Friday, March 14, 2008

Mean Streak

I am so sad and angry and embarrassed right now. When DH and I arrived to pick up DS from school today, we could hear him crying as soon as we entered the front door. He was standing out in the hall, crying at the top of his lungs, while the teacher was carrying a little girl who was also wailing and holding her head. Apparently, the little girl had been standing behind the door, and DS came up and started pushing against the door. There is a long skinny window in the door, and he could clearly see she was standing there, but he kept repeatedly banging on the door, and it repeatedly hit her in the head. The teacher was helping a child who had had a potty accident, so she didn't know anything was happening until the little girl started crying. The entire incident could not have happened 3 minutes before we arrived (it was probably taking place as we pulled into the parking lot). By the time we left about 5 minutes later, she already had a purple bump on her forehead the size of a chicken egg. If I was *her* mother, I would be livid.

As it is, as his parent, I am so angry with him, and I am absolutely mortified. Why would he do that?! I don't know if we did something wrong, or if it is something he picked up from another kid somehow, or what. I just have no idea why. If he didn't know she was there, that would have been one thing, but he did know, and not only that, he should definitely have known once she started crying! I am just baffled. It is possible there was some precipitating incident, but if so, neither he nor she would say what it was, and the teacher was not aware of anything happening between them earlier in the day (she'd been there since 9). We told him how that was not what big boys do, that it was not nice at all to hurt people. Hurting people on purpose was being mean. And he had to apologize. He didn't want to, and we had to resort to pulling privileges for Saturday (in addition to those that had already been pulled for tonight just for the incident itself) to get him to say he was sorry. (I know it's not the same if they "don't really mean it," but at his age (3), I felt it was just important for him to do it.) Usually, they have children hug after something like this, but she didn't want him to hug her, and quite frankly, I don't blame her. We took him out to the car, picked up dinner, and brought it home. We did not follow our usual Friday routine at all, and he and DH have had a long talk about what he did wrong, why it was wrong, and all the things he will not be doing tonight or tomorrow because of it.

I spent most of the trip home crying; I can't tell you how upset I am about this. He is usually so sweet and gentle. And I hate that I look at him and I am horrified. No one should feel that way about their child, ever. I can only imagine that this is something akin (though on a much lesser scale) to how the parents of serial killers feel. It is awful to know that your child intentionally hurt someone else, and I can only hope and pray that I don't look back on this incident as the first of a series of signs of trouble. I hope to look back on it as some sort of odd-ball incident that never repeats itself. But it scares me silly to see his sweet face and innocent eyes and know that they are no longer so innocent. I'm just heart-broken. I know these things happen, and I know we'll all get over it. It just really hurts right now.

Currently feeling: very upset


  1. (((Erin))) I'm not a parent but I'd wager that every kid makes a mistake like this, just to see how far they can push boundaries. I think that you disciplining him by revoking privileges, making him apologize and talking to him about it is the best thing you can do.

    I'm really sorry this happened.

  2. Hugs to you, Erin. It sounds like you need them.

    You seem to have reacted as best you possibly could. He learned immediately that this was inappropriate behaviour and hopefully that message will stick and nothing similar will happen again. He's three and he's pushing boundaries all the time; hopefully that's all it was.


  3. I'm so sorry. My youngest was a biter, and I remember how horrible it felt to arrive at daycare and find out she'd claimed another victim. :( She has grown into a wonderful girl, so don't feel like he's a killer in training. This too shall pass. You reacted absolutely appropriately.

  4. {{{{{Erin}}}}}

    Take heart in the fact that you were crying over this...Luke comes from good stock!!


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