Ok, so maybe I wasn’t sent to the principal’s office. But my Turtle was. In kindergarten. The Principal’s Office. For whacking a kid in the face with a book. Her little friend no less.
She doesn’t know why she did it – she just did. Little friend didn’t hit her first, say something mean, look cross-eyed, stick a tongue out – nothing to which I could defend this outburst of brutality. My sweet little Turtle just attacked without provocation.
I won’t lie, my first thought was, “Holy shit, they are going to think I am that kind of mother.” It was actually my first, third, ninth, twenty-second, thirty-eighth, this morning’s thought of the day…you get the idea. Of course I had other thoughts like, “What is the appropriate reaction,” “is the victim ok,” “what kind of trouble is Turtle in at school,” “are the girl’s parent mafia thugs who are gonna hunt my family down.”
Ok, so I didn’t think that last thing at all.
But I really
was am concerned about the conversation happening at the little girl’s house.
I wrote a letter to the teacher explaining that we do not tolerate that type of behavior and please pass our feelings on to the offended family. I thought about it all night. I considered rewriting the letter to try to convey more remorse. I thought about it this morning. I am obviously thinking about it now.
I feel like I am the one who has been waiting outside the principal’s office. Waiting to be weighed and measured. Waiting to be found wanting. Waiting to be judged.
Seriously?!? I am a grown damn woman. Must investigate this dumbass response and figure out what has got my knickers twisted.
The truth is a good many parents feel over whelmed in this way. We are bombarded with media images of snotty ass kids and their over indulgent parents. God Bless I Am: A Flippy Doodle for really marching this point home with the timely post on bratty kids.
All over the place, parents are relentlessly forced to watch children behaving badly. And, bless their hearts, after we get cut screens of the parents, we realize it really isn’t their fault – Mom and Pops are crazy! We watch peas get thrown, heads get bashed, rooms destroyed, fits thrown, and all other manner of perfectly good reasons why I am certainly pro spanking. And all the time mom just rolls her eyes, dad acts like he doesn’t have a clue and kid gets exactly what they wanted in the first place – so they will do it again – instead of a big old dose of “I-am-the-Momma-punk.”
As a parent, I see flashes of my Turtle walking the streets of Jersey Shore talking about how she used to throw down all the way back in kindergarten. That’s right punk, she’s hard like that. Too bad her Momma didn’t raise her better. Probably didn’t pay any attention to her. Probably just hung out and blogged about it. It’s hard coming from a piece of crap family.
And I want nothing more than to shout at the top of lungs “I am not a bad momma and Turtle is not a bad kid! We just had an unfortunate minute!”
And why should I even feel that? Her daddy and I did talk to her. She is very sorry. She was put on punishment and she was even more sorry. She felt bad about it today and apologized to everybody.
I have long quit letting “other mommies” create the benchmarks by which I grade myself. I need to add the products of those “other mommies” to the list. Not gonna let over indulged children or their breeders put me in a funk.
P.S. Little Friend’s Mommy, we are really sorry. I hope she is feeling better. Turtle tells me they are really good friends and they have hugged and made up. I say that not because I want you to think good of me and my family, but because your child should not have to go through. Turtle was handled. I hope we get to meet soon.
**Photo credit to Eric Castro