Excuse Me, Mr. Dickhead?
Taking CD and R to swimming lessons yesterday CD says from the back seat,
“Mom, I don’t like my teacher calling me names.”
“What do you mean?”
“He calls us ‘Stinkyface’, ‘Superstinkyface’, ‘Goofball’.”
“Well, when he does that, you need to tell him, ‘My name is ___ and I prefer you call me that.”
“Okay. But what if he doesn’t stop?”
“Well, then I get involved.” My hands started to grip the wheel a little tighter.
Now, I have watched this guy, young guy, very enthusiastic, very attentive…and I know this is his awkward way of teasing them into loosening up. He even lets them splash the shit out of them at the end. I know there is no malice. But regardless of intent, it obviously makes her uncomfortable and I’m sure when she is constantly told in school not to call their friends names this creates mixed signals.
I played my conversation with him in my mind while watching the class.
“Hi, Shithead,” I would begin, “I assume that is the adult version of ‘Stinkyface.’”
But there was no need. I watched CD at the end of class walk to him and have a chat. I then saw a serious look on his face; he was listening very intently. He mouthed an answer back and she walked away, down the lane to R and I.
“What was that about?” R asked.
“I told him I wanted him to stop calling me names,” she said.
“What did he say?” I asked.
“He said he was sorry and he would stop.” Then she headed to the locker room.
I was incredibly proud. Naturally, my instinct was to pull him aside before class and do it myself. It took everything inside me to encourage her to speak for herself first.
But if she can do it with me 10 yards away, it will be easier the time she has to do it when I am ten miles away.