It’s been a strange weekend. I’ve been out taking my books to three events, I’ve met some lovely people and had a nice time, yet the whole weekend has been clouded by incidents at Elder Baby Boudica’s school on Friday.
Baby Boudica the Elder has never exactly been a big fan of school. It’s “pointless” and “boring” and I am a mean mother for forcing him to attend. When we moved house, he had to start at a new school and that start was surprisingly promising. They specifically recruited a TA to assist him, he bonded with Mrs G very well and was really blossoming. For once parents evening was a joy, with his teacher saying how well he was doing.
Then came half term. Suddenly it all changed and we were back to the grumps, the foul tempers, the refusing to do any work and the meltdowns. Except we didn’t know why and all he could tell us was “they’re winding me up”.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing. It shouldn’t have taken me 2 whole weeks to find out what was going on, yet it did. Friday started innocuously enough, I dropped both boys at school, Mrs G was off sick but someone else was going to be standing in as Helper to Baby Boudica. I went off to an event to sell books leaving Nanny Boudica to pick the boys up from school. All was good in the world.
I didn’t hear about the days events until late Friday night. As I understand it, the first incident took place at morning break time, when Baby Boudica The Elder beat another child in a running race, said child didn’t like this turn of events and decided to push my baby into the shed wall head first. More than once.
Ice packs were applied and school declared him to be fine. (What exactly are the criteria for being “fine” anyway?)
The other incident took place at lunchtime. Now, Baby Boudica the Elder has a temper on him, I’m told he must have inherited it. (I couldn’t possibly comment). At his last school, certain children would enjoy baiting him to see how far they could go before he snapped. And when he snaps it can be quite impressive. The new school learnt the hard way in his first week, that shutting him in a corner when he’s like that is going to be a dangerous path to take. If you hold a live grenade and take the pin out, you’re going to get your hand blown off. Simples.
Anyway, it seems I should have picked up on the “they’re winding me up” statement a little earlier. Both school and ourselves have been trying to teach the Baby Boudica’s how to deal with their tempers, how it’s ok to be angry but it’s not ok to hurt people. How if people are being mean to them at school, they must go and tell the teacher. Seems reasonable enough? All very well in theory…
So on Friday, Baby Boudica is being baited, wound up and a large group of kids keep chasing him round the playground “saying horrible things”. (He refuses to repeat said horrible things in case he gets told off). He told the dinner ladies TWICE and TWICE they did nothing. My baby boy was upset and scared and he did what we all told him he was supposed to do TWICE. And they did nothing.
So they can hardly complain, that when these kids carried on with their taunting, that he had one of them up against the wall and gave them a good kicking.
But apparently they can. Cue big discussion once again about how we can’t hurt people when we’re angry. No doubt the parent of this child will be demanding to know why such a dangerous child is allowed in school, completely oblivious to the fact that their little darling has been making a disabled child’s life a misery. (Been there before too). The teacher has admitted that the whole thing wasn’t really Baby Boudica’s fault but denies there has been any bullying going on.
So what should we be calling it? High Jinx? “Just being boys”? “One of those things”?
I am well aware that kids will be kids and nasty things are said and done on all sides. But nasty little children, grow up to be nasty little adults if no-one teaches them that some things are unacceptable.
Baby Boudica was petrified Mummy was going to be angry with him for hurting someone. Mummy is angry, of that there is no doubt. But not with him. I am incredibly proud of him for not snapping the first time, and for telling the dinner ladies as he had been told to. I’m incredibly proud he won a running race, (and just a little bit stunned) as he is hypermobile and not what you could call “naturally athletic”. But this Mummy is most definitely on the war path. I should think his teacher is already apprehensive about me coming to school in the morning and with good reason.
So meet the family:
That’s Mr Boudica (long suffering and tolerant) and the Baby Boudica’s.
Take a long hard look at them. Make sure you’d recognise them again if you saw them and then remember to make a point of LEAVING THEM ALONE.
Bring your children up to be nice, unprejudiced, balanced, tolerant individuals. Leave your prejudices behind, learn to accept that everyone is different and those differences should be celebrated. There is no “normal”, everything is normal and “different” is not “wrong” and especially not “bad”. Be nice, just because you can. Be kind, especially to the vulnerable. Teach your children these things and the world will be a much happier place and other parents of children with Autism will never have to hear the words “Why do they hate me Mummy?”.
It’s Anti-Bullying Week this week. Lets start by teaching our kids not to bully other kids. That there are NO reasons and NO excuses. Not for the colour of their skin, not for the colour of their hair, not for how they look, or what they wear. Not for any reason whatsoever and especially not because they’re different.
Children are not born prejudiced, it is something they learn. Break the cycle now, before they learn that prejudice and hate and carry it with them into adulthood.
Because if you mess with my family
You mess with me
And let me tell you – that is not a very wise thing to do