Two Firsts

Today, C finally learned to pump properly while swinging. And, today he came home from school crying for the first time because three little girls in his class had called him a loser. Two major milestones in one day, both announcing in totally different ways that my son is growing up.

The pumping I could handle. That only required cheering and encouragement on my part along with lots of hugs and high fives when he finally disembarked from the swing 20 minutes after getting onto it. The name calling bit, however, was a little out of my league.

When he could finally get out why he was crying, I stalled by asking “And what did you do?” Hoping that he would have miraculously discovered the solution all by himself. The answer, however, was “I hid under the slide until recess was over.” Apparently, the teachers overheard the comments, and took the girls aside and spoke to them, which had slightly mollified C, but he was so afraid of getting his feelings hurt again that he decided to stay hidden until it was time to go home.

My initial reaction was to get on the phone to the two moms and give them a piece of my mind about the behavior of their offspring, but quickly decided that it was not in fact the right way to go about this. Instead, I spoke with C about how words can hurt as much as fists, and how it was OK to feel sad about the incident. We practiced telling any future offenders not to call him a loser, and how to tell them that they hurt his feelings. We discussed how just because other children were calling names did not mean that it was OK to do it, and how people who call you names are not really good friends.

C perked up considerably after I “gave him permission” to not play with the girls if he didn’t want to, he seemed to think that just because they usually played together that it meant they had to do so for life, even if they were being mean to him. And he is pondering whether he is going to give them another chance if the apologize to him. My guess is that the girls have forgotten all about the incident, so he will be waiting an awful long time for the apology, but the exercise is probably useful. I, however, will have to restrain myself from giving the girls an ominous look tomorrow morning. Because no one should call my fabulous little boy a loser.

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