Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Superman- and the rescue.

Asher had his last day of preschool and they celebrated with a party.  The note home to parents said "Costumes permitted- not required" or something like that.  I was pretty sure that meant Halloween type things, but so much of the English language is a little different here with the British, Australian and American influences.  Maybe they meant "swim costumes" or church type clothes?  The way I read the flyer it sounded like a given that kids wore "costumes" to parties on the last day of school.  Fun!

Anyway- the morning of, I remembered that Asher was allowed to wear a costume, so being the supermom that I am, I grabbed a superhero pajama top*, cut and safety pinned a cape on the shoulders (who doesn't have red fabric lying around?) and safety pinned a Superman logo on the front.  Asher was thrilled and I was happy that he went to school so excited and proud! We put it together and made it out the door in record time.   

----------change of subject-----later on that day-----------
Around 5pm the kids who live by us come outside and play until bathtime/ dinnertime/ bedtime.  It's a bummer that this doesn't happen until the early evening, but it's great that there are so many kids and great that we can get out of the house even with the heat.  I'm sure when it cools down, the kids will come out earlier. 
Asher looked out the window and saw 4 of the kids playing together (2 sets of sisters).  He headed outside in his costume and went over to play.  I followed shortly after with Ivy and a big blanket for the grass.  Within about 15 minutes Asher came walking back slowly, head down and said "they told me to stop following them and go away."  My motherly instincts immediately kicked in.  I wanted to give Asher a big hug and tell him not to worry about it AND I wanted to walk right over and give those girls a piece of my mind.  These are girls who he has played with in the past and who love to come over and play outside our place with Asher and Ivy's toys, so I had a pretty good idea which one of them said this to him.  I was mad, but tried to stay calm and give Asher some suggestions and tell myself that he needs to learn to work things like this out.  I also wasn't sure he was all that hurt by it. I think I was more upset than he was, but he could have just been being tough.

SO, question to all you supermoms out there: What do you do when your kid is in a situation like this.  How do you know when to get involved and when to stay out of it?  Or do you always stay out of it?  What do you teach your kids to say or do in situations like this?

Here's what I did, but I still want feedback because I'm sure this is not the last time something like this will happen.
I told him that wasn't very nice and he could play with them if he wants or he can find something else to do.  He wanted to get his scooter and ride and get a snack to eat.  While he was inside getting his scooter, the girls came over to play with Ivy and sit on the blanket with us.  I kept my mouth shut- no need to stir the pot.  UNTIL, Asher emerged with the scooter and the girl (who I suspected with the perpetrator) said to me "why does he like to show off?"
me: What?
girl: repeats herself and says "he comes out dressed like Superman and now he's going to ride his scooter..."
me: "he's 3!" (she's 7 by the way) "He got to wear that costume to school today for a party and I let him keep it on AND he's riding his scooter because you told him to stop following you!"

Her comment was the perfect invitation for me to give the girl a mini lecture about not leaving anybody out, not Asher or any other neighbors, that if she wanted to play with his sister and his toys that she needed to include him, that it's hard for Asher being the only boy (there is one other one, but he was on vacation) and the whole "how would you feel...?" scenario.  She initially started to get defensive and tell me that she's the only girl at her school blah blah blah.  In the end, they all played happily ever after and I felt good putting the girl in her place (I talked calmly and didn't get mad).  Don't know how well it worked or how long I can do things like this for my kid(s). I also don't want kids playing with Asher because they "have to or his mom will get mad."  At the same time it also sent my mind racing again with all  reasons/ thoughts/ concerns I have sending Asher to school in the fall (more on that in a different post- I've already written too much).  

For now, I'm just looking for advice on when to rescue and when to let it be.

AND regardless of my actions and feelings,  I was so proud of Asher for being tough that afternoon and for being such a cute little super-guy (most of the time)!


  1. Nicely handled. It's always hard when you see your child getting picked on or being cast out of the fun crowd. It's also hard not to get defensive and flat out tell those kids how awful they are. I've learned to mostly let Jared handle it and take care of it in his own way. I'll give him pointers, but usually he chooses to not play with them anymore. I think he understands that it's better to have no friends than mean ones.

  2. Hey, Toria...Steve W here. I'm no superDad, but you handled it very well. I will usually build Ryan up and tell him he doesn't have to play with kids that are mean. Then I leave it to him to work out. Like you though, if the opportunity presents itself, I lay down the law that they need to include everyone if possible. Good Job! And sweet costume. I love checking your blog.


  3. Hey - I recognize those PJ's (pre-Superhero makeover!) Matt and Jake totally have those pajamas (Grandma gave them to them).

    I think you did great. I might not have been so nice - and you were totally under control! All that matters is Asher and what he learns from the situation - and you did great!!

  4. I say trip the little brat next time she's running past! With any luck she'll be out of commission for a couple of weeks and your little boy will be free to play without the looming threat of the evil empress!! Bwahaha Bwahaha!

  5. I'd say you handled it just right. I don't think there is anything wrong with nicely giving a seven year old a lecture on playing with and including everyone. At that age that will happen a lot between boys and girls, I think it would have made me more upset had it been a boy who acted that way. We have a lot of issues like that at our house when one of the kids have friends over and I just tell them that if they want to play here they have to include everyone.

  6. I think you handled it well. Sometimes I think it's good to let them fight their own battles, but he was outmatched! When my kids were smaller and in a similar situation, I'd have pulled out popsicles for them to share.

    Or I'd punch them in the throat and call it a day.

  7. It makes me so mad when kids are mean. I see it all the time in school when I'm subbing and as a teacher I always lecture them but as a mom your not gonna be there when he goes to school.
    I don't know what I would do, you want to defend your kid no matter what but at the same time they have to learn to work it out.
    I so don't want to send my kids out to the real world, I'm dreading it!

  8. WOW! That would brake my heart too. It even breaks my heart when Riley isn't "playing" well with others. I start to think - is something WRONG with her, why don't you want to play with her?? I think you did a good job with the little girl, it sounds like she's just jealous of how cute Asher is :) Also, he's only 3, so he still needs guidance on social behavior, he'll probably need it for a long time too. I would just talk to him about how he's feeling, and tell him to go play with someone else if that person is making him upset. He could also let her know that she hurt his feelings. Sorry about the long response, I guess the 1st grade teacher is coming out in me (dealing with conflicts at school). Good Luck!!

  9. This made me so sad to read about Asher being picked on. I'm not looking forward to these experiences. I think you did a great job though. And I also wish Bennett was there to play with Asher. He is always telling people (including today) about how his friend Asher is in Dubai. It's so awesome to watch the responses from people. They often repeat, "Dubai?". Some don't know what it is or where it is but it's really fun to see. Anyway, we love you guys and miss you. And also, I heard we might be in Mesa at the same time this summer. Let's talk and confirm. We'll have to make plans.

  10. Toria,

    Hi! You don't know me but I know your sisters-in-law. Cat was my roommate and we just attended a wedding this weekend in Provo and talked to your mother-in-law, Lizzy, Emily and Annie about you and your life in Dubai. My husband will be graduating in Construction Management next Spring and we are thinking that moving to Dubai would be really fun! I would love to talk to you about it. Here's my e-mail: Thanks!


  11. you're a great mommy, toria! i'm proud of you for handling it that way. and what a great kid asher is! hope you're doing well! miss you!