Thursday, June 23, 2011

What would you do?

Wh-wh-wh-what would you do? (I'm singing the song in my head right now). PLEASE tell me you know what I'm talking about and you've seen the show? Okay, maybe not! :)

But either way, on to a "serious" post and I'd love to hear your thoughts/ideas/comments...

Situation #1:
Manuel started summer camp on Monday. Okay, first a little background info...This camp is being help at his preschool. Months back when summer camp was first being talked about, EVERYONE (of course), in his class was going. Manny and I talked about it, and although it would be a tad more expensive each week and an upfront chunk of money for all the field trips, it would be fun for Manuel, it would give him a fun summer before the "real world" starts (aka Kindergarten! ;)) So we signed him up for it, paid for it, and as the months passed and summer camp got closer, guess what..."EVERYONE" had turned into TWO boys from his class (and they'd only be there part time because their moms work in the school system and are off for the summer)! UGH! I knew this was going to happen. That means that my sweet boy, not even 5 1/2 years old, would be spending his summer with children (mostly boys!) as old as 5th grade! (they do NO separation in this camp. ALL the children are together all day!) We asked Manuel if he still wanted to go and he said, "YES!" We made it clear to him that Mommy and Daddy wouldn't be mad if he changed his mind. It would be okay. And yet he still insisted upon going. (Yay to my little man for not caring that he wouldn't know anyone, that he wouldn't have any "friends" there, etc. I can say, with certainty that as his age, I would have NEVER done that! So yes, we are very proud of him!) Manuel is a very awesome little boy...he is sensitive, caring, really has a knack for people and their feelings (especially when it comes to his little sister which I LOVE! :)) and is also rough, tough, all boy, but of course the "sensitive" part opens him up for hurt feelings, tears, and not really the ability to let things roll his off his back as easily as others.

So back to the part where summer camp began....Manny typically picks Manuel up from school but on Monday I did because Manny was working a side job. When I picked him up he seemed fine, no tear stained eyes, no grumpy look on his face, etc. so I had assumed camp went well. So I asked how things went and his little eyes welled up with tears and he told me about the mean kid who told him, "You suck! You have boogers in your nose." (okay, so maybe he did have a booger in his nose, HE'S FIVE! At least he wasn't picking it!) Then he said, "I asked them (I'm assuming this "them" he refers to is a group of older boys) if I could play hide and seek with them and they said, "No! You're not a school ager" I started to cry (yes, I know, I shouldn't have in front of him, but this was my first experience with teasing and bullying!) I told him that Manny and I would not sit by and let him spend his summer being treated badly. We asked him if he wanted to get out of summer camp and go back to his other class. He said, "NO!" So that night we prayed about it, we prayed that the other children would be kind to him, and if they couldn't be kind, just not say anything to him at all." Manny and I made a decision to let the week play out and see how things went and if they did not get better we would take him, even if it's not what he wanted. I'm not setting him up to be bullied all summer, regardless of how much he wants to go on field trips, swim, etc. AND again, we were so proud that he did not let these kids get to him, and he still wanted to go back! :) Okay, so I'm not going to babble through each, but each day it has progressively gotten better. He's made a new friend or two, BUT there is still at least one incident/day that upsets him. So, my question for you is we just chalk that up to normal "child's play" and let him continue to go? Or do we intervene, explain to him the unfortunate-ness (not a word, I know! :)) of what is happening, and we'd prefer he went back with his peers (all 5-ish years old) and take him out of camp? I can appreciate his perseverance and desire to go back each day, BUT at the same time, he's my baby and I hate knowing that these boys are being mean to him. Without getting into specific detail I did ask one of the staff yesterday (who knows Manuel from the school year) how he was adjusting because of being the youngest, etc. and she said great. Thoughts/ideas/advice? I know this is JUST the beginning and kids get teased, left out, and so forth BUT when it's YOUR child, it's a whole different ball game! Oh, and I also realize that I'm sure there have been situations when Manuel was the one being mean to another child (he's not perfect by ANY stretch!) but these boys are older. Shouldn't they know better? Who raises these sort of means boy!??!?! :( It makes my heart sad!

