I’ve had several phone calls with Me First’s teacher, the net result of which is that I have no absolutely idea what’s going on.

The teacher thinks the boy Sparkly Mom is concerned about is not really bullying anyone so much as that the “battle” play is getting out of hand. Me First has never complained about this kid before, so I don’t know what to think. He didn’t want to go to after care today because The Accused would be there. I don’t know if that’s because he is bothering him or if Me First is just sick of the commotion and wants to spend as little time as possible with the other boy.

I’m certainly sick of talking about it. I haven’t been too inspired to write about it, either. Sorry to leave you hanging.

I had a chance to talk to the teacher about Classic Bully, the one who has been calling Me First “gaijin” and whatnot. This kid just lacks a lot of social skills. I think he probably makes fun of kids with glasses and stuff, too. He tortures pretty much everyone with random violence and random insults, unless he wants to play with you. Then he tortures you by coming to your house and badgering you to come out and play. Seriously, he banged on our door three times in the space of five minutes on Thursday.

So anyway. I had a chance to express my concerns. The teacher agreed that this particular vein of name calling needs to stop. Even if the boy doing it is just repeating what he’s heard somewhere, it’s hateful and wrong and could lead to real problems down the road.

So I kind of feel like the school has their eyes open now, and for now I’m okay with it.

The trouble is Sparkly Mom cannot let things go. The Accused is also bothering her son, and she wants to include me in every communication she has with the school.

But our situations are very different. She doesn’t have to deal with the Hysterical Angry Foreign Woman stereotype, for starters. I guess I feel the need to save my can of crazy for when I need it, you know?

It sucks ass, but this is something we are going to have to deal with for as long as we live in Japan. Sometimes the attention is positive, sometimes it isn’t, but it’s always there. Even though it is uncomfortable at best and downright hateful at worst, the kids have to learn how to deal with it.

I was lucky enough to grow up in an environment where my race, and religion, language, and culture were the same as the larger community around me. Being a “minority” is not part of my self image. I manage to forget about it most of the time.

But my kids are growing up “different.” We’ve put a lot of effort into building a community of Differents for them, but it still must be hard.

There was a meeting at school Thursday after an open class. I knew Sparkly Mom was bringing her can of worms, and that she would tangle me in that slimy conversation. But my concerns are more about a different prickly topic, and I was unwilling to get entangled into the other mess.

So I pulled a Bad Mom and escaped after the kids presentation.

And it felt good.

But I’m afraid it may be the beginning of a bad habit. There’s just so much crap I want to skip. Starting with cleaning at the preschool on Wednesday.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lisa
    Mar 02, 2013 @ 16:54:21

    I like that you let out your honesty on this post


  2. Wendy
    Mar 03, 2013 @ 12:24:12

    Good on you! It’s good to go against the grain sometimes ( or a lot of the time in Japanese society!). So sorry your son is having a hard time. It’s so hurtful for everyone when this happens. Looking at your past posts (yep, I’m a lurker), there are a lot of great resources for Homeschooling here in Kanto. There are also a lot of international schools, which I know aren’t for everyone’s tastes.
    Look after yourself too, momma!


  3. Kym
    Mar 03, 2013 @ 18:15:01

    Oh, so Sparkly Mum wasn’t being entirely altruistic, it was more some kind of group action she was after, I see. But at least you know the whole thing is being taken seriously now. I can understand your desire to stop thinking about it.


  4. ds
    Mar 04, 2013 @ 09:38:39

    Nothing wrong with playing the gaijin card. Dont be ashamed of it, make it work for you. Dont accept the teacher’s weak explanation. Did you have a list of every incident, injury, etc? It is hard to dismiss facts on paper. Your child feels unsafe in the teacher’s class/school, to the point where he doesnt want to go to after school care. That is serious. Insist on an action plan and reports of the specific steps taken to eliminate the problem.


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