Monday, March 28, 2011

I'm Sorry

Last week as Eloise's circle time for preschool ended, and the kids were saying goodbye to their moms and dads, Eloise clung to me for a bit, saying she wanted to come home with me. I snuggled her for a while and told her about allllll of the boring things I was planning on doing today, which helped her realize that coming back home with me wasn't really her favorite choice. After a couple of minutes she hugged and kissed me and ran off to play.

I got up and left the room, and as I closed the door behind me I heard a voice say, "are you Eloise's mom?" and I turned and looked I saw a woman who I recognized as the mom of one of Eloise's classmates. "I am, hi!" I spoke, thinking to myself, oh, is this person going to ask us for a play date? Wouldn't that be nice?

"I am so-and-so's mom" (protecting the kid's name here) she began. I smiled. "So-and-so said that Eloise hit her in the eye with a spoon on Tuesday." She lifted her hand to her left eye for emphasis. My heart sunk. Clearly a play date wasn't on her mind. "Oh," I replied. "I am so sorry. Is so-and-so okay?" She answered yes, she was, and continued, "I told so-and-so that I would tell you." At this point I had no idea what to say, so I paused for a second before speaking. "Did Ms. Teacher know about it?" I asked. She said yes. "Oh, good. I'm really sorry." With that we both went our separate ways.

You may (or may not, who knows) be surprised to learn that this was the first time that I have ever been approached by one of Eloise's classmates about something E did to their child in school. I suppose it's surprising in that of the multitude of crimes Eloise has committed against her little friends in school, another parent has never come to me about it. The teacher comes to me about some of it (most of it? I have no idea. I didn't know about this particular one.) and I feel like that is enough for me.

The truth is, I'm not there. I don't know what happened. I don't know what my kid did to yours, or your kid did to mine-- did your kid push mine first? Give her the evil eye? Or maybe nothing, maybe my kid went off the handle completely unprovoked (hey, it's been known to happen) but at any rate, we'll never really know.

But I don't really know what this other parent wanted from me, if anything. Maybe she just wanted me to know? My kids have been hurt by other kids countless times at school, and it never once occurred to me to go up to the other kid's parent and tell them about it, because I leave it in the school's hands. I wasn't there, I don't really know what happened.

Have you ever approached a parent of a classmate's of your child? What was your intention? Have you ever been approached? How did you respond?


  1. It wasn't a school environment, but we approached a couple we were friends with about the way their daughter treated GA when we were with them...we thought they knew because GA would come down and say so every time it happened, but they apparently didn't really listen. We talked to them after GA had bruises and was scared to go over there anymore. Our hope was that they would tell their daughter no more playing upstairs alone, (as we had told ours) but they refused, saying "kids will be kids." Unfortunately, we were unable to save that friendship. I'm not sure I would approach a stranger over one incident, though, unless my child was REALLY hurt. Could be that was the only way she could get her daughter to calm down and didn't want to be a liar?? Seems strange. I'm sure you're feeling a little bad about it, but if she didn't offer you a solution, she can't be mad for you not reading her mind. I mean, she *can* but she has no grounds LOL

  2. It sounds like that was the right thing to do Tara-- and outside of school, with friends or kids you are around or in charge of, or whatever, I think that is perfectly logical. I have certainly addressed those issues myself. I think it was just the whole thing about the situation happening at school, completely out of my control, that threw me for a loop.

  3. I bet here's how it went at home for the kid who got hurt - "Mama, so and so hit me in the eye today". The mom says something like, oh, do you want me to talk to her mom? The kid says yes. There's no 4 year old that would suggest that their mom go talk to the other mom about it. It's an adult issue - sort of a mama bear protecting her young. Whenever my kid reports being hurt at school, I say "It sounds like so and so is having a hard time controlling their body. Did you tell them to stop? If yes, did you check in with your teacher/adult about it?" You can't solve a problem way after the fact, it loses all context for kids. (Thanks to King St for teaching me that!) I am sorry that happened to you S - especially when you thought it was going to be a positive parent chat. When folks do that to me, often times I'll be like, so did you want to check in with Teacher Blah Blah about it together to address your concerns? It sounds like you are feeling upset, maybe we can solve this problem together ;) Love, Jake and Em's Mama


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