I'm Sorry That My Kid Hurt Your Kid
Dear Parent of a Child My Son Has Injured,
Hi. I know our kids go to the same school and that we sometimes see each other at after-school pick up, but I'm hoping to avoid eye contact with you for a little while during this awkward recovery time.
How is your daughter's face? (Or: How is your son's ankle?)
Is her lip healing well? (Or: Is he able to walk without a limp yet?)
I sure hope your holiday photos weren't too full of fat-lip smiles or bruised expressions.
I really am sorry about this whole situation.
The kids' teacher called this weekend and told me that she knew my son didn't kick your daughter in the face (or: son in the shin/leg/ankle) on purpose, but I completely understand your frustration.
You shouldn't have to worry about your little girl's face when you send her off to frolic on the playground at school. I get that; we have a little girl of our own too, and if she came home with a busted lip, we'd be pissed, just like you are.
(Or: I know they say boys can play rough and are just being boys, but we know that playground-time shouldn't mean that your kid comes home with injuries from our competitve-natured son.)
If it helps at all, my son swears he was just running for the ball in that weird game they play that sort of like soccer, but not really soccer. I can't remember the unique name they made up for the game at the moment. He says he was running for the ball, went to kick it, and somehow managed to kick your daughter in the face (Or: son in the ankle).
We never knew he could be so flexible.
Last night during the fun phone call from the teacher, she reminded me that she knew my son's physical actions were usually coming from an abundance of love (hugs that cut off the wind-pipe, hands that won't stay in his lap at circle time but around his buddies' shoulder instead, etc.).
These are all words that we have gotten to know from many other teacher-phone-calls, notes and conversations. They assure us that he is not seen as the dreaded 'B-Word' (bully) but his physical interactions with other kids are still unacceptable.
Our son's spastic physical quirks are nothing new to us and I cringe when I see a teacher's phone number pop up on my screen and think, "Dear Lord...what now?"
I know that kids hurting kids is a messed up thing and we take these incidents very seriously.
As a parent of one of the multiple offenders, it's also really embarrassing.
I know, I know...I am not the victim here, your kid is, but one day, when you can look back on this and aren't in mama/papa-bear mode and are uber hyped up on "protecting your kid" pheromones, maybe you'll be able to reflect on things and give us a little break.
Our son has always been the epitome of a whirlwind child. Right now my son is a spazz. It's like he's a seven-year-old boy inside a floppy, loud and destructive body and he can't seem to do anything about it. It's beyond frustrating.
He is always stepping on toes, banging into things and shoving you out of his way so he can get to something first. Lord help his little sister if she manages to get the the remote control first. (CRINGE)
Whenever these things happen, we always talk to him (or snap and say "Seriously? Watch out, son!") and yet he has trouble with the main problem: Putting other people above his current goal.
I wish that he would be described as "goal-focused" or "determined" but right now, he's just seen as a jerk who cares more about getting through that doorway or scoring the goal to consider your child's face/body parts.
It's a bit scary, when I let my mind go to that far off place where I picture him as a teenager or adult, shoving his way onto a train or punting his boss in the butt because he needed to get a drink from the water cooler.
Lord, have mercy.
Just so you know, we have told him he can't play the soccer-game at recess this whole week. He mentioned that he doesn't know why he keeps hurting kids on accident, so until he can figure out some self-control of his flailing body parts, we've decided to bench him.
This really made him upset and he wailed and cried himself to sleep. It sucked, but I'm hoping his level of "upsetness" is enough to help him stop hurting kids on accident.
The kids are still waiting for the new playground construction to be completed, so there really isn't anything else for them to do at recess time. I am hoping our decision to bench him doesn't backfire into a situation where he comes back from recess with extra energy that wasn't released at the appropriate time.
But, I know that's not your problem.
His teacher told me that she will be calling to connect with me every two to three days to discuss his progress. The principal will also be in the loop, as will the yard duty staff.
It's always a super-fun feeling to know that your kid is a meeting topic with the school staff, and not because he sold the most magazine subscriptions in the latest fundraiser.
In the mix of consequences, he's also been stripped of his screen privileges until he can earn them back by avoiding all handsy/kicksy altercations with innocent children.
I know that it should be my kid apologizing, and not me, and if your child will allow him to get close enough, who knows, maybe my bull-in-a-china-shop-kid will actually amaze us all by apologizing on his own.
I am sorry your kid got hurt by my kid and I'm sorry that I seem to be useless in stopping his spastic tendencies.
I love him more than I can fathom, though, and I pray that that love rubs off on him soon, so that he can love others around him, too.
That one kid's mom