Reality Check

Well it happened. I knew it would sooner or later (obviously, I'd hoped it'd be later), but Peyton had a run-in with some playground bullies yesterday at school. As I walked in to pick Peyton up after school there was the principal...she'd clearly been waiting for me. She pulled me in to the office and explained the situation. Apparently there were these two girls that Peyton has taken a liking to. The principal wasn't exactly sure if Peyton was playing with them or if she was wanting to play with them, but as Peyton's para watched from a short distance these two girls decided they didn't want to play with Peyton. Rather than simply saying to her, "We're all done playing with you" or, "We're playing with someone else", they decided a better option was to line up side-by-side and shove Peyton to the ground. The para witnessed it all and said it wasn't an accident and was obviously intentional. She went running over to see if Peyton was okay (which she was) and she heard Peyton saying to the girls, "You need to say sorry - that's not nice!" in a sad voice as she laid on the ground (Yay, Peyton, for sticking up for yourself verbally!). The girls were escorted inside to the principal's office and the incident was dealt with. They were also walked down to Peyton's classroom later on in the day where they pulled Peyton out in the hallway so the girls could apologize. Overall, the situation was dealt with extremely well. But it still made my heart ache hearing about it...and the "mama bear" in me initially wanted to go find those little twerps and set them straight (yes, I know they're only kindergarteners).

As I drove Peyton to therapy after school we talked a little bit and our conversation went something like this:

Me: So how was your day at school?
Peyton: Good.
Me: Did you learn anything fun?
Peyton: I don't know...maybe something.
Me: Did you get to play with friends today?
Peyton: Yes, some friends not nice to me.
Me: Uh oh, what happened?
Peyton: I wanna play tag with Lexi.
Me: Then what happened?
Peyton: She say she no wanna play with me...she pushed me down. I was sad.
Me: What did you do then?
Peyton: I be sad.
Me: Did anyone help you?
Peyton: Miss Jayne help me stand up and find more friends.
Me: What happened to Lexi?
Peyton: She go in time out - can't play outside.
Me: So what did you do at recess after that happened?
Peyton: I play in the snow...wanna play with more friends.
Me: Did anything else happen at school?
Peyton: Lexi say "Sorry" in the hallway. I was sad. She not being nice to me.
Me: Well, she just made a bad choice...I'm sure she's a nice girl.
Peyton: No wanna fall down again.
Me: I know. If that happens again you just make sure and tell a teacher, okay?
Peyton: I was mad, too.
Me: Well, that's okay to feel sad and mad if someone does something mean to you. But do you ever push them back?
Peyton: No. Wanna be a nice friend. I play with Lexi again?
Me: We'll see...

After our conversation I think I was even more upset than when the principal first told me about it. Hearing Peyton talk about it just made it a lot more "real". And I'm sure some of you who are reading this may be thinking, "Oh brother, every kid gets pushed down at one time or another...this really isn't that big of a deal". Most "typical" kids don't have to listen to the little comments day-in and day-out like, "she talks like a baby" or, "why can't she talk right?" or, "you can't go to school because you can't talk", and they don't have people gawking at them everywhere they go because of how they talk or how they react when they get excited about something (yes, I realize Peyton has no volume control...she's stuck on LOUD)...and I know I'm probably way more sensitive about the comments and the stares than Peyton is. I've come to realize that's just part of being different, unfortunately. So the ignorant comments and stares (from both kids and adults), I can handle...or I should say, I'm learning to handle, but when someone is downright mean, that's a little different. So I'm really trying to NOT make this a big deal and to make this more of a learning experience both for Peyton and myself.

As I said earlier, when I first heard about the situation I wanted to go find those little snot-faced brats and give them a good chewing out. But the more I've thought about it and have talked with Peyton about it (which we've tried to not make a big deal about - we just wanted her to know it's okay to talk about things like this if something happens at school), my mindset has turned from being angry at these kids to realizing being angry isn't going to solve anything...what I should really be doing is praying for these girls so that this type of situation doesn't happen again. Who knows, this could be God's way of teaching these girls that they need to think before they act...and if they were indeed being cruel to Peyton because they didn't want to play with her, maybe they need to take the time to get to know someone before automatically writing them off. Wow, deep for kindergarteners, I know, but still, I'll be praying for these girls and for Peyton that she'll be spared of potential situations like this in the future...and more importantly, that I'll give grace to the offenders the next time something happens. Funny how God uses such a wide variety of situations to teach us things. Love you, Peyton, and I'm proud of you for not getting upset and reacting inappropriately towards those girls! You're a very, very special girl!!


Amber said...

Aimee, she is so blessed to have such a great mom. A mom who cares, a mom who understands her needs but doesn't make excuses for her. You are a gem. You and Chad have taught her so well. She knows to be well mannered and to stick up for herself in a respectful way. She has a love for the Lord that many adults could learn from. We can only hope that these little girls learn something from this situation. And that they learn from Peyton. I hope and pray that these girls' parents had a nice chat with their girls.
You are a great MOM! Keep your chin are doing everything right!

Copyright © 2008 - Libby Land - is proudly powered by Blogger
Smashing Magazine - Design Disease - Blog and Web - Dilectio Blogger Template