Friday, October 9, 2015

Trouble on the Bus

During Reid's second week of school (which was actually the fourth week of school) he came home and asked me why some kid would want to look in his backpack. "Yeah, Mommy he kept telling me to open my backpack. He wanted to know how much money I had."

The whole thing seemed a little fishy -- but Reid was clearly oblivious to what was actually going on so I decided to just skip over the whole thing. He didn't realize an older class man was picking on him so I certainly wasn't going to point it out to him.

Early this week I was loading the kids up in the car and, out of nowhere, he turned to Nell and yelled "Shut up!"

I was horrified. I've taught my kids their fair share of bad words. Ben's actually shocked they don't roll their eyes and utter "oh my hell" more frequently than they do. Nell loves to shout an angry "Bammit!" when I start to appear frustrated. The last time my in-laws were visiting she looked me straight in the eyes and said, "just leave me alone Mama!" I immediately rebuked her and then told my Mother-in-law she'd learned that phrase from me. Of course, it's usually followed up with "I just want to poop!" But Nell wasn't on the toilet, so it didn't really fit in her scenario. But shut-up, I've never uttered that phrase! Shut-up and any variation of "sucks" were NOT allowed in the Bassett Household. The other four-letter "S" word was totally acceptable, but to this day my heart cringes a little when I hear "shut-up" or "sucks."

Immediately, as if I'd turned into my mother, I asked, "Where did you learn that?"

"This boy on the bus says that to me all the time. Anytime I try to say anything he just says, "shut up, shut up, shut up" He doesn't let me say anything!"

"And how does that make you feel?"


"So why would you say that to Nell?"

"I don't know. I wish he'd just let me talk. He's always just saying "shut up, shut up."

I promised Reid I'd talk to the bus driver about it.

"That means you'll come to my school?"

"No, I'll talk to him when you come home.

"But that means the boy can just keep saying that to me today."

"You want me to talk to your bus driver before you get on the bus?"

"Yes, come to my school and tell him."

We talked about why that wasn't an option, but we decided I could call the bus garage and handle the matter that way. I may have used the words "I didn't think I'd be this mom, but ..." when I first got on the phone.

I want my baby to handle his own fights. I don't want to label a mean behavior as "bullying." Kids are mean. Reid is bound to be picked on when he rides the bus home with the big kids. I totally accept all that. But it just broke my heart to see my little boy so scared of riding the bus home. It's his favorite part of school!

When the bus stopped at my house this particular day the driver came down a few steps and whispered "It's been taken care of."

Reid told me the whole bus had a talk about "not being a bully." That makes me bite my tongue a little bit. I feel like we are too quick to label mean, and sometimes even typical, kid behavior as "bullying." But that's a post for another day (one I've pondered writing for almost a year now).

Today I'm just writing this to say, after just two short weeks at school my little boy already had some trouble on the bus. And his mama bear swooped in to save him.

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