Sunday, November 02, 2008


Madeleine was punched in the face two weeks ago by another first grader. He hit her so hard her cheek swelled up and left a black and blue reminder for a week. She and Sean were playing some kind of aggressive chase game, which of course doesn't excuse his behavior, but explains where it came from, I guess. And when I say I'm explaining why he punched my little girl in the face, that is the nicest thing I can possibly come up with about the incident. I was ready to punch him in the face. I mean, fists flexed, jaw tight, lips pinched, ready. His blue eyes were big and he was talking talking talking about what happened, why he did it, what she did to him, etc etc etc, but I only remember her hand to her cheek, her face pressed into my stomach, my fists balled up, and, afterwards, carrying her the two blocks home. Trying to figure out why somebody would do that.

And then last week something worse happened. Her good friend was a snot and told Madeleine she was a baby during a playdate at the girl's house. I didn't know until the next day, because we had a busy evening, but the next day, when Madeleine asked her, point blank, why she didn't want to play with her any more, I could see her roll her eyes from across the playground and walk across the top of the play structure to another friend and whisper something in her ear. The other girl looked at Madeleine and they turned their backs on her. That girl, that scene. It was so much worse.

In fact, we're pretty much over the Sean thing. His mom called and was mortified and told me all the punishment he'd received (somebody else had told her what happened at the park). He's an okay kid, but clearly has some impulse control issues, and now we know.

But this other girl? I'm not a saint. Or maybe even a really nice person, because I never want to talk to her again and want terrible things to befall her. Things that don't cause bodily harm, but something really bad, nonetheless. I hope the back of her pants tear apart in the middle of a school assembly. I hope she barfs in front of a crowded lunchroom. I hope she's dumb. Do you have to take the high road when it comes to 6-year-olds?


Blogger meno said...

No. You do not.

You punch the little twits, i'll hold 'em down for you.

That rage one feels for one's kids is overwhelming. Don't fuck with my cub!

11/02/2008 8:05 PM  
Blogger Imez said...

You don't have to take the high road, in your head anyway, if you're the mom.

How did you handle it with Madeline? How did you comfort her?

11/02/2008 9:05 PM  
Blogger Mamalujo said...

Not here, and we'll still love you.

11/03/2008 7:13 AM  
Blogger Arabella said...

No high road needed. I feel your rage for this kid.

Six years old? Sheesh. I thought Madeleine would have at least five or six more years before these shenanigans started.

If it's any consolation, that other girl will most likely be like this for another twelve years, and then get her ass kicked by life after that. At least, that's what happened to the particularly awful girl who acted that way to me. I try not to get too happy when I think about it.

11/03/2008 9:30 AM  
Blogger Mignon said...

Meno, yeah, I totally get those grizzly mauling episodes.

Imez, it was a pretty grown-up conversation. I asked Madeleine if she was the same girl as she was a week ago. "Yes." And did she play and act and talk the same as a week ago? "Yes." Then what changed? "My friend?" Yes, your friend changed somehow, and we have to just accept that this new person she has become is not as nice as the old person and probably not someone you would choose as a friend. There was more crying, but she got it.

Mamalujo, thanks.

Arabella, yes, it seemed way too young to me too. And I do know this girl is going to grow up unhappy. She already is, and she's missing out on an extremely loyal and kind friend. Her loss. (But I still want her to start her period in the middle of her wedding ceremony.)

11/03/2008 9:51 AM  
Anonymous banjo said...

Hi Mignon,

What happened to your little girl is a metaphor for what else is likely to happen in her life. This will not be the last time shit like this comes along to hurt her feelings. I think the best way to immunize kids against the meaness of life and other people is to give them a safe emotional place to fall back. Even when the world is treating them like crap they must have a place where they know they are loved and valued and feel safe. When a kid is secure in the feeling that mom and dad love them unconditionally, such injustices and personal slights don't hurt for long and tend not to leave marks afterward. At least that's what I think.

11/03/2008 9:58 PM  
Anonymous V-Grrrl said...

That crap started with my daughter in preschool! The Grrrl made a special piece of artwork to give to another girl in the class. She handed it to that girl and the girl said something like, "Why would I want this ugly old thing?" and TORE IT UP and then did the "I don't want to be your friend" back turn.

That was the BEGINNING. The Grrrl is 11 now and has gone through several rounds of backstabbing, some of it really vicious. She's mature for her age and generally shrugs it off much better than I do. When she was 9, some little bitch was always telling her she was fat and should go on a diet. Then she'd make a point of telling The Grrrl about the sleepover she was having that The Grrrl wasn't invited to. And she'd have the sleepover and tell the other girls there that My Grrrl was weird because she like boy colors (she had an olive green backpack that she'd picked out) and didn't have as many toys as everyone else....

Worst part? I knew the bad girl's mother and we were friends!!! GAH.

11/08/2008 5:28 PM  
Blogger Real Live Lesbian said...

What's really sad is that the 6 year old girls grow up to be mean women and this crap continues on.

The hard part for me is figuring out who these girls are. And eliminating them from my life.

I hope your daughter learns quicker than I did.

I know how painful it is to have your friends turn their backs.

11/17/2008 7:33 AM  

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