Last Friday’s post was just a teaser for what would prove to become a weeklong parenting exercise.

Key to aliases – L = teasing boy that LMNOB hit, X = teasing boy that helped L, J=boy that L, X, and LMNOB all play with at recess; also insinuated in teasing.

I forgot to mention that prior to the shiznit hitting the fan, LMNOB had been rather distraught because her BFF A, who is also our neighbor, had done the off-again-on-again thing with their friendship more times than Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee.

So she was already feeling vulnerable in an area that she is rather awkward in (social skills) before being teased by some boys that she was friends with.

Then, given LMNOB’s confrontational speech issues, she wouldn’t tell anyone what the hell was going on after she’d hit L. Seriously, I pulled EVERY trick out of the parenting bag.

I went all 3D analogy, picking up a heavy rock, saying, “Honey, right now without telling anyone what happened, you are holding on to that hurt all by yourself,” as I illustrated with one hand. I shifted the rock into both of my hands while adding, “If you tell me, I can help share that weight, and guess what else? I can help you get rid of it too, but not without knowing what’s going on.”

That got me nada. She kept saying, “I can’t say it or else it will be inside my head again.” Which I totally get, given her obsessive tendancies, but the girl has got to learn to process rather than ruminating and going postal on people!

Ms. M said that the incident totally threw her, since she had just that day made a note to tell me how awesome LMNOB was doing in branching out socially – she’d been playing with a new gang of kids every recess with a tag/imaginative play activity for the past couple of weeks. Ms. M had pulled LMNOB outside and asked what was going on – where she did her clam up and remain silent thing. Ms. M is a bit more patient in this area with LMNOB than I am as she did not just say, “Well, since you won’t speak you do have to face the consequence.” She gave it a bit of time, letting L and LMNOB do an errand together, thinking that they would talk – nope.

It was in the midst of this conversation that Charlie Brown called with the answer to the mystery. I called Ms. M back and filled her in, and she thought that it made sense to talk it over and have LMNOB communicate with both L, the boy she hit, and X, the other boy who had been teasing her with L.

When I got home that night, we worked on letters to both boys. I had LMNOB follow this formula: 1.) remorse for the action, 2.) explanation of feelings, and 3.) request for change. Who’d have thought marriage counseling would apply to the school yard?

LMNOB told L,

“Dear L,
I am so sorry I hit you yesterday. I should never hit anyone, specially my friends! It really emdarrassed me when you teased me. I had asked you to stop and you didn’t. That hurt my feelings a lot. Please stop teasing me.
from: LMNOB”

She then wrote X,

“Please don’t tease me anymore. I do not like it.”

She then went into people pleaser mode and illustrated the letters with themes that she knew each boy would like. :sigh: She just melts my heart!

The next day at school, X had an apology note for LMNOB before he’d even received the one she’d written to him. L wrote one of his own after reading LMNOB’s note to him. Ms. M had mentioned it, but conveniently, LMNOB neglected to bring that one home.

At dinner that night, we were all talking about this and I had a light bulb go off. “You know LMNOB, sometimes little boys, especially when they are still young, sometimes when they tease a girl that means that they really like them.”

Before Charlie Brown could nod his head and concur, LMNOB put her hands flat on the table, eyes big, and resolutely said, “No! Uh-uh Mommy!”

I tried to convince her, but she would have none of it. The tone of her voice said, “This conversation is so over. You are W.R.O.N.G. PERIOD.”

That part of this whole deal has been the funniest, actually.

Monday, when I dropped LMNOB off to school, I told Ms. M that L’s note had not made it home. So we managed to get it.

Behold:

Translation:

I’m very sorry I teased you yesterday. Me and J are brothers* you were just too “crazy and corny” I thought you were J’s boy** friend. I guess you are not his girlfriend. Love, L. PS Give this back to me check yes or no if you are his boy** friend.

*Part of the new imaginative playgroup

**He’s a little confused – ain’t it sweet though?

With the “Love” and the fact that this is the first “check yes or no” letter LMNOB’s received, I think Mommy is in fact right.

And holy crap if I am not prepared for this. At. ALL!

© 2008 Ramblings of a Red-Headed Step-Child. All Rights Reserved

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