Sunday, 17 April 2016

Beware the lioness

I experienced a moment of parenting today that I haven't had before. I wanted to punch a young lad in the face. Someone else's child. I don't know this kid or his parents and I don't even feel bad about it.

Big Boy had a try out swimming lesson at a different pool and he did really well. He was by far the youngest in his group, but as I watched him turning his head and sweeping his arms doing front crawl I was so proud of how well he was doing. I've been taking him swimming since he was a baby so he's very comfortable in the water, but he isn't so keen on change. I talked to him on the way to the pool and said that all I asked was that he do his best. If he enjoyed it that was great and if not that was fine too.

All of this preparation was because we went to a dance class yesterday morning and he just wasn't into it at all. Another mum from school teaches ballroom and had invited the children to try a class with her so as a lot of the children from his class were going I thought it was worth a go. Big Boy has pretty good co-ordination and I've been practising yoga with both boys at home so they are pretty flexible too. He stood at the back of the room and reluctantly joined in, but after a while it was clear that he just wasn't enjoying it. I accepted that he wasn't going to be on Strictly any time soon and moved on.

So when he seemed to be getting on so well this morning I was delighted. Until after the lesson. All the children of different ages went to the showers and my little boy went with his shower gel bottle in his hand. He took off his swimming trunks and showered as he always does after swimming. An older boy standing next to him sniggered and looked over at his friends. They were keeping their trunks on and were clearly too cool to have a proper shower.

I was furious. I wanted to shout at those horrible, snide kids. How dare they body shame my 5 year old boy ? Who on earth did they think they were to laugh at my boy ? I helped him dry off and get dressed and he said,
"Mummy I took my trunks off, but no one else did."
"Maybe they don't know how to wash properly. You don't keep your clothes on to have a shower do you ?"
"No. Two of the boys were laughing at me."
"I know baby. That was rude of them. If I see them I'm going to talk to them about that."
He wasn't upset, he was just telling me what happened. I felt upset on his behalf.

I was determined to have it out with those nasty boys, but they all looked the same and as they came out dressed I had no idea if they had passed me already. Big Boy sat at the table in the cafe eating his Hula Hoops and I watched every face that left the changing rooms for a clue. In the end I accepted that if he was ok with it I just had to be too. I'm not. Of course I'm not. The tiger mama part of me that wants to protect my cubs from any harm or humiliation is still angry.

I told Hubbie about it when we got home.
Me: "If that horrid boy is there next week I'm going to give him what for."
Hubbie: "Maybe it's best if I take Big Boy swimming next week."
 - pause -
Me: "Ok, I think that might be best."


  1. Oh how annoying! He (and you!) handled it very well and calmly, I think I'd have been terribly upset at 5 to be laughed at in the shower. Of course he's right to take advantage of the shower and do it properly but how about a compromise if he feels he's going to be made uncomfortable. Perhaps he could choose just to have a brief wash and keep his trunks on, and have a proper wash later at home? (Assuming that's practical of course).

    For examples sometimes I tell people to stop talking on their phones in the quiet carriage. Other times I move somewhere else ;) I'm always in the right on them not using their phone in the quiet zone, but I do like to pick my battles :)

    1. To be honest Jo we don't make a big deal about nudity so it's not something he's embarrassed about. I think in future he will have a quick wash in the public 'open' showers. I'm not always going to be there to fight his battles so I'm pleased he's already able to deal with pettiness.

  2. Poor little thing :( I can see why you'd be upset. Harry has started being reluctant to take his trunks off for the shower after swimming even in a cubicle, it's sad when they suddenly become aware of their bodies. Hopefully Big Boy will forget about it.

    1. I think you handled that really well. :)

    2. I like the idea that he's confident enough not to care about what other people say, but it is inevitable that they become aware of snarky comments and looks. He doesn't seem to have suffered any long term harm so far :)

    3. Thanks Gwen, it made me spit teeth at the time, but I'm calmer now. Well, until next time that is !