Sunday, November 30, 2008

What's a mom to do?

On Friday night I let P stay over at a friend’s house. I’m not a huge fan of sleep-overs and my kids don’t do a lot of them, but considering the news P had received on Thursday, I thought it’d be a fun distraction for the lad.

The boy who invited him, Beau, wouldn’t have been my first choice, but he seems nice enough, just very hyper with a short attention span. And if him and P like each other, who am I to stand in the way?

When I went to collect P I went in for a cuppa with Beau’s mom, and I have to admit during the conversation I was surprised by how much freedom this lady gives her children.

But then the word ‘freedom’ is misleading. I don’t deny my kids opportunities to go out with the intention of taking any ‘freedoms’ away, simply that none of my children are old enough to be in town on a Friday night catching the last bus home.

There was an awkward moment when I realised her daughter – who does this – is a year younger than R, but I made more of a point than there realy is about the lousy bus route near us as an added reason.

(This raises another point I’ve just realised – why do I try and smooth differences, when I do stand by, and will defend, my belief that R is too young??)

But back to the tale….I finished the very nice tea, we said our thank-yous, and bid them farewell.

P jumped in the car with a small smile and a wave behind him.

Me: Did you have fun Darling?

P: NO!

I was still smiling and waving at them, and managed to keep it up with only a slight pause.

Me: Smile and wave P! You can explain in a minute.

One minute later……

P: Beau’s horrible! He wouldn’t let me sleep!!

Me (trying not to smile): Oh…..

P: And I’m hungry! He wouldn’t let me have breakfast!!

Me (with a slight frown): What do you mean ‘he wouldn’t let you’?

P: His mom told Beau to get me breakfast, but they don’t have cereal, and when I asked Beau if I could have toast, he said I was a d***head and wouldn’t let me.

Me: I beg your par…..

P: He said more than that! He said you, daddy and Papa are f***ing idiots for thinking I’d pass that exam, and he likes sex videos!

Me (blinking with more than a smidge of surprise – these boys are 10/11!!): P stop swearing!

P: It’s not me! It was him!

Me: You watched a sex video??

P: No, his mom kept coming in. And I told him I didn’t want to, but then he pulled his trousers down and sat on me!

Me (frankly lost for words): I’m really sorry to hear all this P. You’re really friends with this kid?

P: Umm sometimes he’s nice, but he isn’t if you’re not his friend.

Me (wishing I had better advice!): Well Beau sounds very immature, and I don’t think you should go to play again until he’s grown up some.

P: Aren’t you cross he called you a f***ing idiot?

Me: P please stop swearing!! I know you’re only telling me what he said, but picture is clear now!

P: He said the C word too.

Me (filled with even more alarm): C word? Spell it!!!

P: C-R-A-P

Me (thinking phew!): oh. Well like I said, I don’t think you’ll be going to play there again!

Later we talked about the school situation. P said he was scared to move up to seniors at the school he’s at, because he sees blood on the pavements and walls, and had seen a big fight last week when going to a lesson (they ‘integrate’ the boys in the final year of primary)

I’ve had to explain to him that his school is the 2nd best there is, here. The best is no longer an option, at least for a year to two. And the others….well, if his own school scares him….

The poor lad isn’t even 11 yet. Of course the BH puts it in perspective.

He was raised in Glasgow, on one of the biggest housing estates in Europe. By P’s age the BH went to school at 7:30 – to avoid the gangs who would kick your teeth out as soon as look at you.

What have I done to my children? You think protecting them, and teaching them to behave well is the best way to raise them, and now I’m wondering if I live in a bubble, and I haven’t let the children see out.

I don’t want my boy having to fight his way through school, but then, I don’t want him afraid of life either – and it seems, this is life.

I truly don’t know whether it’s me at fault, or the world at large.

But in an effort to end on a positive note...we’re off on holiday soon!


Blogger Dave said...

My parent deliberately sent me to a primary svhool on a 'rough' council estate, to encourage me to stand up for myself. It wasn't anything like Glasgow, but I can't honestly say it did me a lot of harm.

I was the only boy to pass the 11 plus from that school, though, and this go to grammar school. Not sure I'd be where I am today if I hadn't.

This is, I realise, no help to you. Sorry.

Sunday, November 30, 2008 2:13:00 pm  
Blogger Jona said...

It had a good outcome, therefore is helpful - not that I really need help *sigh*

My perspective has returned with force since hearing that one of J's classmates is ill (properly 'ill' not some 2 week bug) his name is Owen, and if you have room in your prayers.....

And thanks, Dave.

Sunday, November 30, 2008 2:50:00 pm  
Anonymous Doug said...

Beau has Serious Issues. Really -- he's trying to watch adult movies (which means he probably has, multiple times), he pulls his pants down and sits on your son? If there's no actual abuse going on in that household, at the very least there are NO BOUNDARIES.

I'm glad to see you've changed things so that I can leave comments! Twas very discouraging since I never had one of those open ID thingies.

Sunday, November 30, 2008 5:53:00 pm  
Blogger rdl said...


Tuesday, December 02, 2008 3:49:00 am  

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