Last Friday, I got a random, urgent e-mail from Sparkly Mom at 8am, asking if I would meet her for coffee. We aren’t really friends, so I was suspicious. I figured something was up, and I was hoping my son hadn’t done anything to hers. We agreed to meet at the coffee shop nearby.
Have I mentioned that I love having a coffee shop nearby? It’s so cosmopolitan. And it totally saves me from having to run around tidying up my house when I want to have a chat with someone.
A few minutes later, Sparkly Mom writes me again to tell me that another 3rd grade boy’s mom wants to do the coffee at her house (which is closer to kindy, which was finishing before lunch.) Okay…. This isn’t a one-in-one coffee date… I don’t think I could handle Sparkly Mom on my own, so I was relieved, though slightly weirded out. A few minutes later, a different friend e-mails me to tell me she has also been summoned and to ask if I know wth is going on.
So at 10am, I set out, unsure how many people would be there and what the purpose behind this epic gathering would be.
It was just the four of us at this other person’s very lovely apartment. (She has three boys. How does she DO that? I also happen to know that she spends a good portion of the day playing video games that feature zombies, adding to the mystery.)
At first Sparkly Mom was going on about how her kids fight all the time and that she was worried about that. Ahh, I thought, she just needs to let out her frustration. She is, in spite of her sparkliness and general fabulousness, at least part human.
But as the coffee arrived (no zombie cups, I was slightly disappointed,) Sparkly Mom started in on her topic in earnest. She’d asked her son how things were going with I-kun, who had been the perp in the bullying incidents from 2nd grade. Her son is not in the same class with I-kun, though the other three are. Her son said that I-kun isn’t hitting and kicking, etc., like last year, but that now he is name-calling and making up games and things that exclude other people. And the one always excluded is Me First.
Sparkly Mom then tells her son to talk to my son, and see how he is getting on. Sparkly Boy said that he talked to Me First in the restroom, and that Me First told him I-kun is mean to him but not to tell anyone.
Something about this whole situation seemed strange to me, but I couldn’t put my finger on it until I talked it over with my Japanese bestie yesterday. Our kids went to the same preschool (though they are in different schools now,) so she knows Sparkly Family. She said that if Sparkly Mom was really being a friend and really concerned about my son, she would have approached me privately and immediately when she had suspicions that something was going on. (Cue memory of friend last week who e-mailed me the afternoon Me First had the encounter with the middle school boys.) Sparkly Mom just seems to keep butting in because??? Maybe she enjoys the drama? I don’t know
But I can’t focus on her right now, except to note that I should be wary of her in the future.
The other friend who was there told me that her daughter had mentioned something about I-kun being mean to Me First when the boys got there early. But her daughter is in first grade, and her 3rd grade son is very quiet and reserved for a little boy, so the friend assumed her daughter had mistaken normal boy behavior for something worse.
But, of course now, she wasn’t so sure.
I talked to Me First when he came home. “He said everything is fine, can I have a snack?” I told him another mom had approached me and said she was worried about him. He was like, “That’s weird, can I have a snack?”
So I left it.
I don’t want to push it and have him get the idea in his head that he is a target. When you’re looking at life through a lens that distorts things in such a way that everyone seems out to hurt you, you will be sure to see confirmation for that everywhere. Even when it is unwarranted. Even when it is warranted but you’re better of not acknowledging it.
So, there it is.
I’m unsure if I should I inform the school at this point. Name-calling, excluding people, general asshole-ishness is not desirable behavior, but it goes on in the adult world, too. Children have to learn to deal with it. (I get to deal with a whole load of it tomorrow at another damned preschool meeting.) And I’m not sure where the line is between acceptable and action-demanding (though is it was my kid doing the name calling, it would already be unacceptable.)
I talked to HRH (broken record, no help.)
I talked to some friends, who both said they weren’t sure what they would do either.
Curiously enough, copious amounts of coffee have not helped. Though perhaps I’ll try another cup and see if that makes any difference.