I'm starting to think that the "dear old golden rule days" are not going to be so "dear". This week we were driving to the dentist, and Jakob started telling me about a kid in his class. We'll call him McMeany.
First, I need to tell you about a kid that was in my grade in elementary school growing up. I was one of the really good kids. I was also very runty. There was this huge kid with red hair, and he was kind of mean and kind of bad. I always got put in a seating chart next to him, maybe to keep him in check or whatever. He reminded me of those kids in the Billy Madison movie-the really big red-headed kids that are mean just to be mean, and they're way bigger than the other kids, whose last name was O'Doyle. But you know? I was so scared of him. He could have eaten me for breakfast, and still would have been hungry. The point: I know what it's like to be the little kid in class, sitting next to the big kid in class. Which brings us back to McMeany.
This is not our first encounter with McMeany. When Jakob and he were in nursery together, McMeany would go out of his way to push Jake, or hit him, or whatever else. I seriously had to be Jakob's nursery bodyguard. I would tell McMeany to keep his hands to himself. And really, I just wanted to do a little "laying on of hands", if you know what I mean.
One would hope that by first grade, the urge to hit for hitting's sake would have grown out of children. Not so, my friends. After the first week of school, the seating chart got changed, so that McMeany was sitting next to Jakob. He started coming home, telling me about how McMeany would hit him, and take his crayons and markers, and draw on him. I asked him if he had ever told his teacher about it, and he said that every time he would raise his hand to tell her, McMeany would stop. Of course.
The final straw was on Tuesday, where Jakob was telling me about how at lunchtime McMeany asked him to share his lunch with him. "McMeany would take a bite, and then me, and then McMeany." I asked if McMeany shared his lunch with Jakob. Nope. And the mother bear alarm went off.
What I wanted to do was go to his house, and kick him in the shin. (Kind of like Brett does at the end of the video below.) What I actually ended up doing was writing an email to Jakob's teacher, telling her the situation, and basically asking if she could move him away from McMeany. She wrote back first thing the next day, telling me that she would move him (whew); then she also told the lunch ladies and music and PE teachers to keep McMeany away from Jake (whew).
That morning, Jakob had been pulling the "I don't feel good, I'd better stay home from school" thing. That afternoon, he was bouncing off the walls, and told me how he told Ila and Katie (our neighbors) about his "really great day".
But. He's still having some meltdowns at school, though, which is super awesome. I guess he had a big old fit on Friday. I asked him about it, and he said he hadn't finished his worksheet before it was time for lunch. CLEARLY a thing to over-react about. So today I made him write an apology to his teacher, saying he'll try to control his actions when he's angry or upset. Like instead of crying and freaking out, that he can just keep his anger inside. Or maybe pout and get emo about it, because he's really good at that. I'm not really sure why he's having meltdowns at school; he'll do that every once in a while at home, but it's only when he's really tired. So maybe he's just really tired at school, even though he's getting a ton of sleep? Hmmm.
It just makes me wonder: is it easier to have the kid that can't cope and gets picked on, or the kid that's the O'Doyle? And, I'm going to go with... neither.