Saturday, August 20, 2005

Bullies and Angry Mothers

I am not usually someone who feels the overwhelming need to kill someone.....but, yesterday I came very, very close.

My beautiful, sweet, innocent, would-not-hurt-a-fly, 8 year-old daughter Maya had a run-in with a neighbor of ours. Now, you must understand that Maya has never once been in a situation where anyone, adult or otherwise, has treated her unfairly or badly.

Her goal was to go to this neighbors house to ask if her friend Riley was there. Riley is there sporadically, I assume due to divorce and separation of her parents. Her father is the one that was staying at this house.

I was outside trimming my roses when Maya came sprinting back into our yard in tears - shaking like a leaf - and sobbing uncontrollably. My stomach immediately congealed into a state of what felt like granite. I had no idea what had happened, I could not even imagine. Absolute panic was lurking around the edges of my mind.

I finally got out of her what had happened.

She had knocked on the door and when there was no answer, she walked around the side of the house (in the driveway) to look into the backyard, over the fence, to see if Riley was there. A woman came up behind her, snatched Maya's rainbow baton and started yelling at her.

She accused Maya of stealing the baton out of the backyard. Now, there is no way for Maya to even get into the backyard where she was. When Maya told her that she did not steal it, that her Dad just bought it at the dollar store for her the day before, the woman threw it on the ground. She then grabbed Maya by the shoulders and told her that Riley no longer lived there and to never, ever come back there again.

Maya never played at their house, but Riley was constantly at ours. I don't let my girls play at anyone's house but ours unless I know the parents very well. I had met Riley's Dad, but I had never met this evil woman - whoever she is.

I got Maya settled down somewhat and inside our house and I went over to pay this "neighbor" a little visit. I cannot express to you how angry I was. I felt as if she had taken part of my daughters innocence and squashed it.

I was kinda feeling like squashing her, to be perfectly frank about it.

I am not a violent person. A lover not a fighter, you might say. I have only been in two fights in my life. One was with Howard Reichle in first grade (I am a bit fuzzy on the exact outcome of that one), and one was with my sister when I was about 13 or 14. I would venture to say that I won that one (but I am not proud of it). I was not necessarily looking for a fight, but I was ready for one. As I was ringing her doorbell I was shaking and my breath was raspy. I was muttering under my breath, "Stay cool, don't get obnoxious.....just try to make a point."

Of course, the chicken-bully-can-only-pick-on-innocent-8-year-old-neighbor would not answer her door.

When I went back home, I felt helpless. I wanted to show Maya that I could do something to stand up for her in a situation like this.

So........I called the police.

I know it was not really necessary. But when Maya told me that she was never going outside again because, "That lady was just so mean" I had to do something. The officer called, and I let Maya talk to him and I talked to him. She seemed very relieved. I then took the phone outside and explained to the officer that I really did know that there was nothing he could do, but I needed to show my daughter that she and I could regain some semblance of safety and control in her life.

I was ready to have a lecture on what the police department was really there for. But, what he told me was that I did the right thing and he wished more people would stand up for their children that way. He even said that he would be voluntarily calling the neighbor and counseling her on her inappropriate behavior.

Yay Puyallup Police Department.

Although Maya was convinced she could never go outside again, I talked her into riding her scooter up and down the street, as she usually does, last night. I told her to never, ever, ever let anyone intimidate you.....she had a right to play on her street and no bully should ever be able to stop that.

She came back from her ride with the biggest grin on her face.

Yay Maya. I am so proud of her.



At 1:30 PM, Blogger Sherri said...

What a great story! You are such a good mom. What was up with that woman anyway? I'd like to smack her myself!

At 8:08 AM, Blogger anika said...

You ARE an amazing mom. (and I am proud of you for maintaining your cool in a I'm-going-to-kill-the-next-person-who-even-glaces-sideways-at-my-kid situation)


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