I have a mama bear inside me.
If you know me, you know this.
Today, my mama bear showed up after picking Merrick up from after-care. I think I can safely say that until today, all of my mama bear outrages have been adult-directed. I mean, kids are kids and may not have the best role models, thus they may not always know better. Adults and professionals are free game. I mean, you do something that is not in the best interest of my child, and I will likely let you know.
But let me tell you...when your heart breaks because another child hurt your child's feelings SO BADLY...it's pretty tough to contain the bear.
Also, if you know me, you know that my soul is pretty sensitive. And so is Merrick's. So that old saying "sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me" does not apply to either one of us. Punch me in the face, the pain goes away. Stab me in the heart with your words or actions, the pain sticks around for much, much longer.
So, today... I walked in to the (Christian-based) child care to see M sitting on the bleachers by herself, looking a little somber. She got up to get her stuff and I went to get T. I met her outside of Taya's room and looking sad, I asked her what was wrong. Bring on the tears! So I picked her up and held her and let her cry until she could tell me what was wrong. (note: I would like to say that the story itself does not sound horrible, and possibly silly, but trust me when I say that you would understand if you were there!) Her friends had all left early. She didn't have anyone to play with. She tried to go to the coloring table with the older girls, who proceeded to say that she "tooted" and covered their noses with their shirts. Merrick then said that she did not and tried to continue coloring while the girls continued to make her feel uncomfortable, to which she got up and left. This all doesn't sound out of the ordinary of typical girl stuff, right? So, I comforted her and we went out to the car. Where she continued to sob because her feelings were that hurt. Which was the turning point to the broken mama heart that released the bear. Because here's the thing... When your 7 year old is sobbing and says "If Camryn was there, she would have told them to stop. But I'm glad my friends weren't there, because then they didn't have to feel what I feel," something inside of you snaps!
OK you mean little twerps!!! Who are you to make my daughter feel uncomfortable and hurt her heart like that???
So, we got our of the car, marched inside, and told on them!!! ;). OK, well, really we walked in and I let Merrick tell the director what happened. She assured Merrick that being treated that way was not acceptable, and we talked through what to do next time. But here's the deal, kids or not, girls or not, they need to know that they cannot treat other people that way. It is not OK. And why are kids so freaking mean?
So, I guess my bear was somewhat in check, but the things I wanted to say and do, I didn't. Because I am Merrick's number one role model. And raising a respectful daughter is much more rewarding than the gratification that would be obtained from retaliation.
I know I can't always protect my children, and learning to cope in the real world is a life skill we have to learn...but damn, why does it have to be so hard???