Friday, January 15, 2010

Friday Night with the Cow and the Bully

Another sign of the times -- this is what we do on Friday nights now -- figure out where the cheap food and entertainment is and stay for two plus hours. The drinks were free at Chick-fil-a tonight and Sweet Kari's boyfriend's new career path has him dressed as a cow and hugging children.

He's hugging Sweet Kari here.

I also phone shopped while Grandma and Dez watched out for the kids in the play area. Did you know that AT&T and Apple's exclusive contract for the iPhone is done, over, kaput? Which means that soon we will be seeing "Apple-based" phones (apparently they won't be allowed to call them "iPhones") at all cell phone retailers. I've been nursing a grudge against AT&T these last few years over their selfishness so I'm glad to see they're about to get their comeuppance.

While I was phone shopping, Casey was being tormented in the play area by another kid who called him "Fatty" and "Slooooooow." He was very upset and I wasn't there to beat up the mean kid or at least tell Casey to go ahead and hit him as hard as he could, which was probably for the best. He went to Grandma crying and angry. Another fine example of my horrid parenting -- I'm off phone shopping while my kid is being taunted by the kid who will never graduate from high school. This has happened before -- a boy in the other first grade class at Casey's school called him fat a few times. When that was happening, I told Casey that the next time that little boy called him fat he should look him straight in the eye and say, "Well at least I'm not stupid." And when the little boy started going on about how he wasn't stupid blah blah blah, Casey should say, "Only a stupid kid would pick on someone twice his size." We practiced it several times. Casey said that's what he used on the idiot bully at the play area, but apparently it didn't make him feel any better. I refuse to teach him to run away from bullies, but I don't want to encourage him to start a fight when one wasn't going to start but for him standing up for himself. It's tricky. And what's really sad is that Casey loves making new friends and is never afraid to just strike up a friendship on the playground with kids he's never met before. Any more incidents like this and I'm afraid he'll lose that openness and friendliness with new kids. I gotta tell ya' -- I've already lost my openness and friendliness with new kids, so it's going to be hard to encourage him to keep making friends with strange kids.

I'm sure there is an appropriate Christ-like response to situations like these, but I'm still working it out -- clearly I don't have it mastered. It's not turn the other cheek -- Christ didn't back down in the face of the bullying Pharisees, but He also didn't go at them with moves he learned on Tuesday afternoons in Karate class. If I'd been there tonight I would have grabbed hold of that little jerk's ear and dragged him over to his parents, from whom he probably learned how to be a jerk, and when they shrugged their shoulders I would've ended up in a cat fight in the middle of the food court. The Cow would have had to break it up. And that would have been blogworthy -- also probably newsworthy. But definitely not Christ-like.

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