I think Little Prince is pretty much the coolest kid ever.
He gives me pictures that say I LOVE YOU MOM. He draws vampires, too. Quite well. He tells me I'm beautiful almost every day and loves it when I dress up. Whenever we have guests, he always seems to appear with a serving plate of, say, yogurt. Or pears. Or Teddy Grahams. He's such a good host.
He loves to play monsters, spends hours constructing zoos for our countless plastic animals, and is getting quite good at doing flips on the trampoline. He can climb to the tippy-top of the tree without falling. He never tires of his scooter. He memorizes hours of dialogue from his favorite movies.
He's good at taking care of his brothers, cleaning the bathtub, and being awesome.
I'm tellin' ya, he's the coolest kid ever.
And he gets bullied.
Why my kid?!
There's just one kid - let's call him BiggestBratEver (or BBE for short) - and he picks on my baby boy.
BBE lives two doors down. They're not in the same kindergarten class - thank every star in the heavens, even the ones I can't see - but BBE teases LP relentlessly whenever they're both outside. Which is, oh, every day.
There's the normal 5-year-old name calling ("you suck," "you stink," "you're dumb," "you're a loser") and we've had some minor rock throwing and pushpin-scratching incidents.
This has been a matter of much discussion and prayer in the That Girl household. First I tried winning the kid over with love - lots of hugs and compliments and even cookies. No joy. (This is an ongoing experiment ... I haven't given up yet.)
I know very little about BBE's home life. I know they yell a lot. I know they're out of work. I know they sit on the porch and chain smoke, and have bonfire parties with their friends til one in the morning. I know BBE has two older teenage siblings, and one toddler sister. I've chatted with the Mom a couple times, and she seemed very pleasant both times. The dad, quite simply, gives me the creeps.
I kept waiting for a nice, neutral setting in which to bring up the bullying. (I don't think showing up at their door with 'there's something I want to discuss with you' is the best starting point.) But they didn't go to the neighborhood party, and they skipped our house trick-or-treating. As in - walked deliberately to the other side of the street. They don't see me when I wave hello anymore, and they weren't home when I brought them their Christmas gift. (They were fine over the summer - the blatant ignoring is a recent development.)
I'm beginning to think the bullying is because the parents don't like us - for whatever reason - and BBE is just picking up anti-LP vibes at home.
At any rate, our current plan-of-attack is simply to build up LP's self-esteem and watch BBE like a hawk. (Is it bad that I'm hoping they'll just move soon? They've already foreclosed on their home, and they're just renting this house ....)
But you know what? Frankly, LP doesn't seem to mind at all.
I have suggested that LP not play with BBE for a while - to which LP responds: "But he's my friend, Mom, and I forgive him." When I instruct LP to tell BBE off every time he starts name-calling, LP answers: "Nah. I just ignore him."
Every day, LP skips out to play with BBE, while I'm at the front window, clenching my fists. And truly, LP ignores every jibe. He continues to be pleasant and loving and as Christlike as can be.
I, on the other hand, want to drop kick the kid.