'[She] said my pants looked like girl pants', my son revealed to me this evening as we came home after his haircut. Why, I wondered. Is it just because the back pockets had flaps. Why would anyone do this. But this wasn't just anyone, though you would think it would be some mean kids at school. No, it was his father's wife.
My address is listed at school as the secondary address. As such, I need to call into school each Monday morning on my week to let them know to put my children on my bus. Otherwise they end up going to their father's house. That is exactly what happened as I waited for Sage at the entrance to the apartment complex.
I called the school but they closed at 15,30h. I drove to his father's house and parked outside as I called the apartment complex to see if my son had taken another bus as sometimes happens. Yes, they saw a boy with a gold jacket, they assured me. So, I drove the ten minutes back to the apartments only to find out it was not my son they saw. It was another boy.
In the meantime, I texted his father who is in Florida with my daughters. He told me to call his wife. That was the last thing I wanted to do. I texted him back asking why his address had to be listed as the permanent address. No response. I am guessing the answer would be the same as before. That he has a 'real' house and I simply live in an apartment which he does not consider a real house.
As I drove back to the ex's house, I saw her car driving in the opposite direction. I turned around but did not see where she went. So, I had to call. She let me know she had to go to a neighbour's house and that she would be back. I wondered why she did not tell me my son was at their house instead of letting me drive around for over half an hour. I was relieved when my son was in my car and we were on our way to his haircut appointment.
'Your pants might be your sister's' I told my son. 'Do you care', I asked him. He did not. Sage simply said he did not respond to his stepmother. He said not one word. But this was not the first time he has been ridiculed and bullied by her. I remember him telling me she called a sweater I bought him 'a grandpa sweater'.
This incident reminded me of the time my son's father told me of a classmate they used to make fun of due to his dirty corduroy pants. The boy ended up committing suicide. Perhaps there were other reasons for his action but some children and adults do not deal well with bullies. Sometimes you simply cannot ignore them and you let them get under your skin.
I wish to teach my children that bullies are to be ignored no matter the age. And to avoid being cruel to other people for the sake of making yourself feel better. So far my son seems to be developing a thick skin. Last December his father told him he looked like 'a cancer patient' after seeing him on Skype after I cut my son's hair. He no longer cares that his father will not like his haircut. My son likes it and that is all that matters.
Girl pants or not, there is no reason to be cruel to a child. At least my son was warm and we were not spending money on clothes we could reuse. I do my best to provide for my three children. Sometimes I wish I could do more.