him that dirty little self-serving liars get grounded until they go to military camp, I may or may not have had my finest parenting moment ever in front of a suburban tennis court.

I may or may not have over reacted slightly.

The other kids from our neighborhood chimed in that, in fact, Older Liam had initiated the whole thing and that he's always mean to 2of3 and that he totally had it coming.  They backed their little dirty liar of a buddy up and said that Older Liam was the instigator, and that 2of3 was just standing up for himself the best he could.  I don't think they much like Older Liam.  So I turned back to Older Liam and said that I was sorry, that I thought I'd had the whole story, but that now that I do my argument still stands, that he just can't get along with 2of3 and since 2of3 lives here and he doesn't, he needed to find somewhere else to play from now on.  He said okay with a very, very demonstrative eye roll.

And for the better part of the rest of this week, I am on possession of one shiny Nintendo DS that my kid can't so much as breath on.  And I'm thinking it's high time I start following my own advice and letting him sink or swim all by himself.