Thursday, December 11, 2008

cool it, mama bear.

Alright, today I had an experience with motherhood that was a first for me and it totally opened my eyes to a whole new universe of heartache. Ella has been sick so Jack has been bored out of his mind. I promised him that we would go to the park to find some kids to play with but we got there and there was no one there. Three parks later we found one that had kids playing on the play ground. There was a foursome of kids that ranged in age from about 7 to 9. They were playing tag and immediately Jack joined in...or at least he tried. They wanted nothing to do with him.

I hung back and watched him try every trick he knew to make these kids want to play with him. At one point a train passed in the distance. Theres Jack shouting and waving his arms "Guys! A Train!" one kid finally turned to him and said "Its just a train."

Jack gathered up a bunch of acorns and brought them over to the group. "Check it out! they are grapes made of wood!" Unimpressed stares and then finally "they are just acorns, kid."

A while later one of the girls made the suggestion to her pals that they should play house. Jack jumped up super excited to show his domestic skills "Yeah, lets play house and I'll be the dad!" Finally one of the girls turned to Jack and just said "Uh, we don't want to play with you."He was crushed. He came over to me and said " I showed 'em my acorns but they didn't think they were cool." I responded (all the while stifling the urge to go over and throttle the little bitch) " I think your acorns are cool." You may be shocked but this provided little comfort. "Yeah, but you're my mom."

Why are kids so mean? What is a mom to do when she sees her kid excluded like this? Probably the only thing worse than being left out is being that kid with the mom who steps in to fight his battles. Afterwards we had a pretty good talk about choosing nice friends and how he can't control how others choose to behave but he can choose how he behaves and now he knows to always include everyone. This message/lecture was DRILLED into me as a child and its always funny to hear myself sound EXACTLY like my mother.


Brittney said...

oh, that is SO sad! what bratty little kids! poor jack, but its a sad realization in life that we cant be there to fight our kids battles, and make them feel included, and i love your talk, and i think ALL parents really need to enforce that with their kids, no one like to feel left out, there is going to be a lot more of those bratty little kids in life, but we just need to make sure our kids know how much they are wanted and loved....i dont know what i wouldve done in that situation, libby hasnt hit that milestone yet of yearning to play with others, but i am sure i might cry the day i see her being leftout by others...its a sad thing about parenthood.

Sami said...

Hi Staci, I feel so sad for Jack, and for you. I have been through so many situations like that with Wyatt, and I am sure I will have to endure many more. Kids are sooo mean, I hate it! Give Jack a hug for me and please bring him over to play with Saylor, Saylor is so lonely as well. :0)

Anonymous said...

That was a very sweet story, it does tug at your heart!
I'm sure Jack will never leave anyone out because he will remember how it feels.
I still have to remember that rule as an adult!

Stephanie said...

I think that you should have kicked those kids asses (so to speak) and taught them a little lesson about being nice to others. They probably don't get that little lesson at home. It's hard to be a parent and our kids do need to learn how to fight there own battles but I think that they also learn by being shown what to do. Maybe I'm the micromanaging type parent but whenever I see someone picking on my child I have a little word with the child doing the picking. It pisses me off that kids think that they can treat other children like that especially right in front of a parent! I don't know maybe I'm all wrong but I tend to be an ass kicker if you know what I mean! Remember when Christopher was punched by that kid coming off the bus? Mom didn't stand by and have a nice little chat with Christopher about choosing good friends and how some kids are mean. She went and kicked some ass! I remember it clearly! And the message was received loud and clear... Don't screw with a Haws!

I don't what you to get me wrong and think that I am thinking you were wrong in your way of dealing with the situation but I just think that there are more than one right way to deal with almost any situation. I guess you just have to go with your gut. And when I say kick some ass I mean that in the most nice Christ like way possible!

I love you Staci. Your a good mom!
Love your overly opinionated sister, Stephanie

Diane said...

