So I picked up Bella from school yesterday only to be faced with a little girl who looked like she was going to break down in tears at any moment. Now then I’m not the kind of mom that leaves a moment like that alone. I don’t tend to say “you look like you need some space”. Nooooo – I’m one of those moms that says, “what’s wrong?” “seriously, what’s wrong?” “c’mon tell me and I’ll help you fix it” “what’s wrong?” For better or worse, I’m a little on the persistent side. I figure that my kids know this by now. I still don’t get why they don’t just tell me the first time and we have to waste time with the whole dramatic dance, but whatever.
So….Bella doesn’t tell me the first time. “Do you feel sick?” “Are you upset?” “Did something happen?” “Are you hurt?” “Are you mad?” Then, her friend sat down near us. I asked her if she knew why Bella (who was now quietly crying) was upset? She told me that somebody made fun of her and laughed at her.
I asked Bella for the details. She told me that people were talking about what they were going to be for Halloween and when she said what she was going to be EVERYBODY laughed at her.
I of course picture one of those scenes where everyone is in a big circle and she is in the middle curled up on the floor while the entire class is laughing and pointing at her. (No idea where my kids natural tendencies for the dramatic come from) Then, my logical side kicked in and I imagined ONE person saying something that FELT like EVERYONE.
When Bella got her adorable Candy Corn Witch costume in the mail 2 weeks ago, she was so excited to put it on. She picked it out herself and looked so cute in it. She couldn’t wait to wear it. Not anymore.
I tried reason – because that always works (NOT) – providing logic to someone in an overly-emotional state. I said things like “they never even saw your costume, what could they be laughing it?” or “who cares what people think” or “they must not be your friends if they were laughing at you”. Her friend that was near us even tried cheering Bella up and telling her that she was sure her costume was cute. Nothing was working.
We met up with a couple of my friends and headed to a nearby friend’s house. There were 4 adults and 8 kids. We were going to drive to a friend’s place (who lives close to the school) so we could hang-out and get ready for the Fall Fest Halloween Party at school that was happening at 4:30. We had about 45 minutes.
They were some of the most drama-filled 45 minutes I’ve had with my poor, broken child.
I tried reasoning with her. In fact, EVERYONE there tried reasoning with her. She REFUSED to put on her costume. The costume that she LOVED not that long ago.
One MEAN, NASTY LITTLE 8 YEAR OLD had managed to suck all of my daughter’s confidence away. She had managed to reduce her to a blubbery mess all because of her own issues. I really wanted to find her and beat her up or yell at her or something. (not that I would do either of these things to an 8 year old, but boy did I feel like attacking). How DARE you make my daughter feel like this??
Why do people do this?????
Even at such a young age. It’s unfortunate that you have issues. It’s unfortunate that you have the need to break other people down in order to make yourself feel better. It sucks that my daughter can’t brush it off. It sucks that my daughter can’t focus on ALL the people that are supportive of her and love her and will think she looks fabulous but on this ONE MEAN, NASTY LITTLE 8 YEAR OLD (I think I’ll write a children’s book with that title) and gives her words WAY MORE power than they deserve.
I just got more frustrated as I tried to reason with Bella.
Things like….”you can’t let her words affect you like this” or “don’t think about what she says, think about your friends” or “just put on your costume and see what everyone here thinks”. Bella said “of course everyone here will like it, they’re my friends”. SEE – “obviously she’s not your friend so who cares what she thinks”. More crying. UGH
It was awful.
I tried leaving the room. I tried letting other moms talk to her. I tried letting her friends big brother talk to her.
Then….I tried forcing her out of her outfit and into her costume. I tried yelling.
Nothing worked well. I was so mad at someone for making her feel like this and be like this.
I talked to one of the moms about it and it turns out that this SAME little girl caused problems last year with her daughter. Things like nasty notes about her daughter and saying mean things.
Why is it that the kids who need those NO BULLY assemblies just DON’T CARE and DON’T LISTEN???
I was ready to march into the school and have a talk with her mother, or the teacher or the counselor. Or round up a posse to make the MEAN, NASTY, 8-YEAR OLD GIRL feel like a blubbering crying mess herself.
Then I started crying from all the stress and frustration and then my friend started getting upset for me. Bella has never had a confidence problem. What exactly could this girl say to crush her spirit like this???
It was not pretty. It was stressful. We all were running late to get back in time for the costume parade and Bella was still upset and not budging. Man my kids can really dig their heels in.
One of my friends went through her dress-up bin and managed to find a dress that Bella was willing to wear. Most of the group left to make it on time and we scrambled to get Bella in the dress so we wouldn’t be too late. Her hair was frazzled but at least she had on a “costume”.
When we arrived, Bella was still sullen. She didn’t want to go in the parade. She wanted to sit in the stands with the other parents and siblings. Luckily I had a couple other friends there who convinced her to let them put some make-up on her and coax her to head out with her class.
Let’s see…..3:15 – 4:45 ALL DRAMA. Eventually though, she was out playing with friends and having a great time.
I suppose if I just gave her space it would’ve passed anyway, but I still want to give that little girl a piece of my mind!