There is a boy at Ben's school; I will call him Evan. Yesterday, when Ryan went to pick Ben up, he observed this Evan boy making fun of the way Ben speaks, mocking him as he rode on his tricycle. A little blonde boy who was hanging out with this boy Evan was laughing at Ben too. Ben reacted by looking very sad and, when trying to get off of his tricycle to get away, falling down. Evan and this other little boy laughed at him some more.
When I heard this story from Ryan, I wanted to find this Evan boy and punch him in his face, hopefully permanently scarring him so that he would remember the lesson that my fist had taught him for the rest of his life, becoming a humbler, kinder person. Ryan reminded me that this boy is only four years old, but I do not remember four year olds making fun of each other so meanly when I was a kid. Who is this joke of a kid? Who are his parents? Why is he so mean, so ruined, so early in his life? I was teased so mercilessly throughout school that the ramifications carried well into my adult life. Seeing my child go through this brings back those memories but to a heightened degree. It doesn't help that Ben is so sensitive and kind and that he internalizes all of his anxieties. I want to protect him from this, but I know that I can't and that it is only the beginning. I knew this was coming but I didn't know it would start this early. Do I still want to punch that Evan kid in the face. As Sarah Palin would say, you betcha. Will I? No. But I will actively imagine a variety of horrible futures for Evan and his little buddy. I guess that's all I can do.