Situation #2
I was in a wedding at the beginning of the month, of a "good" (not so much anymore) friend. I had spent hundreds of dollars on various wedding activities over the months prior to the wedding (something I realize I agreed to spend when I was asked to be a bridesmaids and accepted) but hundreds, nonetheless. So the day of the wedding arrived and my husband and I realized that it was not in our budget to give a wedding gift that day (we have our family vacation next month that had to be completely paid for (the condo) by the 11th. Her wedding and it's expenses had come before many family things for the previous months) I have been in 7 or so weddings in my life, and attended many more, and I've come to know that proper etiquette is that you have up to one year to give a wedding gift. (NOT that we were going to wait that long to give a gift, but we just needed some extra time). Okay, moving on...the wedding comes, we have a blast, we head home (because I was SO sick with bronchitis), they leave for their honeymoon the next day and all is well. They returned from their honeymoon on Saturday. Sunday afternoon when I get out of church, I have a text message from my friend saying that she and her husband were going through their wedding gifts and realized that we hadn't gotten them anything and she wasn't sure why or what happened. UMMMMMMMMMMM, excuse me!?!??!?!? Did you REALLY just text me asking me where your wedding gift was!??!?! I shocked and disgusted. Honestly, I thought it was SO classless! Manny and I got married in the courthouse, so I never had an "official" wedding, so I thought perhaps I was overreacting. In my fit of rage ;) I called several people I knew who all had "real" weddings to ask their take on the text message and EVERY.SINGLE. PERSON thought it was out of line, classless and just plain rude. I text her back, explaining the situation, very short and to the point (with attitude via text, I'm sure). She text me back telling me she wasn't trying to be rude, etc. And I did not respond nor have I spoken to her since then. (I'm not a phone talker (I despise talking on the phone) so it's not weird that we haven't talked, but normally we would e-mail and I can't e-mail her. I'm furious! She's e-mailed me, as if NOTHING happened (asking me to put her wedding pictures that I took on a CD for her!), and again, I just can't respond! She knows our financial situation (not that we are poor, but our money tree isn't blooming this season! :)) and again, I just think it was SO rude what she did. Regardless of the reason why you did not receive a gift, would you EVER text someone (wedding, birthday, shower, I don't care what event) and ask where you gift is?!??!?!?! Please tell me someone out there agrees with me! :) Your thoughts? :)

And for good measure...
 My Aunt and Uncle bought Manuel and Spencer (my nephew) matching outfits so of course, we HAD to get a pic! :) Spencers outfit is a TAD big ;) but still, they are SO adorable! :)
They also bought Mia and Vivienne matching outfits! :) I typically don't "do" character clothing (just a personal choice! NOTHING against those of you that do! :) but I would NEVER tell someone who gave us a gift that, of course! :) I have class! ;)


Jackie said...

It breaks my heart that Manuel is being bullied at school! :( Maybe you could make his teachers aware of the situation, so they can watch for it and possibly intervene. I do think that you should keep sending him, especially since he wants to be there.

As far as Situation #2 goes, I agree with you 100%...that is beyond rude! I was MOH in my best friend's wedding last year, and chose not to give her a gift. I had spent hundreds of dollars on parties and shower gifts, so I opted out of the wedding gift and just sent a nice card.

laci512 said...

First off, bless his little heart. I know it's tough to see your little one getting bullied. I have to agree with Jackie, maybe you should talk to the teachers and let them know what is going on. I also think that if Manuel want to continue going to camp you should let him. He is standing tall to these bullies by coming back day after day.

Wow, I cannot imagine someone texting (or even asking in any way shape or form) because they noticed that you didn't give them a gift. Maybe because I would never have the nerve to do that myself. I think that it is very poor friendship on her behalf.

