So, it finally happened. I don't want to say I saw this coming, but I will say I'm a bit surprised it hadn't happened already.
I got a call from the assistant principal at the boys' school (the one that's in charge of discipline....yeah).
Me: ::seeing the school on the caller ID and thinking it was JBird asking to go to a friend's house as is usually the case when the school is calling:: Hello?
Assistant Principal (AP): Yes, Mrs. Landerson? Hello, um, we have TBone here in the office...
Me: Oh no...
AP: Yes, and there was an incident on the playground today during lunch recess.
Me: ::pinching the bridge of my nose while squeezing my eyes shut:: Uh-huh...
AP: Apparently TBone and another boy gave another boy a wedgie....::dramatic pause::...it was such a bad wedgie that the boy's underwear ripped and his mother had to bring him a new pair & he is now quite sore.
(It must be noted here that the AP is extremely dry, monotone and devoid of any personality whatsoever. It wasn't even a struggle for her to say wedgie with a straight face. Another note: I hate the word "sore.")
AP: Yes...so TBone will be spending the afternoon recess in here with me & I just wanted to let you know so you can talk to him and do whatever you think is appropriate there at home.
Me: Ok...well...thank you for telling me...we..will...talk to him.... and stuff....
It's not that Tbone is a mean kid. He's not. He's a really nice kid, actually. Very charismatic & friendly. He's just.... a little spazzy? A bit crazy? And a little "doesn't know when to say when"-zy? But never malicious in his actions. At least not that I was aware of.
So I call Gty (who was out of town), I stew about it, I post it on FaceBook...you know, all the usual things. And then I'm ready for him when he gets off the bus.
TBone: Where's my DS?
TBone: What? Why?
Me: You know why.
TBone: Wha? Huh?....::face falls as he realizes what is going on:: Oh.... but I.... ::crying::
He then goes into this whole story about the kid he wedgied ("Austin") & why he did it. "Austin" had been picking on him, throwing his shoes over the fence, he was his "mortal enemy," etc. I felt empathy. I suggested that maybe instead of retaliating, he tell the playground monitor about it. He was silent for a while. Then....
TBone: Well...maybe it wasn't "Austin."
Me: Um, WHAT? Then who was it?
TBone: Maybe it was "John."
Me: "John?" Are you kidding me?? WHY????
(Note: "John" is the nicest kid ever. Smallish. Takes TaeKwonDo at the same place as TBone. Is always like "Hey TBone! What's up! Hey TBone! Hi TBone!" etc. Not to mention his mom is an inactive member of our ward and his dad is not a member..... ugh.)
TBone then proceeds to tell me that a group of kids had been giving "John" wedgies every day this week and they said he (and the other boy) had to give "John" one if they wanted to play with them.
To say I was devastated would be an understatement. I so wished the story of his "mortal enemy" was the truth.
How did my son come to the conclusion that it was fine to turn on his friend in order to fit in with a bunch of jerks? Why did he feel joining in on this bullying of "John" was OK? And why, oh why, did he need to give him such a bad wedgie that it ripped his unders and caused pain?
Luckily Gty flew in Friday night and we had a family meeting about bullying. We are disappointed on so many levels here. 1) Don't bully...ever. 2) If you SEE someone getting bullied be strong enough to stand up & say that isn't right fhs! 3) If anyone ever tells you that you need to be mean to another person in order to be their friend, that person is a jerk and you don't want them to be your friend anyway.
::huge, enormous, gigantic sigh::
So, he's grounded from all video gaming devices & TV until I leave town on Thursday (no need to punish Gty for this). He seems genuinely sorry for what he did to "John" and he is definitely feeling the loss of his luxuries. He's actually had to use his imagination for the past couple of days, if you can believe that.
I hope & pray I never write another blog post similar to this one. Why am I thinking I won't get off this easy??