Friday, December 12, 2008

THe BuLLy oN THe BuS

So, Tukey comes home from school and tells me that a kid in our neighborhood who is also on his bus said a bad word today. I asked him about it.

He said two boys got on the bus. I know these two boys. They’re older than Tukey. They may have a little bit of a reputation of being, I don’t know, not rough, but they both have older siblings and they’ve been around the block.

The nicer of the two asked Tukey if he could sit next to him. Tukey said, in which I hoped was a nice tone, “I kind of want to sit by myself today.” In his defense he is “Star of the Week” in first grade so he’s got a huge tackle box with him that he has to carry and it was probably next to him on the seat. He also had his snow pants and snow boots in another bag so he was probably pretty squished on the seat. I’m sure he was not mean when he said he wanted to sit by himself. He also told me that there were plenty of other seats on the bus.

The kid who asked if he could sit next to Tukey said, “That’s fine,” and went to find another seat.

HOWEVER, the OTHER kid, the one who has not so great of a reputation, did not take too kindly to the situation.

When Tukey got home from school, he began relaying this story to me, and up to this point, he was telling me everything.

“And then, the nice kid went to find his seat but the other kid leaned over by me and said a bad word to me,” Tukey told me.

“What did he say to you?”

I was not expecting the next words to come from my first grader’s tiny little precious mouth:

“He said, ‘Fuck you.’”

I just stood there.

Then I said, “He said that?”



“Are you going to tell his mom? You have to tell his mom!”

And yeah, Diva and Ajers are right there too, saying, “YOU HAVE TO TELL HIS MOM ON HIM!”

My immediate reaction was OF COURSE! I want to tell his mom! I want to run right over there and say, “Do you know what your boy is spewing from his potty mouth? Do you have any idea what kind of words are coming from him? Do you kiss your son with that mouth of his!?!?!?”

But I couldn’t do that! Because then this potty-talking-Eff-Bomb-dropping-no-doubt-lying son would deny he drops the Eff bomb on the bus and then this mom would have it out for me and then I’d be living on Wisteria Lane! And I don’t feel like living the life of a Desperate Housewife right now.

So, I said I would think about it, knowing full well I would NEVER tell the mom that her son is an Eff-Bomb dropper.

However, if this was a close friend of mine, you can bet your sweet ass I’d march right over there and tell her I loved her but her kid was an Eff-Bomb dropper. Fortunately, I don’t know this mom very well.

So, I was still thinking about it, and secretly in a warped way, it kind of cracked me up that my serious little boy had said “fuck you” when he relayed the story to me, but I know it bothered him quite a bit to have someone tell him that.

About two hours later, I went up to him and I said, “I know what you should do next time.”

He said that when the kid said EFF YOU that he had whispered it to Tukey, so obviously, he knew it was bad. I asked Tukey if Tukey was larger than this kid. Tukey said he is about two inches taller than the other kid is, even though he is one or two years older than my Tukey.

I said, “OK, next time you are faced with an incident like this, you look the person in the eye, because first of all, obviously, the kid knew he was doing something VERY WRONG because he was whispering, and he was definitely trying to scare you, and intimidate you, right?”

“Uh huh.”

“You stand up, you look the kid in the eye and you say, loud and clear, “DID YOU JUST SAY THE EFF WORD TO ME?


If he says it with enough conviction and enough gumption and enough strength and sincerity and belief goes behind his words (because come on, you can’t tell me that a second grader saying the EFF word is NOT crazy, right?) then everyone’s gonna believe the kid is crazy! And maybe he’ll second-guess his craziness and stop being such a crazy eff-bomb-droppin’ bully a-hole!

And here’s another thing. No way am I gonna confront his mom.
But you can bet your sweet lovin’ ass that the next time I get my sights on that kid alone, I’m gonna lean right up close to him in his little and lonely personal space and whisper this:

“Hey honey, you ever swear at my kid again, you’re gonna wish you never knew the EFF word existed.”


morninglight mama said...

Unfortunately, this is par for the course on my son's bus or at the bus stop... the kids in our 'hood don't even care if there are adults standing around. *ugh* I like your plan for the next time you see the kid-- definitely do it with that 'crazed-pissed-off-mom' look in your eyes! :)

The Gang's Momma! said...

LOL - sitting here and LOL. My family wants to know why. ;)

Picturing your crazy, manic eyes squinting at the bus bully when you whisper to him. Do it. It'll feel so good. But you must share all when you do :)

Unknown said...

Id call his mom and ask for a meeting in a neutral place like starbucks. Whos gonna pick a fight at starbucks. And just be open and honest.

Anonymous said...

I gotta put in my $0.02.

I'm with Manic on not telling the mom (unless it was a good friend.) He will lie. The mom will believe him. Manic will live on Wisteria Lane. It happened to us. (There's a rare chance she'd be a good mom who would go ballistic on him.)

So following that experience, when my then second grade son came off the bus with an expression of a graphic sexual nature, I began driving from Wisteria Lane to school every day.

Good coping suggestion for Tukey.

Unknown said...

I HATE the freaking school bus, but I think what you told your son is PERFECT! What a great non-agressive response. You did a great job on this one!

Amanda said...

Teaching Tukey to stand up for himself has to be better than sticking your oar in and making mountains out of molehills. Bad language is never good and you're obviously doing something right because your kids know it...and the other mum must have taught her son that too or he would have just used some other intimidation technique. I was brought up with "people swear because they don't have the vocabulary to express themselves" which sounds stuck up but has a ring of truth about it don't you think?

Kate said...

It sounds like you dealt with that very well. You're giving Tukey the tools to deal with things like this in the future.

Patti said...

What a great response both in the way you told him you would think about what to do, and what you told him to do. I would have never thought to do that. You are very clever! And empowering to him while teaching him all the right messages. Way to go Manic!!!!

Kristina said...

That IS a clever response! It's not "tattling" but the bus driver might hear about it (bet all the other kids would be going "OOOOH! HE SAID A SWEAR!" even if they cuss, too).

Michelle O'Neil said...

Brilliant stradegy. I think you give your son a nice tool to work with.... "Did you just say.....?"

I know I can't protect them forever, but for now I'm so glad mine walk to school!

I got quite the education myself on the bus as a kid.

MaBunny said...

I'm proud of Tukey for trusting you enough to tell you that, and that he knoew it was a bad word. Shame on that little turd that said that to him. some kids have NO care in the world what comes out of their mouth.

lilypotter said...

Great plan. Doesn't it amaze you that little kids can be such jerks?

3carnations said...

I would tell the bus driver. Let her deal with the parents.

Anonymous said...

YIkes -- that is awful.


Was there any follow up?

How are you?! I haven't been in blog land lately, but it looks like you've been keeping the torch going!

Hope you and yours are well, unless you are still aimlessly walking through the Philly mall looking for icecream.


Anonymous said...

I miss the old days when you could have just told him to punch him in the mouth!!

Michelle said...

We've had issues with bullying on our school buses. It was bad enough that last year one of my friends gave up and drove her daughter to school every day. This year, there are cameras on all the buses. I'm *not* looking forward to next year. Poor Tukey!

Hey, I keep meaning to ask (yeah I'm way behind in my reading): any fun lunches coming up anytime soon?

Anonymous said...

so your post says "Bully on the Bus" and yet you want to bully him by confronting him????
I don't understand your intention.