It’s a rough-and-tumble life in the first grade.
“He’s so mean to Anna,” A. explains, retelling with painstaking detail the goings on at recess. “I mean really, really.”
The culprit turns out to be a boy who A. shares a love-hate relationship. In the same kindergarten class last year, G. liked to hit A. on a fairly frequent basis. G. spent a lot of time in the thinking chair.
“Do you think he’s mean because he wants to play with you?” I ask. “Do you ever invite him to join in?” I remind A. that kids change from year to year. Spending a lot of time in the red chair doesn’t sentence a child to a lifetime of crime.
A. considers this. “No,” he decides. “I think he just likes to be mean.”
I try something else. “How did you help Anna?”
A. smiles, clearly happy to get to the crux of his adventure.
“I stood next to her and told him to stop. No one’s going to bully my friend.”
My youngest isn’t what you would call a wallflower. If I had to guess, I bet he’s pretty fierce on the playground.
I’ve got to give him props for standing up. “Way to be a good friend,” I say. “Maybe we can be a friend to G. and invite him to play?”
Somehow I doubt his sincerity.