February 2nd, 2004



It's pouring rain again. Yesterday was wet enough without rain. You'd think that so much rain would have me a bad mood, but I'm kind of bad-mooded out right now. The swish of windshield wipers was rather soothing this morning. The snow is nearly melted and what remains is dirty and soppy. The fields, denuded of snow, fold ice in their ridges and look swollen. Half-frozen impromptu lakes surprise you in low places.

We're meeting Martin's teacher right after work to discuss the teasing and borderline bullying that Martin has mentioned to us. There are a couple of boys in his class who need to be pinned with their shoulders up against a wall and hissed at. Better to deal with this now than let it get to the point where Martin doesn't want to go to school. The other day, Anders dropped him off while I was home with the cougher, and as they came through the gate, a pack of older boys approached from the other side. Martin slowed down noticeably, while keeping the boys in his peripheral vision. After the boys had gone on, Anders asked Martin what was up, and if he was scared of them. They had apparently cornered Martin and his little girlfriend, Ebba, recently on the playground and forced them to kiss each other. I get the feeling it wasn't very playful. :( In addition, there are a couple of boys in his class who have called him names and tease him regularly.

While I KNOW that this is a part of childhood and something that nearly every child deals with at one time or another, my mother bear instincts are surging right now, and I want to bang heads together. Why must the gentle and sensitive kids suffer because the rowdy and tough kids aren't dealt with firmly and their behavior is, in fact, encouraged, or at least ignored, much of the time? argh
  • Current Music
    J. Armatrading—The Weakness in Me


We had both good feelings and mixed feelings after talking to Petra, Martin's teacher today. She is, at least, aware that she needs to keep an eye out for injustices on the part of the rougher boys towards Martin, and admitted that 1) things have been said and 2) she can't be everywhere or see everything. We talked about the fact that Martin IS a sensitive kid and that he does wear all his emotions on his sleeve, so that he can easily be a target for those kids who think being tough and cool is the norm.

Then she told us that Martin has very high status among the kids, especially the girls (not surprising) and even among the boys, although not as much (again, not surprising), and that part of the problem stems from the fact that several of the other boys are ENVIOUS of Martin's popularity. Because the girls all hang on him and with him and treat him special, the other boys get ignored by the girls they are trying to get the attention of, and since it's Martin who is getting that attention, they, unsurprisingly, take it out on him when they get the chance. Apparently, it's NOT that bad, and when it is the teacher reacts immediately, which is good.

To illustrate this, Petra said that she has been forced to seat the kids boy-girl-boy-girl when they are going to sit all together on the sofa and read, for example. This is mostly to cut down on the roughhousing and teasing that goes on between the other boys. If she announces they are going to read, one of the boys will immediately ask if they are going to sit boy-girl-boy-girl and when Petra says yes, at least 3 of the girls will go rushing out to wherever Martin is and ask him to sit next to them. I had a hard time keeping a straight face at this point. Not that his unwitting charm is any excuse for any of the kids to tease him, but it's at least a little easier to understand what's going on.

However, the problem of the older kids bothering the little ones is being addressed immediately, as she had a conference with another parent right before us, who complained of what sounded like the SAME boys bothering HER child. Pathetic that kids who are in the 5th grade (11 years old) find it necessary to pick on the 6-year-olds. :(

We went to McDonald's for dinner because the kids had to have Gladiator stuff (don't ask) and when we got home, I had an attack of fatigue so intense that I could barely stand up. And COLD, geez am I cold. I'm cold from the inside out. My fingers hurt and my feet ache. :( argh Martin is coughing like Karin was last week, so we will keep an eye out for fever in the morning. I'm going to edit webpages for 40 minutes, watch West Wing and then go to bed with my toasty bag o' beans.

I want one of these: Plush Microbes
  • Current Music
    none. just me.