Yesterday, like every Tuesday, I was in charge of the youngest boys' dorm at Douglas. Things were going fine - the boys were crazy, it was like 100 degrees outside, no one took a nap until 3 year old David literally fell asleep after his bath on top of a bike in the middle of the living room at about 6 pm (early bedtime? I think so), homework was a struggle, same old same old. But then one of the workers at Douglas tells me about what happened in pre-school that day...
One of my 4 year old boys had attacked a little girl in his class and hit her and threw a chair at her. So I called this little 4 year old boy over to talk about his behavior. I was ready to talk about it and then put him in time-out for a good while (maybe 10 minutes which is like an eternity in a 4 year old's mind). So we started talking about it. He decided to just sit in my lap for the conversation which made me giggle almost because he knew he was in trouble but wasn't about to avoid me. He starts by telling me that the girl was saying bad things so he hit her. So I started talking about how we don't hit girls and when we are angry at someone we need to stop and breathe for a minute and go tell the teacher what the other kid did before attacking them because that only gets you in trouble. And then this Douglas worker told me what the little 4 year old said to him that made him so angry - the little girl told all the "orphanage boys" in her class that they had to sit at the table for the kids from "the orphanage" and that they couldn't sit with the "normal" kids. So naturally, my kid defended himself. Just hearing it made me furious. And so now I'm livid and supposed to tell my kid that it doesn't matter what others say to you - you aren't allowed to punch and hit people or bite people or throw chairs at them. I told him to tell her that he has a mom (even though he only sees her for like an hour or two on Sundays) and that if she says anything nasty again like that to tell the teacher to help you because she is saying ugly things.
Apparently this has been going on for some time now and it's not just this little girl. The kids in their class call them the "orphan kids" from "the orphanage" and make fun of them. I shouldn't be shocked or surprised. They do live in an orphanage. But I've met their mothers. For crying out loud - most days I feel like their mother. They are 4 year olds! And yet this is their reality and other kids rub it in to make it worse. I wont' be encouraging my kids to throw chairs at anyone but when I heard the whole story I was actually proud of my kid for putting that 4 year old girl in her place. Is that wrong? I didn't tell him that though.
Pray for my pre-schoolers and that kids at school would stop making fun of the orphan.