Parenting, Thing 1, Unpublished

Playground Jackasses

I’ve said before that my favorite part about blogging (besides YOU guys of course) is documenting those little conversations between my son and I. Usually, they are hysterical:

“Mom, why do women care how big their boobs are?”
“Men tend to like bigger boobs better, so women feel they need to have bigger boobs so men will like them. You’ll understand more when you get older”
“I think I understand that concept now.”

But last night, the talk was heartwrenching. LilZ sucks his thumb. He’s nine now, so he only does it at night, when he’s about to fall asleep. I have no problem with this. I was a thumbsucker and I have very fond memories of the security it brought me. With me donating half of his genes, he’s going to have to have braces regardless, so why take that away from him before he’s ready.

He came in last night from playing with the neighborhood kids. He was on the verge of tears, and said, while he struggled not to cry:

“T told the girls out there that I suck my thumb, I don’t know if we can be friends anymore”

I immediately hugged him, realized the pain he was in, and tried my best to comfort him. I told him that T (who is his best friend) may not have known he didnt want anyone knowing about that. I explained that sometimes friends make mistakes and that we need to talk to him and not disown him just because he told a secret. Even if that secret causes the other kids (and girls he kinda likes) to pick on him, we should still forgive.

I could tell he was embarassed and humiliated and hurt. All of those feelings you wish your child would NEVER have to feel. I knew he needed to know how to deal with the kids RIGHT NOW who were already picking on him for being a thumb sucker. The damage was done, he could talk to T later, but what should he do about the ridicule that brought him to tears, NOW? So – I resorted to my old standby – teach him to be a smart ass.

“LilZ, when I was little, people picked on me all the time. The best thing you can do – is prove to them it doesnt bother you by playing along and being a smart ass alleck. For example:”

OOOohhh. You are making fun of me for sucking my thumb…you are soooooo mean. I think I might cry. OR

(deadpan) Oh no. You called me a thumbsucker, my heart is broken. OR

NOOOOOOOOOOO! Dont call me that! Its HOOOORRRIIIBBBLLEE *eyeroll*

We went outside together. I sat on our bench while he played a bit. No one threw any insults at him, as a matter of fact, I dont think anyone remembered it had happened, so he didnt have to test out his new method. Either way – the damage HAD been done, for a brief moment – he felt the mortifying feeling of that pain of humiliation that only the children on the playground know how to inflict.

I spent a large portion of my childhood crying inside over “pizza-face” “dumbo” “fattyZoot” and many other horrible names the kids called me. There were some that were plays on my real name, and there were others that are just to mean to recall. It is a pain that I recall vividly and taints my childhood memories. I hate it that LilZoot might have even had a taste of that pain. Of course – in reality? LilZoot is way cooler than I could ever be, so he prob wont have to feel quite the pain as I did. But still – even that one little bit of shame – it sucks.

So – long story short? I’m locking LilZoot up for the rest of his life to protect him from the jackasses of the world. Either that? Or I’m going on an ass-kicking rampage, I’m not sure which. I’ll keep you posted.

25 thoughts on “Playground Jackasses”

  1. Zoot…just have someone spy on the other kids and see what their secrets are! Once things are out in the open…oooh la la!

    Yes, I’m evil.

  2. Aww, poor LilZoot. I still feel like I might kick some ass if someone hurts my husband’s feelings; I can’t imagine what it’s like when it’s your kid! I think you handled it well Zoot.

  3. Poor sweet LilZoot!! You handled it PERFECTLY. You gave him everything he needed: validation, sympathy, a hug, a way to respond, and more importantly–the confirmation that yeah, this stuff happens and yeah it sucks, but it isn’t the end of the world. You’re an awesome mom!

  4. Ohhh I so know what you are going through! My nine year old came home today and said the other kids were playing hide and seek, told her to go hide and then never came and found her. She spent the whole playtime waiting for someone to come find her and when she finally came out THEY were playing another game. How heartbreaking is that???? I wanna go kick those kids butts and the teachers too for not doing anything about it!

  5. You’re a good Mom, Zoot.

    Here’s a funny:

    (This happened to my sister-in-law’s sister – confused much? She was maybe 6 or 7 at the time.)

    Her: Mom, some kid at school called me a VIRGIN!

    Mom (shocked, but trying not to laugh): What did you say back?

