So Jayda got punched in the face at school. Hard. A new little boy in the class named James 2 (no, his name is not really "James2", but there was already a James in her class so she now calls them "James1" and "James2" to differentiate) used his left hand to hold her head still and his right hand to sock her in the face. No warning. No verbal clues. No reason. He just got upset about something and decided to use Jayda as a punching bag. She had a lump and bruise on her cheek so when I picked her up from school she had an ice pack.
What did the teachers do when he did this? Simply moved him to the back of the line. Now, if you move him to the back of the line where he waits to be put in a trash can and rolled down a steep hill...then fine...the back of the line sounds great. But if you just put him in the back of the line and no other disciplinary measure is taken...not fine. Not fine at all. That's showing that kid, and the others that saw it happen, that you can sock a kid in the face and nothing will happen to you. Why don't you just paint a red bullseye on my kid so everyone else can hit her when they're angry too?
The next day the same kid pushed her down. What did the teachers do this time? They had a "talk with him" and told him that our hands are not for hitting (I disagree. I think there are times that our hands are for cold-clocking someone right in the face if they repeatedly pick on you and physically assault you...but maybe that's for another post. So, I digress...).
I was pissed. Stark raving mad is more like it. I understand that pushing, shoving, and that kinda stuff goes on at school. I want Jayda to experience social issues and learn and grow from them. But a fist to the face goes above and beyond the normal preschool stuff. And pushing her down the very next day crosses into "my mom is gonna annihilate you" territory.
I talked with Jayda about what was happening. I was so angry and I just kept telling her that this wasn't her fault and that she didn't deserve this. I told her that the kid obviously has some issues and she needs to stay far, far away from him. If the teachers are gonna let him beat people up...it won't be my kid because she'll be out of his reach. Russ was planning on giving her boxing lessons. I'm partly sure he was willing to display those boxing skills on the kids dad as an example. We were peeved.
Do you know what Jayda said? She said, "Mom. I was thinking about it today and I just don't think that he feels the Spirit. When you feel the Spirit you don't act that way. Maybe he just needs the Spirit in his life."
What the? Whose kid is this? I'm planning on hanging the kid by his shoelaces and my 4 year old gives me a spiritual lesson about how the boy is obviously hurting inside to act this way. I do not take credit for her awesomeness. The Lord made her little spirit strong and sweet and forgiving. I'm pretty sure those traits slipped off of me as I came through the veil into this world...because I just don't have that kind of Christ-like love. But she does. And it's amazing.
And it gets better...
I talked to the little boys mom and told her my concerns and issues. I was very nice, but when she told me that he's her problem child and she can't guarantee it won't happen again, I let her know that if it happens again one of us would be leaving the preschool and it won't be Jayda.
The next day he brought Jayda a cupcake and a handmade "I'm sorry" card. I had told Jayda to be polite but to stay away from him no matter what and that she didn't need to be subjected to his "issues." But when she came home from school holding her prized cupcake and card she said "mom, I know you said not to sit by him, but he said sorry and I think he really meant it. So I forgave him and invited him to sit next to me. We had a nice snack time together. I think that if he has friends at school he'll feel the spirit more."
It took me a minute to pull my jaw up off the floor. And then it took me another minute to wipe my tears. I was really, really proud of her. The Spirit she feels in her little body is overwhelming to me. I was proud. And I was humbled. And I was taught. By my 4 year old. Who feels the Saviors love and practices being a true Christian.
So, what does this post title of "eating with your hands in a place that smells like horse crap" have to do with this story? Well, we wanted to spend a special Mommy-Daddy-Jayda date night with our little girl who made such wise decisions. We wanted to spoil her and make her feel special and loved. So we took her to Medieval Times. And it was AWESOME!
We left Lilly with a sitter and made the 90 minute drive to the Baltimore Castle. Jayda had no idea where we were going and got super excited when we got there and she realized what she was about to see! It was so cute to see her little face light up with excitement!
We sat in the front row, ate yummy food (even though the entire arena smelled like horse crap), her name was announced by the knight because she was turning 5 that week, and our knight (the green knight) gave Jayda his winning sash! She truly felt like a princess and it was, by far, worth every cent. We had a fabulous time and will always cherish those few hours of Medieval fun!
But more than anything, I will always picture her tiny face with fat 4-year-old cheeks smiling at me while saying that she turned her enemy into her friend. I am so blessed to be her mama.