This is Bubba, Jo, and Scary-we were pretty cool!Oh the names. Like warthog, I hated to be called warthog! But, when your hands and arms have warts on them, what can you do, you must be a warthog. I also have a pretty rare genetic mutation, that makes it so I have white spots on my legs, and a white streak in my hair. The white streak in my hair made me look, to an elementary child, like a skunk. So, skunk was a common nickname. And the white spots on my legs made people follow me around in stores and stare, or in swimming lessons, kids sort of treated me like a leper.
Don't I look like a fat, skunky warthog? No?, that is what I thought then. My hair is short in thisI didn't really know what to do about it. I found out quickly that if you cried or complained to a teacher or your parent, the next time they bullied, it would be much much worse. What can you do? Its hard to laugh. And, walking away doesn't really work, because they follow you- until they see you crying, and then they tease about that.
picture, because a girl decided to be my friend one day, in second grade, if I didn't have a white streak, so we took scissors to the bathroom at school and tried to cut it off. It looked so bad, she changed her mind.
If no one will swing on the swing you sat on or use the same toilet stall, because they don't want to get warts, or let you slide on the slide, because they would get your germs, how can they play "ring around the Rosie", or tag with you? Pretty soon everything you come to accept as normal and good starts to be questioned. Are you normal, are you good, are home sewn clothes normal, are they good, is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich normal and good when everyone else eats hot lunch, is your hair normal, is being taller than all of the other girls normal, is turning the other cheek normal? And, then, at least for me, it turned into a huge cycle of self loathing. Would I ever be a short girl, or a skinny girl? Would anyone ever be brave enough to be my friend?
Aren't my parents so cool?!There were several children who made my elementary years a nightmare. I am sure they did for others too, but I couldn't see others pain, past my own. I am sure that is why the kids who weren't bullies didn't step in and help-they didn't want to be the next target of ridicule.
Jo, Al, and Scary. Scary was still bullied in to highschool. By the time we took this picture I was dating my husband, in college.Even though writing this, makes me sad, for that little lonely girl, I am not her anymore. My husband and children love me. I have friends that I am still amazed, like me, for me! And, besides the occasional moment of "not feeling good enough", I am a happy, hard working, goal oriented, spiritual, beautiful person. So, why bring up these childhood memories? Because of what happened today.
Today my sweet Hulk got up at 6 am to make pizza for a school market day. While we were making the pizza's, he told me that maybe no one would buy them, because one of the girls at school told everyone they would be gross. I told him that was OK, because then he could bring them all home and we could eat them. We laughed about it, and he seemed fine. He made a couple of signs, and a table cloth, and three pizzas. He wore an apron, and he was ready for business. He kept telling me, "it doesn't matter what happens at school today, because I had the best time making pizzas with you mom!"
So, we load the car, and all of the kids and go to school. Then, I spot the mean girl. She is standing there at the door of the school, hands on her hips, and snotty expression on her face, entourage in toe. "So, what did you bring for market day?" she snarls. "Pizza"! He says, with the excitement that hard work produces. "EEEEEEEEEWWWWWWWW Sick Gross Pizza! That is going to be sooo disgusting since you made it with your!"
Do you know what I wanted to do? I really wanted to just punch her in the nose. All of those old bullied emotions came flooding back. Then I wanted to pick up my little boy and his pizzas and bring him home for the most fun pizza party he had ever had. He still had a smile on his face and he walked past her like a champ. He put his stuff away, and he was so excited. I, on the other hand, got in my car and sulked all of the way home. Then I called my sisters, and we talked about bullying. We talked about some of the oger bullies that messed with us when we were kids, and how we have made peace with them. They told me all about the bullying drama in the blog sphere right now. We talked about how sad it was, and even to this day, we still don't know really what to do.
So, I am asking for ideas. What do you do when your kids bully or are bullied? What do you do when adults bully adults, or adults bully kids? I still don't know what to do!