I tossed and turned all night. Could not sleep, could not rest. I was too hot, then too cold, then my leg hurt in the position I laid, then my arm hurt when I flipped to the other side. My mind wandered and meandered, thinking about stuff ranging from Kidling’s new after-school program to what the protagonist in my book should do next to John’s wired jaw.
I thought about the orthodontic appt. John had this Monday, and the slight infection they found, and I wondered if it’s cleared up yet or if they’ll need to drain it. I read about draining infections from a healing jaw, and it sounds painful.
I thought about the doctor’s appt. Kidling and I had on Tuesday; the medications I had changed, the long bus ride, the fact that John’s parents are (or were?) apparently in town. They arrived that day, apparently, and went to his sisters, but they didn’t call us until late in the afternoon. We were waiting for our second bus at that point, at the downtown transit station. It was cold outside. When we finished the appointment, we had a 1/2 hour wait for the next bus, then a 20 minute wait at the station. It was dark and icy by the time we got home, and we were all exhausted and hungry. John was in pain, too. John said he’d rather I just ride down to the store and pick up his prescriptions for the infection in his jaw, and that if his parents were still in town tomorrow they’d stop by or call. They never did, so I’m guessing they left.
I thought about half-days and family nights at school, the new after-school program Kidling is in and the volunteer packets we received at parent-teacher night. I need to find mine and fill it out.
I thought about the bullies in the neighborhood, the kids who seem to be targeting Kidling. With recent events, they’ve laid off around here. Kidling reports that they call him names and tease him when he’s waiting in the line for the bus at school, but that he knows to just ignore them. The other day, John and I picked Kidling up from his stop, and as we walked home I noticed a third kid talking to the two usual bullies. This third kid turned and began heading toward his house, a path that crossed ours. As he approached us, he stopped, hesitated, and then walked directly into Kidling, intentionally bumping him hard with his his shoulder. I looked at him, and he began apologizing as though it were an accident.
I don’t know how to handle this, other than what I’m doing, but those two main bully kids continue to talk smack and tell lies about our family. Three of Kidling’s regular friends stopped coming over because the bullies told them we were recording them in our house, and the kids told their parents. I don’t even know how to combat malicious rumor like that, especially since we addressed this falsehood back in July.
It all started when Kidling, who was being regularly bullied and none of the adults were stopping it (I couldn’t, I’m not the parent of the kids who were bullying; and the parents dismissed it as “playing rough” and “boys will be boys.”). So Kidling began lying to the bullies, unbeknownst to me. He told them we were recording everything they did and reporting them to the police. A child blowing smoke. We grounded him and made him apologize to all the neighbors for lying to them. We also freely offered to let the neighbors review our video files so they could assure themselves they were not being videotaped. They refused, but all seemed well.
But here we are, months later, and the lie is rearing it’s ugly head. It’s weird enough to know that there are adults out there who are choosing to believe what a bullied, terrified child said over rational adults, but it’s even weirder to realize that there are adults who have never met our family or son and are literally believing the gossip of children over their own rational minds. One boggles at the idiocy.