Dear Staci

This Story is so sad. It reminds me when I was a kid and how much I suffered from this kind of behaviour. Now I can't stand to see people who are excluded and I try to do my best to be nice with everyone. I am sure this experience will help Jack in his future life. You're a great mom and if more parents would explain their kids how to behave to be a good person this world would certaineley be a better world to rais your kids. Gros gros bisous au petit Jack. Il est trop chou!

Anonymous said...

A few things I learned from this post and its related comments:

1. Jack is a sweet boy.
2. Staci is a good mom.
3. Stephanie has no qualms about "kicking peoples assess" (individually or collectively)

For what it's worth Allison and Amanda would have played with Jack in a heartbeat.

Brenda said...

This is one of the hardest things for me to deal with as a mom as well. Sometimes I watch Brigham at the bus stop in the mornings: he watches the older boys playing football, just longing to join in but not having the confidance to. It physically hurts my chest.

p.s. I answered your question.

Mom Marolyn said...

Woah! Stephanie, I got a big kick out of your response! You give me too much credit as an A kicker! You were right, I did march over to that red headed Kenny's house after he punched Christopher for no good reason. They were getting off the high school bus after school and Kenny called Christopher by name and when Christopher turned around, Kenny just punched him in the nose. I usually took the "counseling approach" with my kids when there were problems but this kid just bloodied my kids' nose! Christopher was so upset when he came bursting through our front door bleeding profusely. He wasn't so angry that he got hit but that he just stood there and said, "What did you do that for?" He was upset with himself that he didn't punch back.

Christopher begged me not to go to Kenny's house, but I drove like a mad woman and banged on the kid's door. Kenny's face was horrified when he saw me standing there demanding to talk to his parents. "My mom isn't here and my dad is in the backyard. Please don't talk to him! I'm sorry I hit your son!" I asked him why he did it and he said he had no reason, he just wanted to hit someone. He could tell I was beyond angry and begged me over and over not to talk to his dad. I said, "You are so lucky my husband isn't home. He would have thrown you from one side of your house to the other (of course he wouldn't have but Kenny didn't know that)! I told Kenny that he had to do several things: 1) apologize to Christopher the next day 2) NEVER talk to him again as long as he lived 3)NEVER go near him for the rest of his life! OK. Those were a little over the top requests but Christopher said that the next day red headed Kenny apologized to Christopher and if Kenny was going to pass Christopher at school, Kenny would turn around and go the other way, or take a WIDE path to go around him. Christopher said, "I had the power because that red headed kid was afraid of MY MOM!" Of course it has become a family joke because I am probably the least likely to strike fear into the hearts of anyone! But you don't mess with my kid!

I would do it differently today. I would call the police and charge the kid with assault. It is too dangerous in this day and age to go over to someone's house for a few words. If my kid got left out at the park, I would explain to my son why some kids aren't nice and help him remember that feeling when HE leaves other kids out. I've learned that ALL kids are mean to other kids at times and we have to teach them to recognize when they are mean (because sometimes they don't know that leaving someone out is a form of bullying).

Staci, I think you handled it well and Stephanie, you are right in that there is a time and a place to kick some A (so to speak in the kindest way possible)! My analogy is that if your kid is swimming across the pool and struggling, then you need to encourage him to make it to the other side knowing it will make your kid stronger and more confident that he can overcome. If your kid is drowning, then you have to jump in and save him. I guess the question to figure out if your kid is drowning or just struggling. Good luck figuring THAT out!

Anonymous said...

Aww Staci - poor Jack. I am glad you were there for him. Those kids missed out, thats for sure. I am sending a hug his way. Mean kids...

Christy said...

Wo, wo, Marolyn. Easy on the red-heads or I'll have to come over and kick your A! (in the nicest possible way, of course.)
BTW, Love your blog, Staci.

The Egglestons said...

I loved this post. It's so sad to see our own darling kids struggle with the rough patches of childhood. I think you were, definitely, wise not to step into the battle, though. - Staci, your blog is so cute! Are you sure it was my blog that inspired you to start one? I love all of your photos and, of course, the great music. What else should I expect? When did you get to visit Strasbourg with John? I am jealous! Your family is darling!

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