Friday, December 17, 2010

Self Defense 101.

and you don't even have to learn to punch someone in my class.... =)

Today was pajama day in Taylor's class. They are all wearing their pajamas and could bring a pillow and a blanket (i think), and they are going to watch the movie "Elf," as it is their last day before Christmas break. So, Taylor tells my mom (Nana) that she was hoping she'd get new pajamas before this day.... which was news to me, because she never mentioned that she wanted new pajamas.... I guess I should have REALLY thought ahead, about what she wears to bed and what she would actually wear to school....

but i didn't....

she wears one of Jason's t-shirts.... it's from his last jobsite.... she wears that and some sweat pants, that are nothing i'd recommend wearing in public, or some shorts with popsicles on them.... who cares, right? i mean they're pajamas.... the popsicle shorts had a matching shirt that we got, but we bought them in the summer, and now it's almost winter, and it's raining.... and it's supposed to be raining for the next week.... so i'm rather certain, she won't be going to school in popsicle shorts and a HUGE oversized t-shirt that covers up the popsicle shorts...

ANYWAY.... she has CUTE pj's at Nana and Poppa's (aka Patrick Tillett and Buymebarbies).... they are leopard print and pink kitty cat paws and are flannel.... and they fit.... and they aren't oversized.... and THEY MATCH!!!! Perfect! she can wear those....

well, she goes on to tell Nana how it would just be death wearing those to school, because "it will be too hot" in those pajamas.... so last night, after my night class, I stopped by my mom's before heading home.... I asked my mom for the Kitty Pj's for her to wear to school tomorrow and we had a discussion about her possibly being embarassed about the leopard and kitty pjs and whatnot...

this morning, Taylor comes into my room and says, "I don't know what pajamas to wear mom. I saw you brought the pajamas from Nana's house here, but i'm afraid if i wear them, people will make fun of me."

"why would they do that?" i asked.

"I don't know," she said, shrugging her shoulders....

so ol' mother hen in me starts getting worked up inside, remembering when IIIII was made fun of, and the mean things kids used to say and do to me when i was younger...

"THIS ISN'T ABOUT YOU Ashley!!!" i told myself....
"yeah, but i know how it feels to be made fun of.... i know how it feels like it's the end of the world, even though it's not." i said back to myself.
"yeah, but how are you going to explain that to taylor?"
"i don't know yet!"

yeah, i sat there, conversing with myself for about 12 seconds and then finally said something like, "who CARES what other people think?"

really? that's the best you could come up with?
SHE does!! obviously....

so then i said, "honey, i know that it FEELS like SUCH a big deal when someone makes fun of you, but if you've never trusted me before, trust me now.... when you get older, it doesn't matter what someone in your 3rd grade class said about your pajamas on pajama day...."

seriously ashley? c'mon you can do better than that.... she doesn't care about 15 years from now.... she cares about NOW!!!!

oh hell.... i'm sitting at the edge of my bed, starting a sentence and then stopping myself.... she's standing there in her oversized T-shirt with condos and a construction name in big, bold letters on it.... the sleeves fall to about her elbows....

"Taylor.... what do you..."
"i know it's...."
"why don't you..."

"what do you think they'll say to you?" I ask....

"i don't know," she answered.

so i sit here, trying to play it out in my head.... play out the scenarios that could possibly take place at school. would they make fun of her for the colors? the patterns? the size? i don't know....
i wanted to give her a comeback.
i wanted to give her something she could say, and i wanted her to feel confident with her comeback....
so i started to think of things she could possibly tell people if they said anything about her pajamas....

"do you like your pajamas?"

she said, "yeaahhh."

i said, "do you really like your pajamas or are you just saying that?"

"no, i really do like them."

okay, then if anyone says anything about your pajamas you can say, "look. everyone has different taste.... and then look them up and down, and say, 'i may not like YOUR outfit, but i'm not trying to make you feel bad about it.' ".... we both laughed....

or you can ask them, "should i be extremely flattered that you care about me and my pajamas enough to spend time in your day talking about them?"

she laughed, "i really like that one mom."

we fired things off back and forth to each other, laughing about them.

she stopped and said, "you used to get made fun of a lot, huh mom?"

i said, "YEP! but i'm pretty cool now don't you think?"

she said, "yeaaaaahhhh suuuure you are mom!"
oh MAN did we ever laugh....

i said, "just don't ask dad if i'm cool or not...." she got a kick out of that, because they always joke about what a big geek i am.... they are joking, right?

anyway.... she gets dressed.... we picked out a pink tanktop to wear under the pajamas and some tan boots to wear to match the tan soft leopard print on her pjs.... she was confident. she was smiling and wearing her leopard pj's and she. was. confident.

she could wear ANYTHING and look good with that level of confidence....

and off we headed, to school....

we pull up and she hesitates to get out of the truck.

"i'm kind of embarassed about my pajamas mom," she says with hesistation, again....

"everyone has different taste.... and that's okay.... 'i may not like YOOOOUR outfit, but i'm not trying to make you feel bad about it.' " i repeated to her again....

she leans over and kisses me, hops out of the truck, swings her backpack over her shoulder and says, "thanks mom."

and off she goes....
in her leopard pj's....
with all of that confidence all over again....

if there are any lessons in life that i can teach her, i want her to know that it's okay to like different things.... not to intentionally hurt people's feelings.... how to stand up for herself.... and to stand up and be different.... those are the most successful people... the ones who don't just go along with the world....
i love my girl....
i hope she takes in my lessons as much as i hope she does....

when making a decision to have a child at 18 years old, you think about, "how am i going to pay for diapers and formula...."

you don't really think about, "what happens when they are in 3rd grade, worried about being made fun of for their pajamas on pajama day...."

i didn't have the answers to all of the questions i had.... heck, i still don't.... but i know that your best defense (and kindness) comes from your mouth (and actions).... and occasionally a swift kick in the shin, however, i hope she learns to use her words and brain together, a little better and quicker than i did....

love. that. girl.

6 comments:

buymebarbies said...

She will do just fine!! She doesn't get made fun of. She see's others get made fun of and doesn't want it to happen to her. She is a protector of the kids that get teased as she should be. No kid should have to go through teasing or bullying. Kids that do that, learn it from home!! The kids with parents that have low self esteem and push it off onto their kids, shame on them!!

TS Hendrik said...

Good for her, not buckling. It can be tough when you're worried about being laughed at. I just feel sorry cause you know there's got to be one kid who sleeps naked. Now HE'S the one that should worry about being embarrassed by his sleepwear or lack thereof. lol

Ashley King said...

kids are kids. some are mean, and some just do it because they see other kids doing it.... it's usually learned from somewhere though, you are right.

@TS, HA! hahahaha.

Pat Tillett said...

I LOVE that girl! Did she tell you that she and I have have at least one lunch date while she's on break?

Hey Ash...I love you also!!!

What a great back and forth moment between mother and daughter.

baygirl32 said...

being a mom is hard sometimes, but I think you handled it perfectly! and it will be a great memory to share when she's older

John McElveen said...

You are awesome--I mean a Geek!

I just heard that they are making BIG FEET PJ's! Seriously! Finally- I can revert to my childhood--wear them to the Mall- and use your lines!!

They were perfect Mom!

Anytime you remember getting bullied--Just think of Pat in his PJ's!! LOL

Merry Christmas to the King's!!

John