Just to show y’all that Finn doesn’t have a monopoly on laying challenge and heartache at my feet, here’s an interesting development concerning my eldest:
I went into the boys’ room last night at bedtime, and Kevin was sitting there with no shirt on. Right away I noticed two large purple-turning-to-green bruises on his upper arm. I asked him how that happened, and he got that shifty-eyed look and the forced chuckle and he said, “What? That? I don’t know. Don’t you ever get bruises that you don’t know how you got them?” Well, yeah, I do, like on my legs – I mean, being a klutz and all, that’s where you’ll find bruises from accidentally bumping into things and such. Upper arms though? Hmmm. I knew he was lying.
To make a long story short(er), I took him into my room to talk to him privately, and the truth came out – that some kid he sits next to in math class repeatedly punched him in the arm as part of some game. Those are some bruises, so they must have been some punches. The whole thing apparently happened last week.
While Kevin claims it was part of a “game” (the other kid would try to make Kevin flinch, and if he flinched, he got punched), he did admit that he wasn’t a willing participant and he did tell the kid to knock it off (and the kid didn’t).
This whole thing disturbs me on so many levels:
- Kevin lied to me! These little white lies are becoming something of a theme with him.
- Some punk is inflicting bodily harm on my kid! There is something about seeing ugly marks on your child’s flesh, inflicted by another person, that brings the mama bear out.
- This happened during class! This kid punched Kevin, and did whatever he was doing to get Kevin to flinch – in other words, created what one would think was a ruckus – repeatedly, and the teacher didn’t notice? WTF?
My first inclination was to get in touch with the teacher. I mean, really, what the hell is going on in her class that something like this can happen under her nose and she’s unaware? Kevin was very upset at the thought of my possibly doing anything about the situation. I still don’t know if he’s being bullied, or if this is some weird but typical rite of passage that boys of a certain age inflict on each other. I don’t like it one bit.
In the end, Michael talked me out of doing anything, saying “boys will be boys,” and that at 14, Kevin is at an age where he needs to be given the opportunity to deal on his own, in his own way. I guess the last thing he needs is his mommy running to school to stick up for him.