    Her: I said, “I am NOT!”

  6. I’m so sorry about not having been back here to visit for ages. I was totally caught up in life outside of the internet world *horror*! You handled the situation really well and I wanna be as great a mum as you are when I grow up 😉

  7. Look it, tell T that if he wants uncle Xzhibit to pimp his ride he better check himself b4 he wrecks himself. Because with an attitude like that a pimped ride is going to be all he is going to have after I kick his ass.

    C

  8. I’m sure everyone’s said this alreay, but I just don’t have time to read all their commnets…

    I admire the way you handled the situation and I think LilZoot is a lucky little boy to have you for his Moma!!

    If you protected him from all the hurt in the world, he wouldn’t grow up well adjusted, and he would crumble when it was time for him to try his wings in the real world. You giving him the strength to deal with his hurt and the confidence to face it head on is a wonderful gift!

  9. I vote for locking him up. If you go on an jackass-kicking rampage, you’ll never get done. There are too many out there.

    Sorry LilZoot had to experience that. Life is hard, and it’s too bad that little kids have to learn life lessons so young.

  10. Is there some safe haven for our lil’ ones that don’t deserved to be picked on? After all, they are our perfect offspring (he he he).

    Kids are so mean nowadays, I feel bad for our kids having to deal with it. Thankfully they are blessed with fantastic parents like us to help them work thru it! Keep up the good work.

  11. I would kick ass, but? if you did do that, somebody might get a little upset that you were going around beating up 9 yr olds. The teasing in inevitable and hopefully he will grow wiser from it. Thick skin and a sensitive heart might be the worst he’ll come away from this with. Maybe he won’t become one of the bullies and maybe he’ll stand up for the little guy being picked on someday.

  12. I think you handled it well (I probably would have gone with the ass kicking, but that’s just Me)…either way, he did see that the criticism was fleeting, like you said, nobody even brought it up again. They have to learn I guess that sometimes you just have to ride it out, but kids can be soooo cruel. I can still hear “Flatsy! Flatsy! You’re flat and that’s that!” from my adolescence. Happy to say that boobs filled out nicely (if I do say so myself) eventually, but it seemed FOREVER when you are 12!

  13. Oh yeah, I am a firm believer in locking them up. I would suggest a monastery but there are too many potential weirdos. I hear a lot of those castles in Europe are empty now. Maybe you could get squatters rights. I may move into a neighboring castle with my three wee ones.

  14. Reason #1 why I want to freeze Elizabeth at toddler. I’m not ready to deal with the jackass kids.

  15. i sucked my thumb FOREVER! AND got teased b/c of my last name all the time! now look how cool i am?

    yeah, better to not use that as an example 🙂

  16. Aww. Can I stay in denial for a while and pretend that my kids will never be picked on? Because I too know that feeling, and it bites the big one.

  17. Okay..is it against the law for a Grammy to kick playground kids buts? Little children stop being young angels when they pick on my grandson…..the change to devils is short and complete and I must be
    held back from wreaking their lives with misery…
    I have a bit hug for LilZ and his mom is going to have to deliver it until I get there…..other kids better look out….grammy is on the way……………..

  18. Poor guy. At least he is the good guy and not the jackass. Hurts right now though I know.

    (you could secretly kick the living shit out of the jackasses though)

  19. Kids have been mean since the cave days, they’re mean now. and they’re going to be mean for the rest of eternity. What I got out of this was that he came to you (and not someone else) because you’re a cool mom. He saw that you were on his side and that you wouldn’t give him lame advice, and that he can always count on you.

    As for the other kids, if you catch them picking on LilZ tell them that you’re gonna get them because they ‘can’t stay awake forever’. then chuckle in a sinister manner. heheheh

  20. Its even worse when its a friend who says something bad about you. Smart Ass always works, plus having a cool mom helps too!

  21. My 6yr old is going through this on her bus right now. Kids call her a crybaby (which she is I’m afraid) so I told her it was up to her to stop the teasing and the only way to do that was to stop crying every time someone looked at her cross and also ignore the kids because when they can’t make her cry anymore they’ll stop picking on her. Perhaps this is your oportunity to help LilZ stop sucking his thumb… unfortunately, it usually takes something that big to change a bad habbit. (Note my 6yr old sucks her thumb at bed time so I’m totally NOT anti-thumbsucking!)

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