violet's school has really hammered down their policy of everyone buzzing in the doors before 8:15. i'm always there by 8:00. violet puts her lunch box away, puts her name card in a box and we walk up the hall to visit jameson, the jenny pig. yesterday morning, as we were standing at the jenny aquarium, a woman was being all frantic and dramatic knocking on the door we were a couple of yards from. the sun was streaming straight into my face and it kind of looked like she was pressing the intercom button, but i wasn't sure. so i smiled and made the universal hand gesture for PUSH THE BUTTON RIGHT THERE. she did the knock and what appeared to be the button push, but i didn't know why she was still knocking if she was pushing a button, so i repeated my smiley hand gesture.
to date this year, everyone's been totally patient with this process and good about not opening the door so they wouldn't feel guilty for not opening the door. so i was feeling rather comfortable at this point by not opening the door.
the woman was buzzed in shortly. she entered and in a kind of chirpy voice said, "why didn't you open the door for me?! couldn't you see i had my hands full?!?!"
and i was like ?.
i hadn't had time to prepare for my encounter and i'm really only good at encounters when they're playing out in my head ten minutes after a real encounter, which is probably for the best in order to save face later.
and so i said, "sorry, it's a school rule."
frankly, i hadn't seen her hands were full because she had put all these bags of class snacks on the bench and i was being blinded by the light and, frankly, i was not checking her and her situation out. i would have been happy to help the person who was buzzed in and said, "excuse me... would you mind holding the door open while i carry in these bags? thanks!" but apparently, that person had not arrived yet.
she hustled all her shit in and went away and i ignored her and later in my car, i became rather stressed out and irritated about it. i really don't enjoy interactions like that, AT ALL. did this woman not realize she's going to see my ass in front of that jenny pen every single morning for the rest of her life this school year?
the school administrator mentioned in an email yesterday afternoon that she had heard about it. this morning, miss ashley, whose room opens right across from jameson, said she had been sitting at her desk and heard. my feelings were very well validated and she made attempts to figure out who it was. i don't think she would take issue with shaming the culprit. she has her sunshiney ways.
at pick up yesterday, oliver's teacher kind of quietly mouthed into the air over his head that he had had some difficulties that day and she would email me.
I saw him today in the hallway before lunch crying and he looked lost so I called him over to me and he got real upset. I tried to talk to him but he wouldn't say. The other kids in the class did say a couple of things like " he just started crying for no reason" and "he always cries in her class." That might have embarrassed him. I don't know what triggered it. Ms. Cameron days he gets upset everyday almost. She can't tell what triggers it either.
sink, sank, sunk.
i had tried talking to him at bedtime, because i could see his nerves were up. nothing. he says he can't remember what upsets him.
i tried talking to him over breakfast this morning. he was talking at first, saying he gets upset when they have to change rooms. then he clammed up again. i couldn't even get a dependable head shake or nod out of him.
then, on the way down the sidewalk out front of his school, i saw some larger boys next to a group of kids on benches. the red head had the blonde in a headlock. at first i thought they might be goofing around. then a second, sustained headlock while being bent toward the ground. and i hollered sternly out ahead of me, "HEY. LET HIM GO. WHAT'S GOING ON?"
and he let go.
i can't stop being surprised when confronted with children who have no fear/respect for an adult. i don't know what to do with it. i'm totally clotheslined. sideswiped. aflutter.
again, i mention how i don't do well in these situations. i feel my nerves light up from my stomach to the top of my head. i feel warm. i feel light. but in bad, disconcerting ways. adrenaline launching upwards in a warm flood.
this kid, at least five feet tall, was standing there, looking me right in the face. telling me it's none of my business. pulling out what must be new to him, "you're not my mother. you're not his mother." GOOD ONE, SPORT. i informed him he was correct that i was not their mother and addended that i am not required to be anyone's mother to keep someone from being hurt.
i looked toward the school and there was not a teacher or administrator to be found. i tried hollering to the open far away doors, "IS THERE A TEACHER AVAILABLE?"
at this point, Red said, "i don't go to this school."
"why are you here?"
apparently, it's a bus stop. i guess for the middle school. that explained the hugeness of all those fifth graders on the benches.
i hollered again for a teacher and one of the girls said she'd go get one.
Red continued to talk, staring straight at my face, about how it's none of my business.
the victim had been saying something about how he didn't have any of Red's stuff.
a teacher came sauntering up saying something like, "so, Mr. LASTNAME. what's going on here?" obviously, he had had a reputation at the elementary school.
she didn't say thank you. i thanked her for her help and walked oliver to the doors. i explained that's what bullying looks like and we don't stand for it and we help people out and we tell a teacher. and that boy is a shithead.
on my way back up, i saw the kids had already boarded the bus. i thanked the teacher again. she continued to not give a shit. and i wondered if i had made things worse for Blonde. i wondered what was happening on the bus. i wondered if his mother would be told. i wondered if she'd kick his ass.
i hated that i hadn't been prepared for this. that an 11 year old got my goat. i would have liked to have explained that he should find an appropriate way to deal with other people. that surely he doesn't feel good about this when he goes to bed at night. that he obviously has something going on in his life that has put him where he is. hassling kids on the sidewalk.
jesus. it's only tuesday morning.