So it’s not a great start of a story, but it has a lovely ending.
Mr. L discovered a YouTube channel all about a sharky puppet who goes around doing things that my boys find hilarious. So I mentioned to my husband that we might end up having this puppet in our house. To which my husband responded with hopes that we wouldn’t.
Well fast forward to a couple of weeks later and lo and behold a neighbor boy had a few of these puppets. I started wondering again if we were going to have to go looking for a few of our own, so I started looking up toy stores in the area and of course all the local stores were out of stock.
Fast forward another day or 2 and Mr. L not only discovered that the neighbor boy had a few of these rubber, ocean creatures but my son became the target of bullying over it.
I was sitting out on our front lawn holding our new little puppy watching my kids playing on their scooters, when I realized that boy was outside playing with a group of other boys and they were chasing each other with these puppets.
Needless to say I became on alert watching how this was going to unfold. Were these boys going to share? (Knowing this group of boys, meant probably no), was Mr. L going to be content talking with the boys but not wanting to try on their rubber shark toy? Nope, these kids decided to act like jerks.
So I called in Little Miss A, scooped up the dog and put them both inside my house before heading over to call my boys home. But apparently I wasn’t fast enough about getting my 2 year old inside. By the time I got to the scene these terrible children were taking turns tormenting my special needs son, running in circles around him. These kids were taking turns dodging in and out running up to Mr. L and teasing and taunting him and through his tears pleading with them to share they were laughing in his face and then running away flaunting their stupid toys.
I ran to my son who was literally a puddle of tears crumpled up on the grass, completely devastated and quickly escalating into an anxiety attack. Once I got to him I called those kids out and when they tried to scramble away I called them back and chewed them out for their heartless behavior.
I demanded to know why they would pick on anyone and bring them to tears, let alone a child with special needs. I called out their behaviors and told them how wrong they had behaved for being bullies and when they tried to leave again I yelled at them for ignoring me and told them they better not EVER treat my son like that again. And with heads hung low they all turned tail and took off in opposite directions.
But wait! There’s more. After taking my boys in, settling my son down and getting shark puppets ordered I was back outside with my 2 year old because my puppy needed another bathroom break. When one of the mothers of those boys came walking by and asked how I was doing.
I told her not good, and I explained what her son had done and she responded, “Boys will be boys” to which I replied, “No, boys need to be taught to be good people and to not be bullies”. This neighbor then said, “Well, kids are kids” and with frustration and knots starting to form in my stomach I said with a stern and level voice, “No. kids need to be taught how to treat other people, including and especially special needs people and to not be bullies”. This lady fell silent and didn’t know what to do so I continued, “Kids need to be told when they have done something wrong and need to learn how to say sorry”.
To my surprise she actually called to her son and told him he needed to apologize to me for what he did earlier to my son. I told this child thank you and I said that children are not bad, they just sometimes make mistakes and that it was good of him to apologize.
I don’t hate those kids, I hate that the situation happened. I hate that these kids learned somewhere along the way that it was ok to act that way. My heart hurts not only for my son and what will probably happen again in his future. But my heart also hurts for those kids who were probably picked on too, and were probably ganged up on and bullied too. Adults can be cruel and caring parents need to not only protect their children from these people, but need to teach them with patient and consistent words and actions to not become cruel adults themselves.
But the happy part of this story is that when I first got Mr. L inside I sent a Facebook message out asking for help in finding these shark puppets and my MIL and my SIL came to the rescue. First my husband ordered the soonest he could find possible to have shipped. Then my SIL found some that could arrive sooner, and then my MIL found that her local Walmart had 3 left in stock and immediately put them on in store pick up and drove them across the state to us the next day.
There are good people in the world, and now my children have 9 shark puppets to share 🦈🙄😜😅☺️