Thursday, 14 April 2011

Confronting the Playground Bully

(Extracted from notebook - Friday 8th April)

Kirsten the Twin
An angel most definitely
Angels surrounding me
Thank you Universe for sending (my son) friends as
I struggle with the fighting within my head.
Where are the mothers?
Oh God. Ugly, Ugly and C's mum
I stay put while (my son) runs off
I have to say something
Words jumble what - not clear headed today
I go over, they don't stand up

At this point my son ran over me to me in tears telling me that Ugly's son had bashed his head against the ground while Ugly watched and said nothing.

Half an hour earlier I had walked across the Heath playing field, told Mother on Whose Shoulder I Dropped My Head that I'd come to talk to Ugly and would not be staying.

Did you get my email? I asked, calmly
You didn't?
OK, maybe you'll tell me why you went and told tales about my son to the teacher earning him a day's detention
I didn't do that
You didn't do that? You didn't tell some story about my son tipping over your son's chair?
I don't know what you're talking about, shoo, go away, back to where you came from.

I can look ugly people in the eye, though it pains me. I call my son. Eat your lies you Ugly woman.

She tracks back, I won't bore you with the details. She claims she deleted the email I sent her and the Head. "I sent it to [Mother on Whose Shoulder I Dropped My Head] too." I say.

Mother on Whose Shoulder I Dropped My Head sticks her hands up as though I am pointing a gun at her: "No, No, I'm not.. I don't want to get involve.."
"Oh don't worry," I say (I'm not going to shoot) "You.." and with my arms I sweep her over to Ugly and say "Fine".

I sent the email to you as Chair of the Governers, up to you what company you keep. The things you want to say, but don't, perhaps because your head is actually in your mouth, left lower jaw to be precise.

"I don't want you to say anthing about my son," I say to Ugly. Hang on, that's not what I rehearsed -
"I'll say whatever I like!" she retorts.
"Well that makes you a child abuser," I spit.
She reels. And so she should Ugly, Ugly bitch.

"You owe my son an apology. Apologise to my son."
"I'm sorry your mother made you listen to this,"
"No," I say to her, "You know what about."
I don't hear what she doesn't say.

I apologise to Mother on Whose Shoulder I Dropped My Head telling her it's as I said, I don't want to sit with them, I want to be on my own this afternoon and go back to my patch of grass the other side of the field.

I see Gardening Mum arrive. Both Mother on Whose Shoulder I Dropped My Head (I really must find another name for her) and Ugly stand up to talk to her. I find this funny.

Next I look up and they are all sitting together in a big group, my son still playing with his (best)friends and me apart until my son comes over saying he's thirsty and so I get up to go buy him water from the Shack.

This is where I met Kirsten, who bought a pack of six ice lollies for a pound and did I want one.
No, I said, but I know some kids who might!

This forces me to approach the big group. (Not much longer now, I'll finish in a minute)

Imagine you are there. Not one of the three Year 3 mothers, but one of the other ones, Reception perhaps or Year 1.

You see the Queen of Tarts going up to the mothers in her year. You hear her say hello to Gardening Mum. You watch her being snubbed. You see her standing there: "Hello Gardening." This mother is forced to turn round. She answers the Queen of Tarts questions about the Easter holidays in short sentences, doesn't return questions, just turns back to Ugly (the three had been talking to one another)

One of you say to the Queen of Tarts that you'll take the last Strawberry Split lolly after all. You both laugh, filling the kids with sugar! Last day of term an' all!

Meanwhile, Mother on Whose Shoulder I Dropped My Head has stood up to go and watch the boys play football. Gardening Mum and Ugly resume whatever chat.

Is that why you and your friends all leave as the Queen of Tarts, resplendent in sloppy jeans and a pale blue Top Shop shirt steps round you in her heavy biker boots this hot afternoon to go and throw the ice lolly box in the bin ?(M&S don't you know! There isn't one in the vicinity! Believe me when I say Kirsten was an angel in human form)

Is that why you quietly grab your buggies and go? I'm sure I would feel discomforted by what I was witnessing too.

You might want to know that Gardening became more animated towards Queen of Tarts after that. Asked her plans for the holidays. Mother on Whose Shoulder I Dropped My Head said something, I couldn't tell you what.

I walked back to a spot under an Oak tree, took out a book and a notebook, and began to write the poem (?) that my weeping son came and interrupted. He begged me to go and talk to Ugly again but I told him to leave it, go get his stuff by the goal posts and we'd go. I felt guilt the next day. Next time I'll defend him all the way and God willing I won't have been to the dentist that day like every single flipping time I've had a chance to say something to that Ugly Ugliness since her tale telling to the teacher.

Make of this post what you will. I didn't want to write it, some people aren't worth the time or effort, but Stiggers has told me to today, while my boy is at a Kung Fu workshop. Maybe there's a grown up playground bully in your child's school, who knows..

That night I was invited to a birthday party. Mary and Hannah. In my local pub, kids invited.

Not all middle class mothers are Twits, even fewer are Ugly Twits.

I can a be a twit, but with a small t - huge differences in definition, ey Dahl?

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