Being a parent of young children can be a frightening experience. You love them with all of your heart, but you eventually have to send them out into a challenging, scary world in which you are not always around. As a service to my readers, I’ve been collecting stories mailed in by parents who have had to deal with difficult parenting situations as their children first start school. Here are some powerful tales of parents who have looked difficult situations in the eye and said “Go away, Difficult Situation. I don’t like you. You are a jerk. I hate you, Difficult Situation, and I hope a plague descends on you and your family.” Hope these stories touch you as deeply as they have me….
My son’s first run in with a bully
The other day Bernie came home with a sad, scared look on his face. When I asked him why, he told me that another boy at the school named Jimmy was making fun of him. I felt so angry at Jimmy! How dare he do that to my boy! However, I am a parent now and sometimes it is important to be a rational adult. After all, I am a role model to Bernie and I want him to understand that simply responding emotionally to every challenge isn’t the right approach.
The next day as I was dropping him off, I had Bernie point the bully out to me. I made a note of what he looked like then drove home quickly. I got dressed up in a vampire costume that I had picked up at the local thrift store. Very frightening outfit! I covered my face in white paint and smeared fake blood on to my fake fangs. Then, I went to the school and hid behind a tree. When the Pre-K class came out for recess I leaped out from behind the tree and started running right after Jimmy. He began running away with tears streaming down his face. I chased him around for a while until I finally cornered him. As I looked into his terrified face, I said “Nobody messes with Bernie! No one!!!!” I think he got the message. My son has had several kids give him their cookies during snack time and has gotten to get on the swings first everyday since.
-Anna in Cell Block A
My daughter came home from school wanting a bizarre tattoo
Sure, young children pick up a lot of strange ideas from their friends. Peer pressure is a major issue that affects all kids, even the youngest among them. That being said, I was stunned when our 5 year-old daughter Bunny came home last Friday begging to get an inverted cross tattooed into her forehead. Personally, I’m very open-minded, but this simply was too much for me to handle. I immediately regretted letting my wife talk me into letting her join the afterschool satanic cult that was being offered at the school from 3 to 4 on Wednesdays. Clearly, young children should not be exposed to this sort of thing, whether it be at school or in some bizarre 16th Century French dungeon.
I knew that this was a trouble sign and I responded immediately. I went up stairs to her room and cast her copy of The Necronomicon into the fire. I took all of her Anton Lavey posters off the wall and made her put the heads back on her dolls. Then, I told her she was going to have to listen to records forwards from now on. Sometimes, being a good parent means having to put your foot down.
-Not Satanic in New Hampshire
Living With Flippers One Day at a Time
At age 2, my son Barbara began to grow flippers in place of his hands. Flipperitis is a rare but common disease among young children who have eaten large amounts of tin foil from an early age. When Barbara was ready to start school, we were concerned the other students would make fun of him. In order to make sure that he was not teased, we spent several thousands of dollars to train him in several of the martial arts and get him certified in the use of firearms and small explosives. These weren’t easily skills to learn for a young man with flippers, but through dedication and the use of massive amounts of body altering steroids, Barbara became a threat to the lives of nearly anyone who came within 100 feet of him.
From Day One, Barbara was the most popular boy in his class. He is currently captain of the high school swim team and he is only six years old. Even when he sprouted horns over the Christmas break this year, we barely broke a sweat. Kids would have to be crazy to mess with him.
-Won’t Be Messed With In Winnepeg