More Serene than a Preschooler
“There is no problem so great that cannot be helped by the passage of time.”
– My mother, paraphrasing Queen Elizabeth II
My sweet son is being bullied by a four-year-old little blonde girl named Lola who probably weighs only a bit more than half what he does and stands as tall as his chest. Her bullying takes the form of asking him to play hide-and-seek which he doesn’t want to play and when he says he doesn’t want to she continues to ask him to the point where he starts shaking and crying, at which time his teacher breaks them up. Lola also threatened to cut the flap on one of his pants pockets with a scissor, and repeated the same threat in a “scary voice” after he told her not to do it. These are the facts I’ve been able to decipher from his after-school reports and speaking with his teacher.
I advised him that he is doing a good job of using his words, and he might also want to try going away from her when she is annoying him, rather than standing there getting more and more upset. “I wonder,” I mused, “what would happen if you left her alone when she was being like that and just went and did something else?” He sighed deeply, and thought about that advice while silently looking out the car window as we drove the last mile to school. Or maybe he wasn’t listening at all just checking out the trees on the side of the road, or dreaming of dinosaurs, or designing rockets to shoot at Lola. It’s hard to tell.
A large part of me just wishes Lola would change. It would be much easier for my son and for me. It would be so great if when he told her to stop she would stop or even better, if she didn’t want to play hide-and-seek in the first place but wanted to play what my son wanted her to play, when he wanted her to play it, all the time. If she just hung around waiting for instruction on how to be and what to do at all times. Yes. Actually, maybe the whole world and everybody in it could simply line up to meet his desires at every moment, and mine too. Now we’re getting somewhere. Yes.
Sigh. Deep sighs. I cannot deliver my son from Lola and I cannot rid the world of my own Lolas. Taxes, dishes, those five extra pounds (ok, ten), aging, physical aches and pains, illness, people I owe a call, my husband when he doesn’t rinse his late night snack bowl and it gets caked on and I have to scrub that bowl off in the morning even though I told him to rinse it before he goes to bed (more than once), certain politicians, global warming, poverty, homelessness, addiction, traffic, and all that other stuff I wish would just change.
Phooey. I’m gonna serenity prayer it today. I’m gonna change what I can – me, my feelings, my thoughts, my actions. I’m gonna be grateful for Lola, who is helping to teach my son and me to accept the things we cannot change. I’m gonna resist the urge, today, to switch preschools even though we totally could and I did make that one call to Waldorf just for reassurance and to have some options. I’m gonna relax and take it easy, not struggle, for the right thought or action. I know there will be another Lola at the next preschool, and more challenges for Ax and for me every day. This too shall pass. This too shall pass.
P.S: I just called Ax’s preschool to check in and see how he is doing. His teacher said that he and Lola have been inseparable playing all day together. Sigh.