The past week has been a bit overwhelming. The past two days were a bright spot. DD1 decided she needed a break from her 7 and 2 yo sons. She has no idea how I handled 6 when she “can barely handle 3”. I had a very snarky comment ready, but kept my mouth shut. I was more than happy to have them over. I try not to refuse if possible. Since she is the baby’s milk supply, DD1 kept the 5 month old with her.
The first morning, the 7 yo poked me awake at 7 am. As soon as he knew I was awake, he jumped into bed and snuggled up with me. We used to do this when he and my daughter lived here. It was our “talk” time. He regaled me with his latest obsession, Pokemon. He pulled off his sock and I was attacked by “the sock monster” which involved many squeals and laughter by both of us.
Sitting up suddenly, he was staring out the window and remarked about how foggy it was outside. It is unusually warm for this time of year. I explained that the warm temperatures combined with all the cold snow on the ground made the fog. He said, “It looks eery.”
He snuggled back up to me and said, “Momo, do you know what my favorite season is?”
“No, what is it?”
“Really? Why is that your favorite season?”
“There’s no bullies.”
He said it in a very matter-of-fact tone.
My heart about broke for this child. To me, that was the saddest statement I’ve heard him make. He has been in three schools so far. In all three schools he has been bullied. The first school was so bad he would sometimes throw-up before leaving the house. The neighborhood was horrible, and they kept getting robbed, so my daughter and her new husband moved. At the second school, a group of boys would make him do things like take off his clothes in the bathroom, then they’d hide them and leave him there in his underwear. The school year was almost over before she found out what was going on.
He had refused to tell her what was happening. Since he had become very emotional like bursting into tears at the slightest thing, very withdrawn, obviously sad, she put him into therapy. It took weeks of me saying something was wrong before she did it. I’m not a huge therapy fan, but this boy needed it. I about cheered when she finally contacted someone about it. I was extremely worried about him. For her to actually see something was wrong was huge.
The therapist seemed to be very good, and she found out what was happening. She also expressed a concern to my daughter over the fact that GS1 wouldn’t talk to my daughter about it. There had been no threats about “telling” from the bullies, so she felt there was a “break” in the parent/child relationship. I had already told my daughter that. She denied it. However, hearing it from the therapist was different.
He stopped seeing the therapist when they moved to a new town. At this latest school the bully is his former best friend. GS1 is afraid to get on the school bus. He “misses” it a lot. Granted, it would help if he had a parent who got out of bed and helped him get ready for school, but that’s a different story. He gets punched, called names, etc usually on the ride home.
My daughter knew nothing about it until one day the bus driver parked the bus, got off and told her what was happening. The staff at all three schools did nothing but say they’d do something about it. It continued. No physical action was taken. Even this bus driver is doing nothing about it other than telling DD1. I’ve suggested that she pick him up from school, since the second bus ride is when it happens the most, but she does have a napping 2 yo to contend with.
Last year, he defended himself and was suspended off the bus for the rest of the year. Both sides of the family were ticked off over that. The bully got to ride the bus; the victim was suspended from it. DD1 was glad he defended himself, but not happy she had to get up, take him to school and pick him up. I know he was happy about it, because he got “mom time”. He doesn’t defend himself now, because he doesn’t want her to be upset with him. I couldn’t figure out why he gets bullied all the time until one day he came here direct from school.
Sometimes he smells from accidents due to stress. He started that shortly after they moved out of my house and in with her boyfriend whom she later married. That day not only did he smell, his clothes looked like someone shut their eyes and pulled clothes randomly from his closet. It was hot out, yet he was wearing heavy thermal sport pants with a tank top that was so far from matching it was ridiculous. His formerly white socks were black. They looked like they hadn’t been washed in weeks. I later found out he had pulled all but his pants from the dirty clothes.
That is when I also discovered that this boy is left to his own devices in the morning. He has no parental supervision. That is another post. His mother is my NPD child, so I have to tread carefully with her.
I have suggested that, since she is home all the time, maybe it would be in his best interests to be homeschooled until the emotional damage to his psyche was repaired. She refused, because she is going to school and plans on returning to work full-time. I suggested a private school, but was told she couldn’t afford it. I then made a comment that I could homeschool him for a year or two to build him back up. She said he didn’t need it. He could survive.
She knows I can do it. I homeschooled all 6 of my children up until various points in time. Every year each child was evaluated to see what would be best for them. They had a say in the options. I also taught at a private school which the last two attended for a short time.
We belong to the Y. I have offered to pay for swimming and martial arts lessons through it. The private school I taught at has enrichment classes that homeschool kids can enroll in. They do things like kayaking, archery, woodworking, cooking, art, music, etc. Their prices are very reasonable.
I taught GS1 how to read when he was 4. He insisted. I have 6 bookshelves of school books and curriculum. He knew where the beginning reading books and curriculum were kept. He would constantly bring me the book I used to teach reading until I finally gave in and taught him. He wanted to learn sign language, so I began teaching him that as well.
This child is extremely intelligent. He was speaking full sentences that outsiders could understand at the age of 1. At 2, he was lecturing kids in the store to behave which was both amusing and embarrassing. He has a constant thirst for knowledge. Honestly, public school is holding him back. He still says his favorite science experiment was when I bought a butterfly house, and we raised butterflies to release to see life cycles.
They live 30 minutes away, but I have no problem with picking him up in the morning, bringing him here, and taking him back later on. I want to sit her down and talk to her about this, but I have to be careful. If she even thinks there is a slight suggestion that she isn’t doing her job as a mom, or that I think she’s wrong, it will cause an immediate shutdown. She can’t have her “reality” threatened.
She even “yelled” at me on Facebook, because I was posting news stories and statistics on current events. She threatened to block me, because I was “violating her happiness”. I had several friends send me messages asking if my daughter “lived in la-la land”. Yes, she does. Anyhow, back to GS1.
This boy is a sweetheart, but at this rate I can see a future “school shooter” or a suicide in the works. He is constantly trying to fit in with her idea of what he should be. At the same time, he is trying to be liked again by his best friend so the bullying will stop, plus not get into trouble at school for defending himself. He is trying to be different people; none of which are “him’. No child can withstand that for extended periods of time. She had the baby a month premature. I had the boys. While he was with me, he was begging me to let him live here. He knows I’d be stricter if he lived here. He didn’t care.
I told her that and said, “He loves you. I have no doubts about that. But he isn’t happy. You’re his mom. Hon, you need to fix this.” My daughter is in denial. She can’t see what everyone else in the family can see. This is one of those times, as a parent, I want to grab her, shake her and yell, “What is wrong with you? Can’t you see what’s happening to your own son?” But she will shut me out if I do that. She’s done it before.
I want to leave this state, but I can’t because of him. I’m afraid of what will happen to him if we leave. She has said if we don’t move farther south than the middle of the country like the TN/NC “line”, she will follow because she doesn’t like this state, but there is no way to know if she is telling the truth.
I always thought raising my own children would be the hardest thing. I figured once that season of my life was over, I could just sit back and enjoy the grandchildren. I think it’s actually harder when things happen to the grands. It’s so hard to watch and have to keep quiet at times, because he is her son. It is her choice. All I can do is be there for him when he needs me.