When Ollie first started school, I knew that eventually he would come home upset. I knew that eventually someone would upset him or say something mean, because that’s a part of growing up. Kids are sometime mean and other kids are sometimes mean back. I had no idea that I would be dealing with it quite so soon.
A couple of weeks ago, Ollie came home and said how a kid (I can’t name names) had told him he would kill him. This really took me aback, but this kid has a track record of being a little extreme in his threats and a cause of mischief. Later that week, the same kid locked Ollie and another friend in the bathroom at home time. There was a moment of panic when his teacher realised he was not in the line and went to look for him.
This week we had tears. Ollie’s best friend would not play with him but kept running away anytime that Ollie came near. Ollie was a little quiet when he came home and soon told me what was wrong. He was upset that his best friend wouldn’t play with him and neither would his ‘girlfriend’. They both kept running away from him. He told me his heart was hurt. It took everything in me not to cry while holding him as he sat on my knee.
The other thing that transpired from our heart to heart was that someone had called him gay that same day. He is FIVE… the kid who said it is SEVEN. I was so shocked, first of all, wondering how a 7 year old knew the word… and secondly, that he said it in a very derogatory way. I had no idea that I would be explaining to my 5 year old, what it meant for someone to be gay.
We had a great heart to heart and I told him that if people are mean, the best thing to say is “I’m not going to listen to that” and then walk away. I also told him that if a friend was making his heart hurt, then he should put energy into making some lovely new friends. I told him that he is super at making friends and there are lots of people at his school that probably need a good friend like him. I also reinforced the fact that me and daddy are his friends and we would be his friends forever, no matter what and he should come to us with ANY worries.
I decided the next day, to take Ollie out for a special date night, just me and him! We went to Winter Wonderland in Belfast. They had an outdoors ice rink all set up and a few fairground rides. It was so great to spend quality time just the two of us and I think he really needed it. We ice-skated… and for his first go he did extremely well! We shared a hotdog and a chips and then we went on a roller-coaster and a reindeer ride.
I love that boy and know it comes with the territory of being a kid, that other kids will be nasty, and obviously Ollie is no angel himself…. but I had no idea that time would come so soon and that his heart hearting so much, would make my heart hurt just as bad.