When my wife picked up Julianna at school recently, she was given an “incident report”. That’s never good.
Turns out that another kid came up to her while they were on the playground and started scratching her in the face. Apparently her fingernails weren’t trimmed and she managed to inflict some damage to my daughter’s cheek and chin areas. The teachers, appropriately, didn’t tell us who the perpetrator was. Good thing my daughter knows how to talk. She didn’t hesitate to tell us who did it. I wish I knew who this kid was.
I’ve always been a pacifist. I’ve never been in a physical fight (unless you count flipping this other kid in Judo class when I was in the 2nd grade). I am a strong believer in “never hitting” and cooler heads prevailing. I am also being realistic about what happened on the playground. Toddlers hit sometimes. Whether this other kid was seeking attention, trying to play, or whatever toddlers do, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t malicious. Full disclosure: Julianna is going through her own phase of hitting right now. Her hitting always seems to be playful and directed at Chloe at home. Its not often and its always on an arm or her back and usually comes after a playful chase. Of course, who is to say what “playing” is. So we aren’t always the innocent ones.
That being said, I still felt profoundly sad when I heard about it. The thought that someone, even another toddler, physically hurt my daughter really bothers me. How do you teach someone at that age to go find help or to correctly and appropriately stand up for themselves? Part of me wanted Julianna to smack that other kid back. Part of me wanted her to show them that she won’t be pushed around.
Its gonna be a long childhood.