Saturday, June 9, 2012

This is Not OK

They say she’s stupid and should live in a cookie jar because she’s so little and always looks so confused. They laugh about her clothes, her hair, her glasses and her big eyes.

They put their hands in her face as if to push her away and say, “Did you hear that squeak? Is it a little mouse? No, it’s the girl we used to call Sugar.”  

I was approached today by other parents who asked me if I knew what was going on with my girl during her school day. I was honestly surprised, because Sugar hasn’t mentioned any of this to me. Perhaps this explains the overall mood and storm clouds that surround Sugar these days.

I was told by these other mothers that this has been going on for months, maybe even the entire school year. Her kids finally told her about it this week when Sugar started crying twice a day at school. One woman’s kids have taken Sugar under their wings and will meet Sugar at her bus in an attempt to shield her from the mean girls. The protective coating worked for a while, but works no longer. Sugar and her protectors travel together through the playground hoping to avoid confrontation but the mean girls find them and start their commentary each and every day. Sugar is their only target. Every day Sugar and her friends say, “Please stop,” but they don’t stop. They are amused when Sugar cries yet again.

I have tried to do everything right as a mother. I buy Sugar the right clothes, the brand that “everyone” is wearing. I make sure she is neat and clean before leaving for school. She has a cute haircut and stylish glasses. However, I can’t force her to grow taller or gain weight. She was born little and remains tiny. Someday she’ll appreciate being petite, just not right now when it’s something to laugh about.

But Sugar is still at school and this is only the word of other parents. I don’t know any of this yet to be true. I had a few hours to collect myself and make a plan for discussing this with Sugar. I was mystified as to why she never told me. I was devastated that my beautiful, sweet, wonderful girl was going through hell under my watch. I should have known what was going on. I should have been aware. Sugar should have talked to me about this.

I had hours to stew and stew I did. I wanted to take those little bitches and beat the hell out of them. I wanted to make them cry as they seemed to delight in making my Sugar cry. These girls aren’t any better than my girl. In fact, my girl is BETTER than them because she would never, ever talk to others as these girls have talked to her.

Right before the school bus dropped my girls off, one of the mothers I had spoken to earlier called to see if I was ok. She knew I wasn’t ok. She got it and she got the devastation, the sadness that overwhelmed me. We talked about the difference between kids fighting about what to play during recess and the words spoken to my child for no other reason than to be mean. She said she would do anything in her power to help Sugar.

Before all this happened a friend had offered to take the girls to a fundraiser to get them out of my hair for a bit. I agreed to let her take them. Once I learned of this situation, I asked her if she would just take Spice so I could talk with Sugar about some things going on at school.

We left Spice and Sugar and I headed off for a dinner out. I purposely took her to a quiet place where we could talk without being interrupted. I asked Sugar how school was going and got the usual Pollyanna type response. Everything is good, everything is wonderful, she said.

So I told her that other parents had approached me and told me that there was something going on that was upsetting her. Her happy “I love everyone” face held for about 30 seconds, then girl done fell apart. She cried chest-heaving, nose-running, heart-breaking tears.

Everything I had heard was true… and my heart shattered into a million pieces. And I wanted to kill those little fucking bitches that hurt my girl. In fact, the bits I got from the other parents were only a fraction of what has been going on. There was nothing about my sweet girl that had not been viciously attacked. I listened and I cried on the inside. I told Sugar she had done the right thing by trying to handle things herself, but when that didn’t work, she should have come to me or another adult to help her fix this mess. No one should go it alone.

We decided together that I should contact her teacher and we decided that an email should be sent out to the Dean of Students and the head Guidance Counselor at her school. I asked multiple times, “Are these girls really looking for you on the playground? Are they really saying these mean things to you?” And she filled me in with detail after detail, and I wanted to cry as she opened up to me.

Little girls repeatedly seeking out other little girls with the intention of being mean is nothing more than bullying. Bullying is the hot topic lately and I am living that dream. I will not continue to live that dream. In fact, I will crush it.

Two little girls are going down next week. Sugar seems to think that the behavior of #3 is ok because she says things to be funny and she apologizes afterwards. As an adult, I know that someday the band aid of humor and apologies won’t cover the wound left by mean words.

I will not stop until I feel that this situation has been resolved and those mean little girls learn that their hideous actions are not ok. 

Ice Princess

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