Hey-sorry about the long post, and the unusual absence of sarcasm and self-deprecation, but I'm in the midst of Mama Bear fueled angst that I need to get off my chest. We'll get back to the regularly scheduled goofiness/snark soon, so bear with me!
She's nine years old and about 50 pounds of skin and bones. Anyone who tries to mess with her little brother has to get past her first-and she's tougher than she looks! He's 7, impulsive, mischievous, and....well...just plain mean sometimes. I'm talking about the kid who made the mistake of trying to start a fight with my son (for the second time in a week) in front of his sister.
For years, I've told my kids to always watch out for each other. Friends are good, but family is more important, I drilled into their little heads. For a long time, I was afraid that my words would never sink in. My daughter and son are best friends, although they would never admit it. Sure they argue and bicker, and do little things to annoy each other like all siblings do, but where one is, you are sure to find the other. My only sibling was 9 years older than me, and we are not close at all. I've always felt like I've missed out by not having a brother or sister closer to my age, someone I could relate to. So naturally, it makes me very happy that my kids are so close.
Last week, Tot (my son) was at his Cub Scout Den meeting with his Dad. Our Den meetings are always a frustrating mess of disorganized chaos. Especially for me, a former Kindergarten teacher, who likes order, routine, and control, especially when a group of easily hyped little boys are concerned. But, I'm not in charge, and since I work during some of the meeting nights, I can't volunteer, therefore I feel like I don't have the right to complain.
Anyhow, my husband came home from the meeting furious. During an outdoor "game", that resulted, not surprisingly, in the boys running around like madmen, as usual, Marcus (name has been changed to protect the guilty and bratty), a boy from our neighborhood, tackled Tot, knocked him to the ground, and held him down, out of the blue. Marcus' Aunt Tracy (name changed to protect the clueless and idiotic), who is raising him, just stood by and watched, giggling. Tot was able to roll himself over and get up unscathed, but my husband was angry-this kid has been on his "Daddy Radar" for a while already as a potential bully. Our daughter was equally as angry as her father upon hearing what happened. She clenched her small fists angrily, growled menacingly, and vowed that Marcus was "going to get it!" I have to admit that this part was kind of cute-my scrawny, tiny for her age, little girl, ready to go after some mean boy for her brother's sake.... Anyhow, we calmed her down, and things have been peaceful around here since, until today.
This afternoon, they were playing with some kids in our neighbor's backyard. Little Bit (my daughter) rushed home, burst through the door, and breathlessly announced that she just "protected" her brother from Marcus, who had invited himself over. It seems that Marcus, who had already been making a general nuisance of himself, winged a tennis ball straight into Tot's eye with all his might. My son, who will normally do anything not to cry in front of his friends, burst into tears. Marcus laughed at Tot, who got up and kicked him in the leg. Both boys were wrestling with each other, when Big Sis jumped in and "protected" her brother.
"I kicked him in the nuts, Mom!", my innocent little princess said proudly. *face palm* I felt instant shock and revulsion (and if I'm totally honest, a teeny smidge of pride-hey I'm not perfect!) hearing those words (well, actually just that one particular word) come out of my daughter's mouth. We don't use that word in our house (well, for that anyway), and we don't condone that kind of talk, yet I was proud of her for sticking up for her brother, so I didn't know whether to scold her for her language (which she honestly had no idea was bad-she probably learned it from Marcus), or thank her for taking care of her brother. I think I did a mixture of both, as I ran outside to get Tot, who was now talking to one of the "bystanders".
Tot was fine, by the way. (I really shouldn't have picked such a babyish nickname for him, because he held his own pretty well.) I think he'll have a pretty good shiner in the morning, but the tears were long gone as he thanked his sister for sticking up for him. I had a talk with Little Bit (Little Bit of Fierce Rawrr!!, that is) about how it probably would have been better to go and get a grownup, and how kicking a boy there should probably be a last resort, but I did tell her that I was proud of her for taking up for her brother.
I don't want to raise fighters, but I do want to raise good kids, who love each other, and who can always depend on each other. And you know what? I think it's working!
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