When Ben was in the pool for his swim lesson on Monday, some kid accused him of spitting water out. He went up to all of the other kids and said, "This kid spits water out! Look at him!" Everyone looked at Ben and Ben, behind dark turtle shaped goggles, sadly put most of his face in the water and stared straight ahead, in an apparent attempt to disappear. This kid was very obnoxious and the other kids ignored him. Ryan went and spoke to Ben to reassure him and the swim lesson went on. The father of this kid looked on, not seeming to care.
I know this is normal, that this will happen in kindergarten, that we won't be there to protect him. But my god, it is more painful than I thought. The best way to handle bullies is to not let them know they are getting to you, but I was the worst at that when I was a kid. I remember when my dad chopped all of my hair off and everyone at school called me a boy and I got so mad I started shaking and sputtering all over the place, unable to spit anything back. And the torture just got worse because of that. I've never had a good poker face, or a poker face at all. Maybe I should listen to more Lady GaGa. In any case, we told Ben that he needs to ignore kids when they are mean like that, to seek out the nice kids to play with. And if it gets really bad, to tell his teacher. The way I really want to handle it? I want Ben to point out the kid so I can pick him off on the playground to see if he has any bully left in him when he comes face to face with me. Ben can be obnoxious, but he is never mean to other kids and he is really sensitive. I feel like I'm throwing him into a den of coyotes sending him to kindergarten. This parenting thing is HARD.