Nora’s preschool sends home a report every day. Here’s last Friday’s report:
Nora plays a wicked air guitar when we sing Rock N’ Roll ABCs. Her ability to match letter sounds is awesome.
Nora was feeling sad after a couple of friends made comments about her size. I assured her and the rest of the class that everyone is special and unique.
Have a fun weekend! (Closed Monday)
Nora had her three year well child visit last Wednesday. She in about the fifteenth percentile for height. Our doctor is not concerned and neither are we. I am five-foot-one. Ben is five-foot-eight or nine. I’m reminded of comedian Rob Schneider saying of he and his wife, “We are breeding down. We’re going to be Shetland people.”
But the report of kids saying mean things about Nora’s stature had Ben very upset. Naturally, he doesn’t want anyone making his girl sad. It must have been on Nora’s mind, too. After dinner, while I was loading the dishwasher, she told me, “You’re not strong enough to be at school — you’re not big enough.”
“Yes I am!” I replied. I got down on my knee next to her. “And so are you, Nora. You’re the best growing up girl I know. You eat healthy foods and you’re growing bigger everyday. You’re exactly the size you should be and I’m very proud of you.”
Later, as I lay with her for a few minutes at bedtime, she said, “Do you know what happened at school?”
“No, what happened?” I asked.
Details began to trickle out without me having to even turn on the tap. Mr. Ian, her usual teacher, was not there. There weren’t very many kids at school due to the holiday weekend. So the “Pre-K” kids came into Nora’s preschool class and according to Nora, “They didn’t like anything.” It’s my guess that these are the “friends” (a generic term they use for all the students) who commented on her size, not her usual classmates, who are familiar with her big personality. They may have been irritated at being herded into a room with younger kids, so they took it out on the smallest girl in the room.
This is our first brush with older kid style bullying. This is not a toddler struggle over toys. This is power-play type stuff. And it’s inevitable. And it’s going to hurt.
Our job is to make the ground under her feet solid, her job is to learn to stand on it.