Mommypants Moment: Who wears them for her?
Today’s Mommypants moment is by Jen of Buried with Children. What I love about Jen is not only is she very funny, but her posts remind me so much of what is going on in my own house – only without triplets! She always makes me smile and feel not so alone in all this craziness.
Sending a child to school opens up a whole new world for a mother.
You have to learn to let go.
You are no longer the largest influence in your child’s life. It now becomes influenced by teachers, bus drivers, school friends and the world.
When I first became a mother a little over six years ago, I often wondered if I would even survive that first year. He was not an overly fussy or needy newborn, but I just felt like I was scrambling. With each new stage, it was just reaffirmed in me that I truly had no idea what I was doing.
I gained some confidence with each new hurdle I overcame and learned a ton of things. I learned so much I just had to have another child so that I could do things differently or better.
But then I had triplets and everything I knew about being a mother was thrown out the window.
Again, I figured out a way that worked for us and forged on as a mother of triplets plus their big brother.
For three years I felt like sorta I knew what I was doing.
I felt good, I had confidence – but then I sent my oldest son to school.
Hayden got off the school bus one afternoon and told me his little friend, a girl named Athena, was eating his lunch.
“Does Athena not get a lunch?” I asked, wondering if maybe her parents couldn’t afford food for her or maybe she didn’t get enough to eat at meals.
“No, she eats at school. She just wants to eat my lunch too.” Hayden said and then continued, “Mom, I don’t want Athena to sit by me on the bus anymore.”
This was really weird for Hayden to say because since the first day of school, Athena and Hayden have been best bus friends. There is not a day he gets off the bus that he doesn’t come home with some kind of love note from Athena.
“How come, buddy?” I asked, expecting it to be a silly reason.
“Well, she is just not very nice to me. She bends my fingers back, she throws my backpack to the back of the bus and she pulls my pants down to look at and touch my penis,” he said, his eyes down in shame.
It was like time stopped. His words just hung there in the air…. she pulls my pants down to look at and touch my penis.
“Mom,” Hayden said when I was quiet for too long. “I am not lying. She does this. She pulls my pants down to see my penis and she pulls her pants down so that I can see her privates.”
I wanted to be sick. In fact, I was instantly nauseous. There were so many emotions flowing through my body. I was angry. I was horrified. I was sad. I was scared. I was lost.
I had no idea what to do next. Actually, that is wrong.
My heart wanted me to pull Hayden out of school, build an underground house and keep all my children locked up there so the world couldn’t get to them. I wanted to run away and hide. I wanted to stick my fingers in my ears and sing at the top of my lungs so that I didn’t have to listen to this anymore. These things only happen in the movies and certainly not in my world.
Hayden was standing there looking at me. I knew he was looking at me for what to do next.
Then a thought came into my head. What if he was lying? What if he made this whole thing up? He had been having some issues with lying lately.
“Hayden, are you telling me the truth?” I asked him. “These are very serious things that you are telling me about Athena and I need to tell other adults so that they can help her and tell her not to do these things. I just want to make sure that you are not making this up.”
He looked at me while a thought screamed in my head, “ALWAYS BELIEVE YOUR CHILD!” I believe this thought came to me because in every article I had read about inappropriate sexual behavior, the victim had said no one believed him/her – which was almost as bad as the act itself.
“I am not lying,” Hayden said firmly and almost too mature for his age, “She really did that.”
I looked at my six year-old son and knew that no matter what, I was going to believe him and I had to fix this problem.
I put my ‘mommy pants’ on and went into action. I called the bus garage and told them what happened and asked that they no longer allow Hayden and Athena to sit together. I told Hayden’s teacher what was going on. I was ready to do battle. I had opened this can of worms and I was ready to do whatever it took to make sure my son was safe and protected.
Hayden now seems happier. It’s like a weight has been lifted from his shoulders. He no longer sits with Athena but he does still see her on the playground. But now all the teachers and aides know to watch them closely.
I should be happy but I am not.
My heart is broken because a little part of Hayden’s innocence is gone. He now knows what people of the world are capable of.
My heart also aches for this little girl.
Sure, I want to wring her neck and beat the ever-living Hell out of her for doing this to Hayden, for taking something that was not hers to take. But in all honesty, I am sad for her.
I wonder what her home life is like.
Did she do this to Hayden because someone is doing those inappropriate actions to her?
Does she get enough to eat?
Is she safe at home?
And most important, does she have a parent who is willing to put the ‘mommy (or daddy) pants’ on to fight for her?