On the way home from picking the kids up from daycare last night, G confided in me that another boy had been picking on him in the pool that afternoon (the daycare has an indoor pool). This troubled me, since it seems G has been getting picked on a lot by other kids, both boys and girls. Being smaller than everyone else in his class makes him an easy target. This has always been a big concern for me, as I've witnessed the hell both my older and younger brother experienced all through school being the smallest kid by far in their grades.
Fighting back the urge to tell him to hold the other boy's head under water, I instead gave him the "good mom" advice.
"Did you ask him to stop?"
"Yeah, I told him I didn't like it and he just kept on doing it."
"Did you tell the teacher?
"I tried, but she was busy"
"Did you try just moving away from him?"
"Yeah, but he's much bigger than me and just kept following me."
A little heart-broken, and at a loss for what to say, I paused. The silence was soon filled with sweet girly voice of K, the fairy princess in the backseat. "I would just kick him in the rear."
Stunned for a minute. "What did you say?"
"I said, I would just kick him in the rear." she repeated matter-of-factly.
Automatic mom response: "K! We don't kick people!" With a hasty: "And don't talk about rears, that's rude."
Inside though, I cheered a little for my mini-Amazon. Yeah, kick him in the rear! You don't give my little boy a hard time. I couldn't help but feel a little swelling of pride at K's aggressive and effective solution, when I so badly would like to kick that boy in the rear myself.
Upon further reflection, I had to remark to myself how odd it was that I seem to have transposed these attitudes in my girl child and in my boy child. In my efforts of gender equality, have I unwittingly pushed for a confident and strong female and created a tiny mega-feminist warrior princess? And, in my efforts to raise a sensitive and gentle male, instead created a little boy who can't defend himself against the school yard bullies of the world?
As a mother, it's hard not to take personal responsibility for the hardships your child faces. Is it my fault G bites his nails? Did I do something to make K put her friends into time out when they play house? Perhaps I'm just paranoid. Perhaps I'm just a mom.