Friday, April 15, 2011

I spent the past couple of days dealing with run of the mill mommy problems- puking, school issues, sports issues, work issues- general life issues. On top of that we throw in a few doctor's appointments, a diabetes education meeting at the school and trying to get ready for Bella's Birthday. For 4 birthdays now- she has been added on to someone else's party or skimped due to medical ailments . I was determined this year that SHE has a party. So far that's going swimmingly. Other than provideng me with a creative outlet for art therapy projects- it's not quite coming together. Yesterday, I took a sick day- for whatever bug Phillip had- was kind enough to visit me- fortunately in a milder form.  Mommy sick days are like being essential personnel in an emergency- not a whole lot changes. The biggest change perhaps is that I forced myself to sit and work on some of my project ideas for Bella's birthday- invitations, decorations, that kind of thing. I also took a few extra minutes to catch up on news.

You can imagine my dismay and horror when I stumbled on a story about a 7 year old girl who had plastic surgery on her ears to ward off bullies. Monkey say whaaaaaat???? The mother defended her actions saying it was for her daughter's self esteem and to ward off school bullies. Fail. The doctor who performed the surgery stated that children with these "abnormalities" were likely to suffer from self esteem issues. Fail. Yeah get ready, I've brought my soap box.

No. Plain and simple. She is 7. Her mother has failed her. Do I think the actual act of a kid's ears being pinned back is atrocious? No. You do what you gotta do. If you are emotionally inept and unable to teach your child how to deal the cards they were given and you have the means to fix it- go on with your bad self. Not all cards have to be played. Clearly you can trade cards in now much earlier than before.  Ears being pinned is not an uncommon thing. It is a relatively minor procedure in the grand scheme of things.

My problems are 2-fold. 1) The attention seeking mother. 2) The Cop-out bullying excuse.

That little girl had ginormous cup ears. But guess what? She also had hair that covered them.  She also has the potential to do anything she puts her mind to. Imagine if she had been a boy. Believe it or not there are still schools and establishments that require certain genders to have appropriately groomed hair. Perhaps why greater than 50% of these surgeries are performed on boys.  The girl was asked if she was bullied and she said no. The doctor said such kids repeatedly get called child "Dumbo" and "Mouse Ears". My children call each other Dumbo all the time and I assure you it has no reference to ear size- it is in reference to acts of stupidity or carelessness. Perhaps I need to lobotomize my children? That seems counterproductive. As for Mouse Ears- People pay a lot of money to get those at Disney. The mother states "children are mean" but that the rudest comments come from adults. No kidding. Because  those adults were children once and had self serving parents who neither took the time nor effort to appropriate their words or behavior. The kind of adult who was taught as a child that appearances matter more than character- that the volume of your voice was of greater importance than the words it carries, that the best defense is a good offense and to always look out for #1.  The same messages Ms. Shaw is teaching her 7 year old.  I have no problem that she had her ears pinned, I have a problem that she champions it as a national cause, offering her child up to be the poster child for anti bullying measures. By this logic, differences are the problem- not bullying. I am all about preventative measures. How about telling your child they are perfect in your eyes. That they are worth more than the size of their ears. That anyone who belittles them or makes them feel less than they are worth is not worth their time. That they can deal with adversity and rise above it. That other people's behavior is out of their control, that they are in control of their self image. That everyone has something different and sometimes through these differences we are set apart because we grow from it. Ms. Shaw said she would do anything to keep her daughter from being bullied- which means she has not taught her daughter how to handle the situation if it presents itself. She has shown her daughter that there was something wrong with her that needed to be "fixed".  By this logic, if we could get all those other kids contacts, institute some sort of mandatory diet plan, stunt the growth of the too tall, then supplement it for the too short, feed the thin, under develop the over developed and over develop the under, teach lefties to use their righties, teach kids to be better at sports, help kids learn better, dress kids better, and bathe kids better we might actually make a dent in this bullying problem. Fail.

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