Dottie said...

The bullying is heartbreaking. My middle child who just finished first grade went through quite a bit of this. There is NOTHING worse than hearing this come from your child. My first instinct was to go to the playground (where it happened for my daughter) and push the brat down. My daughter was being called fat, which she took so hard. She tried playing sick, asking to please please stay home, etc. Then she even stopped eating breakfast. I was furious. I sat her down and gave her the whole "there are just some people who are so unhappy with their life, that they try to make everyone else they know miserable..." or the "this kid probably has a bad home life and his parents don't teach him good manners..." She eventually got over it but it was after I went to the school and sat down with her teacher and we all talked about it - It seemed to have stopped. She never mentioned it again and believe me, I've asked.
So my suggestion would be to talk to the teachers, tell them about the bullying going on, this is all under their watch, if they are non responsive, go above them. I would keep talking to him and guide him through this as hard as it is. He will be so much better off after. He is making friends and seems to want to be there. He will also learn firsthand to be a good friend. It's super hard to wait and see though I know. (My first instinct was to switch school districts but I knew it could happen anywhere.) Hugs, parenting is so hard.

I cannot believe the balls some people have. I would NEVER say that to someone. We had a destination wedding, so there was quite a bit of expense involved for those that could come and many did not give us a gift. There is no way on earth I would say a word about it. If they can do it, they would. What a bish! Unfortunately, the gift is all it's about for some brides.

Stephanie said...

Wow, that is/was totally rude of your friend. Seriously! And poor thing; could you spend the day at camp and watch how things go? Or perhaps the teachers could intervene.

Grumpy Grateful Mom said...

I'm so sorry your son is going through this. What a resilient kid. I think the other commenters gave you great advice.

I also think you have to do what you feel is right. Listen to that mother's intuition. Hopefully he can stay is camp he if enjoys it. But, if you have a terrible feeling about sending him, then maybe there is a better option.

I don't know if I'm cut out for dealing with these situations either. My mommy heart might not make it! I'll say a prayer for your son. :)

And situation #2 is amazing to me. I couldn't fathom doing that to someone. Has she always been that way? It sounds like she doesn't even realize that she is being rude.

I have a friend that is like that, maybe not as extreme though. When I send her a gift and she doesn't like it she won't say thank you and will even tell me why she doesn't like the gift.

We're still friends, but I don't send many gift anymore. :)

Rachel said...

Bless you. Parenting is hard, hard, hard work. When they're really little you worry about them getting hurt {as in physically} and then when they get older you start to really worry about their hearts getting hurt. I'm sorry about the bullying. I'd keep an open dialogue with Manuel about his day to day. I'm glad that he is standing up to them. One thing we told our kids to say if someone kept bullying them was, "I'm bored of this right now...I'm going to go do xxxyyyorz." It works. The intent of bothering someone is to make them mad and if the person responds that this is boring it removes some of the spark. Just a thought. And again, I'm sorry.

Okay. Situation #2. For your reference I am still picking my jaw up from the table. I cannot believe how ungrateful this individual sounds to me. I know the strain of a tight budget and to have this coupled into it is like salt in an already gaping wound. And it's rude. I'm sorry, I don't have great advice for that one as it baffles me.

As I like to say on my blog -- Keep up the courage. You can do it. :)

Courtney B said...

Oh your manny sounds so sweet!! I have no idea what I'd do in your situation.. I can imagine how much I would want to protect my child in that situation!! Good luck making your decision!!

Um, yes that was awful that your friend texted you and asked that! I would've NEVER done that. I guess what you need to decide is how much you cherish that friendship. Is it ruined for you now that she has done that to you? Or is it something that you'll eventually be able to forgive? If you think you will forgive her and things will go back to normal then I would email her back and tell her that what she said offended you... get it off your chest.. then go on being friends. Again, good luck with your decision!