I’ve always wondered what it would be like to be a fly on the wall and watch N play at nursery. Mostly because on the whole he tells me he’s done ‘nothing’, played on his own, and not enjoyed himself. Of course this is totally contradictory to what the nursery staff say, as also proven by what I can watch on the nursery cctv and what I see on picking him up (and having to wait ages while he finishes playing!).
To get him to tell me what he’s been up to, I have to wait for an opportune time. During tea works well (although the OH isn’t too keen on the distraction from eating), or when N’s snuggled up in bed after story time. But sometimes if there’s been something eventful, N will spontaneously tell me when he’s getting into the car. This is rare, so it needs to be a pretty big event for it to get a mention.
A couple of times it’s been about one of the girls who obviously has a bit of a violent pre-schooler rage on occasion. Once I was informed that S hit someone. The next time, he told the staff at his other nursery that he got hit by this same girl. It might be during play, or an accident, but it’s annoying that the same name crops up. I do think that as he knows it’s not a nice thing to do, and it hurts people, then hopefully he’ll stay clear of her and the girl will grow out of it.
Otherwise he’s quite factual about any incidents or physical accidents that he or any other children go through at nursery, but the other day I picked him up from nursery, and helped him climb into his car seat.
‘xx said I was a baby today’
‘Oh, were you playing and pretending to be a baby?’, wanting to clarify. N has been known to pretend to be a baby, lying on the floor and crying, saying ‘I’m a baby’.
‘No, we weren’t playing. She came up and told me I was a baby’. He seemed really upset about being called a name, something that I suppose was a first for him.
‘Some people call others names, it’s not very nice, but just ignore it. You’re 4, and you can do all the things that babies can’t, so of course you’re not a baby’.
‘That’s not very nice is it?’
‘Calling people things they’re not? No, it’s not very nice, but you know the truth that you’re not a baby, so that’s all that matters’.
I thought a first name calling would be something different, like ‘you’re a poo’ or something equally as juvenile. But being called a baby obviously hit a nerve. I have to admit that the girl involved has never been a child I’ve warmed to. She’s been at a couple of parties we’ve been to, and has been the one guarding the door of the trampoline stopping children from getting on or off. So I’m hoping N won’t go to the same school, and that he’ll stay clear.
N’s never mentioned it since though, so he obviously got over it fairly quickly. Having experienced a bit of name calling myself (boffin and square being the usual for a short time before they realised I didn’t care at all), I know that girls can be nastier than boys especially when they’re older, so I’m glad I’ve got a boy. Hopefully this’ll be the worst he experiences through his school life, or that he’ll be strong enough to know that the name callers are in the wrong, and not him.
Have your children suffered from name calling or worse? How’ve they dealt with it?