Do You Become Psycho Mom?

      I am generally the "level-headed parent."  I am generally the person willing to find a way to work it out, and I am willing to admit it if my kid is the one instigating or even participating in the problem.  I believe strongly that it's important to teach children that they are going to run into people that they don't like, and they will have to deal with those people maturely.  

     But I had had enough.  I'd had enough of the nasty looks and rude comments and of this person making it difficult for Punkgirl to JUST GO TO SCHOOL.  She came home yesterday, my proud girl, who never cries, holding herself together by a thin thread.  I asked her what was wrong, expecting the usual "nothing!" response, but instead got a tearful, halting list of the many things that were wrong.
     Separately, they seemed like nothing.  A girl who had given her issues last year sitting in her chair when she got to class.  Snickering because she was behind on a math problem.  Arguing with her at gym.  Telling her that the teachers liked her (the antagonist) better.  Those incidents were nothing.  But like a gang of gnats, they built up to irritate and irritate and irritate until you can't help but wave your arms around and run away.
     I wasn't having it.  Not with Punkgirl, who had enough on her plate.  At the end of the last school year this same girl had threatened to "out" Punkgirl, who used to be her friend.  My spunky little then-6th grader had responded by coming out at school first.  She took the girl's power away, even if it meant being a lot more open than she wanted to be. I asked her if she wanted me to call the school, expecting her usual "no, I'll handle it", but she broke down and nodded yes.
     When I called the school yesterday I was shaking, so upset that my stoic 12 year old was crying.  The Principal wasn't there, nor was the guidance counselor she had been assigned last year.  I got the Assistant Principal, a man I had never met in person and who I didn't know well.   He listened, and suggested the first thing that came to his mind, moving Punkgirl out of the class she shared with the other child.
      I'm pretty sure you could hear the eruptions going on in my head, and I could see Punkgirl's eyebrows raise when she heard me snap sharply (I never snap at school staff)  "No you may not move Punkgirl!"  PUNKGIRL is not the problem!!"  I bit out a list of every issue we had had with the girl last year, including the note that had threatened to out PG.  As he mentioned that the next step might have to be the police, I barked "Fine by me!" 
      Stunned silence.  He must have thought I was THAT parent.
     Let me say that I make every effort to stay out of the drama that afflicts middle schoolers and to try to let them work it out.  Just the beginning of this week I had admonished her to not let the other girl get to her.  But you will not give Punkgirl (or Happyboy for that matter) cold glares, snotty remarks, and constant aggravations every day from the very first day of school without me unleashing so much whupass you will wish you knew what crazy was.  I think the poor AP took the brunt of my psycho parent routine.
      He realized his mistake pretty quickly, that he would be sending Punkgirl the message that she had done something wrong.  He promised to talk to both girls in the morning to get to the bottom of things, and to make sure he had heard both sides of the story.  
      I waited all day, even called once, but he was busy with lunches.  My heart was sinking--did the girl play him?  She was much like a 35 year old  in a 12 year old's body, coming up with quick answers for her actions.  I didn't know him he as accepting of lgbt youth as the rest of the faculty have been?   When he finally called me, I was praying that he did the right thing.
     I was pleasantly surprised.  He went on to tell me that he had spoken to both girls, that he had told PG what an asset she was to the school, that her writing for the school magazine and her working with the kids at the special needs program were signs of a mature and giving person, and that she should keep doing "her thing."  He then told the second girl (she denied nothing) that there would be no contact with PG--this included going to PG's gym class during study to "help out" another child.  If she still couldn't keep herself from bothering PG, she would be moved out of any classes they shared and the police would be brought into it.
     I was relieved, but the best part was when PG came home.  Mrs. Henry, the teacher of the special needs program, had heard about what went on.  She let PG know that they fully support her, and that in fact, her sister is also a lesbian, and that the program was a "safe space for any lgbt student."  PG walked a little taller, and I could breathe a little easier.
     I put psycho-mama back on the shelf, until next time.

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I'm a 40 something year old with two tweens and a new baby. This is my effort to keep my sanity after leaving the workforce, taking up breastfeeding, and managing the kids. I'm mostly fail


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