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Don't Wake The Mama Bear

So I learned yesterday through a very
circuitous but very accurate channel that Maddie has been the
subject of some teasing at school, for something very minor over
which she has absolutely no control. She has told me nothing, so I
must act as if I don’t know or she will feel like her
confidante has betrayed her, but I have been told that it has hurt
her rather deeply, and has occurred more than once.

There are two reasons I have not gone over to the offenders’
houses and kicked the shit out of them right now:

First, I don’t know who they are.

Second, though I would easily dominate any jail to which I was sent
by virtue of my natural charm and organization skills, my kids need
me. My husband would suck at picking out prom dresses.

To say that I’m upset is a major
understatement. And let me say here that I am both drinking a glass
of wine and eating a plastic Snack Trap full of peanut butter
M&Ms right now, so I’m Blogging Under the Influence and
that’s dangerous. But I have to talk about this and I know
you all will understand.

I can’t even begin to unpack how many ways I’m upset
about this. First, and most selfishly, I’m stunned that
Maddie has not breathed a word of this to me. I’m hurt that
she doesn’t want to talk with me about it – that
she’s either afraid of telling me, or doesn’t want to
worry me, or doesn’t trust me to understand and be
empathetic. Or something. But I’m hurt, because I feel as if
I’ve failed her on some fundamental level as a mother.
She’s being hurt, and she chooses not to come to me about it.
Mommy fail.

Then there’s the fact that it’s happening at all.
Maddie has decided not to tell the teacher, though it’s a
clear case of bullying, and I’m sure it’s because she
doesn’t want to appear less than perfect in her
teacher’s eyes. Maddie’s worried about drawing
attention to the object of the bullies’ taunts, or that
somehow it’s her fault and the teacher will blame her, or
something like that. Regardless, she’s decided she has to
deal with this on her own. And that’s too much for a
five-year-old to process by herself.

So I suppose I should be grateful that she’s brought this up
to someone, and this someone has skills to help Maddie process this
in a healthy way. She’s done some role-playing with my
daughter to help figure out how to respond, and Maddie seems to be
working on it on her own.

Two days ago, before I knew about this, Maddie and I were talking
about New Year’s resolutions. I explained the concept –
“You think about last year, and think about what you could do
better or wish you had done differently, and work on that the next
year.” And then stepped back to see what she’d pick.

And my poor kiddo thought hard, then said, “My resolution is
that I will work very hard this year so that when people say things
to hurt me or do things that hurt me, I will work hard to not let
them bother me.”

Clueless me thought it was about sibling fights or something. And
now my heart aches even more.

I know, I know, I have to stay hands-off on this one. But someone
has attacked my cub, and it’s hard to stay in the cave on
this one.


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