Someone ought to tell John Travolta I used to date Adele Mazeem. I’d say she was frigid but the cold never bothered her anyway.
That sort of silly and ridiculous comment is where I want my head to go except I am too angry to do so. Instead of making silly remarks about Vinnie Barbarino I am thinking about Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I am thinking about Ali and Liston or Â the 20-year-old version of Mike Tyson.
Because another kid hit my daughter and when you mess with my kids I think of shock and awe. Mushroom clouds, drones with Hellfire missiles and all sorts of other nifty toys like Brass Knuckles and switchblades.
I am mostly kidding.
What is A Father’s Responsibility?
I am not one of those parents who automatically flips out about kids doing stupid things and the girl that hit my daughter did something dumb.
She hit her in the arm and told her she wanted to fight. My daughter told her she wasn’t afraid and told her she wrestles against her older brother and wins.
It is sort of true.
It doesn’t happen often but every now and then if he has been teasing her for too long she goes after him. I don’t know if she has figured out that he knows he is not allowed to touch her so he doesn’t he doesn’t really fight back.
She is not easily baited into these moments either but the few times he has managed to make her 9.5 going on 30 mind temper flare she has gone hard.
These moments have been few and far between but we have had conversations about this and they both know there are consequences for their actions.
But they also know that they have an obligation to protect themselves and that is where I find myself figuring it all out as I go. Because in my day you didn’t get expelled from school for fighting or threatening others.
You didn’t tell a teacher or parent about the bully. You stood up for yourself or life could be very uncomfortable. I am not saying that was the right way or the best way but it was what we did…then.
Now I look at my children and try to figure out how to teach them to protect and defend themselves.
The Other Girl
I wonder about the other girl. Wonder what sorts of problems she might be having and if she has realized that she is lucky my daughter told her she is not interested in fighting. If she managed to push her into a physical altercation it wouldn’t go well for her.
That is not what I want for my daughter. I want her to use her words. I want her to make it clear she won’t accept this. I told her I would help her and I did.
I brought their teacher into the loop. Sent her an email telling her what had happened and asked her to make sure this other girl understands this cannot happen again.
When my daughter went to sleep I made sure she knew about the email and told her that if this other girl bothers her she is to tell her to get lost and to walk away.
But I also told her she is not to be a punching bag and that she is allowed to defend herself. I reiterated that she needs to remove herself from the situation but if she can’t, smack that kid so hard she can’t see straight.
The Problem With Nuance
Ideally the teacher will be able to clear this up and that will be the end of it. I don’t want my daughter to get hurt and I don’t want her to hurt this other girl.
If push comes to shove and she has no choice she has my blessing to defend herself, but I worry about the 4th grade sense of nuance and understanding of knowing when to hold them, when to fold them and when to run.
Sometimes this parenting thing is really hard.