Genea has been having trouble with her friend across the street. The girl, we'll call her Dippy, lives in the house the Skankenho and Fucktardmoron moved out of. I'm wondering if it is cursed. Anyway.
Dippy seems to have a few of her own issues with impulse control and judgement. And lying and overall buttheadedness. She's also know to "flip" in a second. She is Genea's friend, then not, and back. While a lot of that is normal for girls their age, for Genea each tiff is the equivalent of waterboarding. She comes home and freaks out and I found out recently, then begs Dippy to forgive her. Of the nothing she did. Normally, Dippy forgets she is pretending to be mad about the made up event and is fine the next day.
I tell my girls they don't have to be nice, but they do have to be polite. Dippy is not a good friend, focus on the girls who are real friends. Say hi, and move on.
However, for an unknown reason, Dippy has been amping up her buttheadedness level with Genea on the bus. Of course, a school bus was the inspiration for the book "Lord of the Flies" and I believe the scene with the heads on spears actually happened in a city nearby. A friend of mine knows the person who heard about it. The bus is a shrink wrapped microcosm for aberrant child behavior.
At any rate, Dippy was supposed to hand Genea a cracker from another kid and instead tossed it on the ground and stepped on it. Genea said, that was rude, and now Dippy is refusing to speak to her etc, etc. All the usual buttheadedness. So Genea is already on edge (don't ever mess with her food!), when some stupid boy says to her "you are gay". Stupid Boy then sticks his foot 2 inches from her face. She replies "no I'm not", and kicks him.
(By the way, we have her convinced the bus driver stealth calls us. There have been other incidents when she was standing on the seat, jumping, throwing stuff out windows and so on and almost lost bus privileges but it mostly stopped when she realized we kept finding out. Truth is Teena races home first to tattle).
Okay! Probably I should be coming down on her for being physical. Instead I just asked her what the rules say she should have done. Secretly, I'm impressed. I hope she kicked him hard. Little shit.
All this history brings me to the part I do have a problem with. I don't know if Genea is "gay" or not. I am certain though, that Stupid Boy was not being conversational with his comment. Picking on Genea for her reaction is like going to a canned hunting farm. Easy, and not really fair. She's quickly flustered, struggles with word finding, and her emotional meter is set at 8 out of 10 most days. She's sweet and tries hard to be friendly, yet often comes off more awkward than anything.
The Husband and I discussed the behaviors of everyone involved and gave her suggestions on how to handle it next time. She demonstrated for us how school has taught her to put her hand up and say, "stop" and I almost went into a full body cringe. It's a good idea, ok, just somehow it looked and sounded bizarre when she did it. Almost guaranteed to create more problems. Anyway, that part is handled but calling someone gay to be mean is not acceptable. Now, how do I separate that out?
Just about every response I can think of would be exponentially worse.
"I'm not gay but why would you care?"
"Gay is not bad but acting stupid is"
"Get your head out of your ass idiot, your brain is suffocating".
I want to make the point to her that gay is how people are born and it's not a thing. It's not a thing to use to insult people with. It just is. Calling a gifted child a smarty-pants as a taunt is similarly ridiculous. Why do some kids feel such a need to go after non-normative kids? The comments are meant to degrade, maybe to forcefully shame one child into acting within the groups parameters. Or something anthropological. I really don't know.
What I do know is that yesterday was not the time to go into human sexuality, but I can't leave it alone either. I'm planning to discuss with her again what gay is, and why it's not an insult and should never be used as one. We've discussed it plenty of times and so the facts will not be new. Kids shouldn't be taunting others regardless.
Is it enough to tell her why and be done? With another child it might be different but I can't imagine coaching Genea to tell the kid that gay is not an insult and he shouldn't be using it as one. I think I want her to stand up for other kids, other people, but as of yet she's not good at standing up for herself. As I write this right now I realize therein lies the answer. We have to work hard on what I suspect will be a long-term challenge for her, being picked- one, taunted, bullied. I can give her the facts, logic and knowledge but I guess we should probably hold back on defending others until she is better at managing herself.
As for Dippy, I sigh. We're telling Genea, stay away and don't bother with her. You are a good kid and a great friend and you don't deserve someone being mean to you. Genea's need to repel rejection is burned into her brain. Dippy's need to control and manipulate seems to be strong as well. I'd been letting Genea handle that "friendshit" (baaaa ha ha, that was a typo but I'm leaving it ha ha ha), with close monitoring but it seems time to squash it.