My youngest Tessi, is having a some boy trouble at the moment. By boy trouble I mean there is one boy at school that she hates with all the passion a nine-year old girl can muster…which is a helluva lot.
Unfortunately this is not the normal school bully scenario. He isn’t a bad kid. He just views the world as his personal rugby pitch and he is the prop. For non-rugby plays that means he’s like a bull in a china shop. Half the people this kid passes by end up on their rear ends. Not because he’s bullying them, he just has no idea that it’s wrong I think to send kids sprawling. That and I don’t think he notices that people end up air born around him.
Tessi could live with that, Lord knows she isn’t the most graceful person, if he would simply say he was sorry when it happens. In her mind there is no greater sin than to hurt someone and not beg their forgiveness. The other day during some dance practice he knocked her for a loop and then kept going. Her rage was palpable.
This has been going on for a while and I keep telling her to either yell at him or hit him back. She won’t do that because she’s terrified of making her teacher angry with her. I try to explain that defending yourself is not the same as bullying someone, but she won’t listen. She refuses to do anything that she might get yelled at about. Sure, her TEACHER she’s scared to annoy but ME, eh not so much. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
Friday afternoon as school she rucked up to me sobbing that he had done it yet again. Apparently he walked by, knocked her down and not only did he not say sorry, none of her friends helped her up. This was the worst day of her life. Ever. In real life. The tears drenched us both. Once more, I counseled her to yell at him, tell him to stop and yes…. hit him back or just do ANYTHING. No, she refused.
Then it hit me, as most of my crazier ideas do. Alrighty then. Desperate times call for desperate measures. It’s time to bring a non-traditional solution to a traditional problem.
“No, you’re right. You can’t punch him. But we can make a voodoo doll of him.” Tears stop instantly. “Voodoo doll? What’s that?” her timid voice croaked out.
I explained that in the Voodoo religion people believe they can make a doll in the image of someone who has wronged them. Then they can inflict damage on the doll and they believe that the person in question feels the pain.
Eyes larger and brighter than the biggest stars gazed reverently up at me. “Feel the pain? Is it true? Can I make him hurt?” “No Baby,” I had to deflate this idea quickly. “It’s not real, but it will feel so good to pretend that it is”
Off to the shops we went and tried to find a doll. We had a few misfires shopping wise and found out that there really aren’t that many male dolls. We tried using the little army figurines but that plastic is amazingly hard. Just a quick public service announcement: don’t try boiling the figurines, complete waste of time. Can’t get enough heat to melt. Sigh.
Finally I found a Ken doll at the local K-Mart. Good old Ken, taking one for the team. I didn’t want to take any chances and this time didn’t bother with pins or needles and went straight to hammer and nails. We spent a good thirty minutes lining up the shots and hammering away. I counselled her away from stigmata wounds but Tessi’s foot was hurting from a recent injury and she insisted that he needed to feel that pain too. I did steadfastly refused to allow any genital stabbings. I felt we were already dancing too close to the edge of socially acceptable behavior. If we crossed into that domain I knew I definitely would get some phone calls. Tessi agreed. Besides….that’s icky. Wise beyond her years, that one.
Below are some images of Madam pounding away her rage.
Not the best picture I know. However this is the happiest she has been while mentioning the dreaded boy’s name in MONTHS.
We discovered that while the entire body was made of a very sturdy plastic – KUDOS Science – the head was actually quite flexible and rubbery. This was perfect for nailing in earrings and a rather impressive number of nails in a small area.
Not just content with nails, Tessi broke out the markers (textas) and drew black eyes and blood. Her doll complete she felt vindicated and properly avenged. After she was done she took the doll, grabbed one of her non-mutilated Barbies and played for while. She had the Ken doll explain to the Barbie doll exactly what he had done to deserve his wounds and then apologize. The Barbie was most forgiving.
I’ve told her that she can tell people that we made the doll but to NEVER say the name of the boy she made it for. She adamantly agreed that it would be wrong to name him publicly besides he must never, ever know. What if he makes a doll of her? Yes, THAT’S the reason not to tell. Good Girl.
Problem solving, Motherhood 101.