Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Apparently Aiden Is A Better Person Than I Am

Since the start of school, Aiden has come home with story after story of his encounters with a neighbor boy, we'll just call him Frank...because I like the idea of a five year old boy being named Frank when really it conjures up images of an older, run-down Italian man that perhaps works the meat counter at our local HEB or drives a cab.

Most of our discussions are factual accounts of what happened, lacking much emotion from Aiden either way as he describes his project being taken apart or stones being thrown down his shirt. 

I had to find out about him being hit in the face on the bus through a neighbor.

The stories go on and on.  Most of these incidents come out during conversations about other things entirely or when another mother calls me to ask if I knew Aiden was shoved down on the bus.  Ugh.

The thing is, Aiden is pretty ambivalent about most of it.  He doesn't seem crushed most of the time. He has had a few things bother him but it sounds to me that he's doing a great job of handling it.  He's developed a strategy for moving seats on the bus, telling the boy he won't play with him anymore, and walking away. 

All solid approaches to avoiding trouble. 

Or, Aiden told me last last night he has resorted to taking the boy's glasses off.

"I figured he wouldn't be able to get me if he couldn't see."

Also a solid approach.  Maybe not the kindest, but possibly effective.

I am happy he's figuring it out, and I'm happy he isn't coming to me complaining about these things constantly, but what the heck?  Is this how things are going to go?

When I ask Aiden why he keeps playing with this boy he says because the boy wants to play with him.  I appreciate and respect that Aiden keeps giving this boy a chance to be his friend.  I like that Aiden isn't letting some one's behavior one day (or let's say several days,) turn in to a reason to write a person off for good.  Life is lighter with the ability to forgive.

I don't really think this kid is trying to be mean. I think he's actually a sweet boy, that happens to be impulsive and maybe not that great at realizing how he should play with others. So, I think that actually makes Aiden's patience with him all that much more wonderful.

BUT...I really would rather my kid not be the brunt of another child's inability to realize boundaries, how to not hit another person, or be respectful in general.  I would like Aiden to make friends with the boys playing nicely, as much as that happens with five year old boys.  Or he could maybe hang out with the girls? 

Though tonight he told me he learned the names of more people in his class, but they were just girls so it didn't matter.  Fantastic, Aiden might be nice to Frank, but now I have a boy that thinks women don't even count.  Oprah would be so pissed at me.

I know this boy's Mom and I thought for a moment about calling her and just explaining the situation, asking her to talk to her son.  I would appreciate another Mom calling to tell me about it if Aiden were acting like that....and it isn't like the kid is beating Aiden so I'm not looking to attack her kid...but I can't be positive that she won't stab me at the mention of this situation so I'm not contacting her. 

I understand that most people are not fantastic at hearing about or even discussing any perceived negative aspect to their child.  Reality is no fun some times.

I posted my thoughts on Facebook and was told by several people to contact the teacher or the school in general.  I also was told by several people that Aiden needed to work it out on his own. 

I sort of agree with both.

I think that Aiden has been doing a good job at handling things so far.  He doesn't seem tortured or even bothered by some of the things that I feel he should be, so why would I go stirring up trouble when Aiden is fine?

I also thought that I might shoot his teacher an email to simply ask if she could let me know if she sees anything, or has any opinion on Aiden's interactions with friends at school.  But....I don't want to alarm anyone, or give that boy a bad reputation if Aiden is OK.

Current method of handling the situation?  Wait and see. 

I'm definitely going to be checking in with him more specifically with questions like, "Did you play with Frank today?"  "How was the bus?"  "What was your favorite/least favorite moment at school today?" 

I start to get a little panicked when the discussion of the school day starts so I have to restrain myself from saying things like, "Did that asshole Frank touch you today?"  or "Did you rip Frank's glasses off his face today?"

Because those would be wrong.  Mildly amusing for me, but wrong all the same.

They would more appropriately mirror my emotions about the situation, but not sure they would help Aiden or Frank in the long run, and I suppose that is more important than me expressing myself and my frustration to my five year old son. 

I'll have to remember to take down the printout of Frank's face on our punching bag before Aiden gets home from school every day. 

Totally joking.  I don't even have a picture of Frank that I could blow up for a punching bag, or dart board, or to draw on....nothing.

After a discussion with Alex tonight, I think what is comes down to is that Frank is kind-of annoying.  Fine, really annoying, but if our kid wants to have patience and try to be his friend then we've apparently been doing a better job than we thought so we should support him. 

I am feeling mentally bored lately though, which is a serious recipe for trouble when it comes to situtaions like this.  I am so bored that I almost shaped our meatloaf tonight into the shape of boobs or a penis, but I couldn't decide which so I went with the standard. 

When I feel mentally bored I need to remind myself to stay away from my kid's issues (and moldable food) unless there is a genuine need for my presence.  I am raising him to not need me eventually, better start now while it's stones down a shirt and taking apart toothpick art projects. 

I'm sure soon we'll be dealing with crack and guns in the school. 

OK, we probably won't be dealing with that, but like I said, I'm bored and this is what is entertaining me. 

Have some patience with me.

Be more like Aiden with Frank.


Kimberly said...

Wow! Aiden sounds so mature in his handling of the situation. That's a lot to process as a young kid. You've obviously raised him well!

I agree about not getting overly involved yet, since he seems to be handling it so well. But I would probably say something general to the teacher, as you implied, just so that she'll be ready to intervene if it spirals into more of a problem.

yippiemom said...

I am more disturbed by your making meatloaf (gross) than the fact that you wanted to mold it like an X-rated body part. People haven't made meatloaf since the 50's and for good reason.

Didn't you read the book I let you borrow "Nurture Shock?" It said that when kids are complaining about or "tattling" on other kids it is because they need you to step in. They have tried to handle the situation and it has not been resolved by their methods so they turn to parents to be their protectors (I'm paraphrasing, of course but you get the gist). Actually, I'm really tired and now I can't remember if I read that information in that book or somewhere else but I still think it is valid. My advice is to let him try to deal with it a while longer and if he continues to be shoved, etc. an adult needs to get involved and teach "Frank" how to keep his hands to himself. Being annoying is one thing but being physically aggressive is totally different.

Emmy said...

That is a tough one. It does sound like he is handling it well, but it does get to the point that enough is enough... Since other parents have said things to you about it, it might be worth contacting the teacher to see, as you said how he is getting along with the kids. From my experience, the more the teacher know you are involved and care- the more they care.

Prudently Painted Vintage said...

I think you should just call his mOm and say " frank is an asshole" then hang up. Haha. I'm joking of course......a little

Hope you get it sorted out soon. Poor Aiden :(