Thursday, March 05, 2009
Do I have to do EVERYTHING?
So, Lou-lou (12 year old daughter) is having girl drama. Really lame girl drama (is there non-lame girl drama?) It involves her 'former' best friend and a boy they both liked--guess which one of them got him? Not Lou-lou. (which her mother is very grateful for, but which Lou-lou feels is likely the end of the world)
It's been two weeks and on Tuesday morning Lou-lou had a melt down. She missed the bus and we sat on the couch and talked about what it was that caused her to fall apart. It was obviously not the regular stuff--I knew some new level had been reached. I was right (of course I was right) and after some tears and some "I'll love you no matter what"s she finally admitted that last week she had called the former best freind a name--not to her face, but she'd said it to a freind and then the girl found out (of course she found out). Now Lou-lou feels horrible and the former freind was very hurt.
So I asked Lou-lou, "What did you call her?"
Lou-lou folds into herself and shakes her head as new tears fall. "I can't tell you."
Oh boy. I know a lot of dirty words and bad names and they all start rushing through my head. "You can tell me," I assure her. "I promise I won't get mad, but I need to know what the name was so that I know what kind of fall-out to expect." (No, she doesn't know what fall-out means, but I like to use phrases like that so that the kids remember I'm smarter than they are)
She shakes her head. "I can't say it," she says. "I'm not even sure what it means."
Wow. Now I'm really worried. "Was it a swear word?"
She shakes her head and I'm perpelexed. After a moment, however, I realize that there are far worse words she could have used than a simple swear word (which is ironic, but true). And my stomach falls a little bit as I imagine what word she could have picked up somewhere and then recycled for this event.
"Well," I say all calm and collected. "I'm sure I know what it means, so tell me what you said and we'll go from there. You're not going to shock me with it."
She peers over her knees. "You know what it means," she said. "You've said it before."
Yikes. As I said, I know a lot of bad-mean-dirty words, but I don't make a habit of saying many of them--unless I'm talking about dental insurance or computer ink and I'm careful not to bring up those topics in front of my children. She does not continue. "When did I say it?" I ask, certain I'd remember when I used this horrible word.
"When The Bad Girl's Club came on TV."
I'm compltely confused. I have no idea what the Bad Girl's club is. "Well, you're gunna have to tell me what it was cause I'm stumped. What did you call her?"
Oh, is that all? I mean, not that it's a good word--certainly not for a very non-slutty 12 year old girl--but it could have been so much worse. So I told her what it meant, which made her cry even harder, and then I told the story of the girl who has to let all the feathers go and then is told to pick them all up. I think she got it. She stayed home for an hour to get herself together and then I took her to school where she met with her councilor about what to do from here.
On the way out of the parking lot I glared at the building disappearing in my rear view mirror. My daughter is in the 7th grade, she's been in public schools most of her life and yet she learned the word slut from me?
If that's not evidence of the failure of a decent public education, I don't know what is.