Well, we are a couple of weeks into the school year and already we’re facing issues with potential bullies. You’d think that we, as a society, should have progressed past the petty tricks of demanding lunch money from innocent students and threatening some sort of harassment and embarrassment if such a payment was not paid. Sadly, it looks like we’ve made no progress.
Oh, it used to be so simple. Children would recognize a bully from a mile away. The telltale jean jacket, complete with heavy metal band decoration on the back. The poor hygiene and nonsensical lexicon would immediately label someone as “bully.” Not anymore. Oh no, not today. I remember those times when I was my daughter’s age. When I was bullied. I swore that no offspring of mine would suffer the same indignities I had suffered. Yet even still, my efforts are not working.
I’ve tried the jean jacket. My daughter just says jean jackets are not in style. I even tried to pick the worst possible musician to put on the back…but the worst I could come up with was Justin Bieber. Just doesn’t scream ‘I’m Bad!’ like the old Iron Maiden stuff represented. I’ve tried to teach her to use improper grammar, just to instill fear in her potential bully victims. But no, never shall she utter “more better” and bring about the natural sense of rebel that such misuse of words conjures up.
Fourth grade just isn’t the way I seem to remember it I guess. Despite my best efforts to the contrary, being a bully has fallen out of fashion. Oh, I’ve tried and tried with my daughter. I’ve even secretly substituted all her number two pencils with perpetual bad person owned number three pencils. But to no avail. She isn’t feared, not even loathed. I’ve failed as a parent.
I can’t even find candy cigarettes anymore. Those used to just scream “rebel.” The best I can do is to put pretzel sticks in her lunch and hope that she puts them in her mouth like toothpicks and tries to frighten her classmates. Heck, I even armed her with an entire jar of peanut butter…crunchy no less…and told her to try to make kids eat it, but no, she worries about her allergic friends so recommends a peaceful Minecraft session instead. I cry more now.
Then there is her bike. Mine used to be seriously tricked out. I had the baseball cards in the spokes, bad words written out on the seat, handlebar padding completely removed. To heck with any sort of protection. Helmets were used on kids whose parents sniffed too much Wite Out. I even grounded her for asking for a helmet with a princess crown decoration on top. Her Mom overruled me, of course…she just doesn’t understand. And the only cards I found for the bike were Pokémon cards and my daughter said they were not to be used for the bike. They were for trading and playing with others. Killjoy. She just doesn’t understand what I’m trying to accomplish.
And, as I alluded to earlier, progress has not been made. Bullies haven’t moved past petty thievery and intimidation. Nowhere do I see plays for real estate, stock portfolios, or even massive teacher coercion. Nope, same old bully stuff…and my daughter refuses to participate.
There goes the Daddy of the Year Award.
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