I never told my husband about the school bully. I didn’t tell my best friend either, until she went to work for the evil cow and it all came out. My friend was living abroad when most of it was going on – and she didn’t go to the theatre group either.
But then I told my husband some of it on the very day we found out about my son’s secondary school – probably not the best day for it to come out.
My daughter asked whether my boy would walk to the bus stop on his own or whether we would go with him. We said he would go on his own, of course. As long as that’s what he wants. It needs to be his choice. The bus stop is only round the corner, near his Grandma’s house – and he’s been walking there on his own for more than two years now.
His friend – a girl in the year above at a different secondary school – is walked to the bus stop every day by her Dad. We don’t know why – I hope it’s her choice, not her parents’. In my view, being walked to the bus by your Dad equals social suicide. But maybe not these days. Maybe not at her school.
‘I walked to secondary school on my own on the first day,’ my husband announced.
‘But walking to school is probably easier than going on the bus,’ I told him.
He didn’t get that. Hadn’t thought about the hot-bed of a bus full of kids – from young children to young adults. Boys, girls, good kids, bad kids. All in a confined space. That is intimidating for an 11 year old in a too-big blazer on their first day at a huge new school. And not just on the first day. It can be intimidating for many years.
So I told him about the school bully and my experiences on the bus and how I have to email her at work now. He couldn’t believe that this girl was a) from our nice village and b) went to the nice school we are sending our son to.
I didn’t tell him about the ‘pushing in front of buses’ issue though. That was too horrible and I knew Mr Big Ears would hear. My eldest son has a remarkable talent to pick out key words and tone of voice from a conversation that is nothing to do with him. Tell him ‘brush your teeth’ and he doesn’t hear it. Have a quiet little bitch about someone or talk about something grown up or something bad that’s happened and he can hear it from a distance of about 100 metres.
‘What? What? Who bullied you? On the bus? Why? Why do you have to email her?’
My husband and son are firmly of the opinion that next time I have to email the bully (it will be next week because I am waiting for a response to an email from her), I have to tell her what she did to me and how she made me feel. She has to know. I have to make her squirm. I’m still not sure. I’m not sure if I need that conversation and that stress in my life.
Once we’ve shared something with my eldest, who I think is ready, and needs to hear about slightly more grown-up issues, he is straight to my younger two sharing with them. I don’t think an 8 year old boy or a 5 year girl actually need to hear about their Mummy being bullied on the school bus as a 12 year old. But when has what I think really counted?
Thank goodness I didn’t tell their Daddy about being pushed in front of buses. That would have been way too much for my little ones to handle.