Our school system allows our kids to participate in recessÂ - weather permitting -Â ideally, where a childÂ can go outside and run, play,Â kick aÂ soccer ballÂ and shoot some hoops for twenty minutes, or so.
I'd rather they climbÂ into aÂ pit filled with mud, or any form of muck for that matter, than have to faceÂ another playground bully and waste half myÂ afternoonÂ having to explain why chump-change felt the need to punchÂ one of them in the gut or cut him/her down to the size of an insignificant fleck.
Yes, IÂ understand thatÂ recess is an importantÂ part of the school dayÂ -Â it's the constant whacking I can do without - but, for goodness sake, can I just tell you how sick and tired I am of all the bullying!
Maybe it's just me.
But, I've been reading up ways to handle "playground bullies" and...well...it's not like when I was going to school.
They were pretty easy to pick out -- speaking as one they would typically pick on -- and you either learned to "walk away" or simply waited for a teacher to pull the Son-of-a-Brooklyn-Bridge off your back and learned pretty quick...how to take a brow beating.
It ain't that simple.
The Brits call 'em "Brat bullies"Â - little rays of sunshine who fly low under the classroom radar, do very well academically and then blow their little gaskets when teacher isn't looking.
Kiddie-expertsÂ in the U.K. explain them in this way:
Children who are used to being spoiled at home may resort to bullying if they do not receive the same attention at school.
MyÂ son (he's seven and finishing upÂ the first grade)Â has a friend who is beingÂ bullied, mercilessly, byÂ a boyÂ and I believe thatÂ perhaps he may be one of these, "brat bullies," theÂ Brits speak of.
Without going into much detail - the situation has been...how shall I say this...swept under the wood chips, if you will.
Because his family situation is...um...unique...and I believe that is why his behaving badly is tolerated as much as it is...I'm guessing that the school just doesn't know how to handle him, without coming off...well...anti-anything.
Long story short.
Brat Bully's object of dis-satisfaction no longer hangs out after school andÂ he's got Little Man in his cross hairs.Â
And, like I told a crying Little Man --Â when Brat Bully came running toward the playground at the end of the day and punched Little Man dead in the gut...just because, "He was in my way!" -- we don't have to stay, either.Â But, it would have to beÂ Little Man'sÂ decision, because if it were up to me, we'd stay, get in Brat Bully's face and show him that he's not the boss of us!
Yes, I said US!
Because, quite honestly, I'm also feeling a bit unnerved, myself.Â Bullied into being the type of parent that tells his/her kid, "Don't just stand there, do something...and knock his block off, while you're at it...m'kay!
Because if it's not here, it'll be another Brat BullyÂ on some other playground, somewhere else.
Besides, fast forward a couple of years and playground bullies grow up to be...workplace bullies, yes?
And the girls?
Sadly, I already know what kiddie-experts have been saying in the U.K. -Â that girls tend to use "non-verbal communication" to bully each other.
And I would venture to guess that those with daughters know what I speak of...best.
Girls run in packs -- hell, we can't even go to bathroom by ourselves -- and it's easier when you got a couple of "your bitches" behind you...when pouncing onÂ your prey
Unless, you're one of mine...and your name happens to be...Mini-Me.
And as theÂ parentsÂ gathered around the center of the playground to see which kid was screaming at who, I herded along and was just as surprised as everyone, to see that it was...yep...Mini-Me.
Takin' on Brat Bully!
**hands and hips and nose to nose**
"WOOK - MY BWOVER PWAYS HERE, AND MY SISSIES PWAY HERE, AND I GOT A WOT OF FWENDS DAT PWAY HERE!Â YOU MESS WIF MY FWENDS...YOU MESS WIF ME - YA GET ME? - AND YOU DON'T WANNA MESS WIF ME, KID!"
Can I just tell you...how scared I was of four-years-old...waving her neckÂ and with herÂ finger in Brat Bully's face.
"Who's kid is that?"Â
And this...my friends...would beÂ one of those times...when I just haveÂ to learn to...walk away.
Pretend this never happened and...just...walk...away...okay?
[whistles through teeth, grabs bookbags, turns back on playground and starts walkin']