Friday, January 23, 2009


Yesterday Jacob came home from school a little sad. He said he'd had a bad day. I told him to come sit by me and tell me about it. My 10 year old boy sat in my lap and burst into tears. My heart was breaking, and I hadn't even heard the story yet.

A couple of days ago, right before bedtime Jacob showed me his hands. The skin on top of his hands was really dry. We put lotion on them, and he went to sleep. The next morning I gave him some lotion to use at school to help with the dry skin. I don't know how much he used the lotion, but his hands didn't seem to be getting better. Then yesterday when Jacob was at lunch the boy sitting next to him noticed his hands. He made a huge deal about the "rash" on Jacob's hands and made sure all the other kids sitting nearby heard him. Then everyone got up and moved away. Jacob ate alone. Kills me! At recess Jacob sat on a swing by himself because nobody would play with him. Makes me want to cry just thinking about it!

We talked about what he could have said or done to help the situation. He said he tried to tell them it was just dry skin, but they wouldn't listen to him. He asked if he could stay home from school today. I told him that he had to go to school but that we would go to the doctor first. This morning we went to the doctor, and she gave him some cream for excema. Jacob was so impressed with me, because I had already told him that it looked like more than just dry skin. It looked like excema. He dealt with excema some when we lived here before. He had a couple of bouts with it when we were in Turkey. This is the first time it was really noticeable. This was the first time anyone had ever treated him like that.

When we were on our way to school I noticed that Jacob was wearing his jacket. The weather had warmed up, and a jacket was no longer necessary. I told him he could leave it in the car if he wanted. He said he wanted to wear it. That's when I realized that he was wearing his jacket so he could hide his hands.

I dropped Jacob off at school at 10am this morning. I hope those kids have short term memories. I hope that nobody looks at his hands to determine his worth today. I wonder if this event will be one that shapes him. After writing my last post about one of my own experiences in school I can't help but wonder.

Jacob is one of the sweetest kids I've ever known. Both my boys are. Anyone who's ever met them can vouch for that fact. They are well liked by everyone and have always had lots of friends. To see the look on his face when he explained what happened just killed me. So here I sit counting down the hours until he gets home. I hope someone was exceptionally nice to him today. I hope he comes home smiling. I hope.

(Yes, I noticed that I didn't say anything about my girls being the sweetest kids ever. And that's all I have to say about that!)


Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear about Jacob's bad day. I grew up with such a mean group of girls in elementary school. I think I am still scarred today because of it in some ways. Hopefully the medicine will work quickly and the kids will forget about it.

Love ya,
LA Cousin

Anonymous said...

What a hard day especially with being new and all. I'm so sorry those boys were mean. Hope his hands feel better and that it was a better day today.


Sra said...

Oh, bless him! As someone who had her fair share of character-shaping moments brought on by mean people, I can feel for his torment. All I can say to that is it's impossible to reach adulthood without some kind of emotional bruising.

But eczema treatments do work, and eventually the other kids won't remember this. Meanwhile, I think this is a good opportunity for Jacob to learn about how to respond to people who overstep the bounds of decency. Kids who behave like that WANT their victim to crawl into an embarrassed shell, because that's where they get their power. And they behave like that because they are uncomfortable with themselves, and so they make themselves feel better by making other people feel bad.

I don't have any good advice for how to respond to these people, because I would always crawl in my own shell and never learned those skills. But I can recommend reading Boy Proof about an awkward girl who befriends a friendly and confident guy in high school. I think trying to model the attitude of the guy in the book is a worthwhile goal. It's a quick read, and pretty good.

Unknown said...


Mean kids suck. You did good mom-there's not more you can do. *sigh*

Anonymous said...

This story broke my heart. I hate bullying. I hate mean kids. And I hate that your son was made to feel bad about himself. This type of thing is my biggest fear, because it is so random. You never know when someone will decide to pick on your kid. It's just awful.

I hope that your boy had a much better day at school today. ((hugs))

Sara Campbell said...

Grrrr. that really burns me up. I love Jacob! Wish they could enroll at OIS for a week or so, Ross would 'get em' Nothing burns him up more than bullies! Anyway, tell Jacob we love him! and miss him! My girls are getting it too, Natalie. I've been treating it with vaseline. Will that not work? What could I get in Turkey?

Anonymous said...

Kids are so freaking mean. Little bastids.

When my son was in first grade, he told us he sat by himself at lunch. OMG I cried right there at dinner.


Tami Wyatt said...

There is no end to the rudeness of school kids. I wonder what their mothers would think if they knew that they were being to mean to a classmate?

Have you considered calling his teacher and gently explaining the situation so that maybe she could be on the look out and if anything is said in class she could kick the offender across the room, ur, um, I mean take the perpetrator aside and explain to him that making fun of people is not acceptable behavior?

Anonymous said...

It's heart-wrenching to have your child picked on. I remember the day his fall when my younger son went to school with a new haircut and came out that afternoon al sad because kids had said he looked like a girl.

Momo Fali said...

I am so sorry that he had to deal with this. That's awful. Kids can be so cruel. If they say something again, I would tell him to say something along the lines of, "My hands are dry because I wash them a lot, but if you want to be dirty, feel free".

On a MUCH lighter note, I'm having my first giveaway and it's something wonderful (and don't get used to it, because I'll probably never do it again)!

josetteplank.com said...

Ugh. Mean kids do stink. I'd probably tell the teacher, especially since all the kids moved away from him at the table. That was wrong, wrong, and wrong.

Unfortunately, a lot of parents will shake their heads and say, "oh not by kid. They would never do that!" I honestly don't think it's beyond any child to be momentarily mean or to play the bully. Kids and kids; but that's an explanation, not an excuse. Parents still need to be parents and not take it so personally when their good kid turns out to be the one who caused some other child pain. It happens. The not dealing with it is the bigger sin.

So sorry for your guy. I do hope today was much better.

maris said...

Give a biiiggg hug to Jacob from me and tell him I miss him a lot. Also, tell him my hug swam across the ocean to get to him :o) He is indeed a lovely kid, but I am afraid life is not fair. Still, he is very lucky to have such a loving family.

Classy Fab Sarah said...

That stinks - I hate mean kids!!

Hopefully he'll be able to deal with the meanies until they find somebody else to pick on...

Lisa said...

The Mamma Bear in me is starting to come out...my hair's growing on my back and my claws are extending, and he's not even my kid!

We had a bullying situation several years ago regarding Annie, and I went to school to eat lunch with her. I intentionally wanted to meet the bully. I just wanted Annie to know I was her advocate, and I wanted the bully to know an adult was onto him. I talked with the bully about the Golden Rule, and shared with him some of our beliefs about how to treat others.

At Jacob's age, it might be embarrassing to have a parent take up for him, but you'd have to judge the situation and his temprament. Brian could befriend this bully - it could be the only positive correction he receives.

We're praying for Jacob's spirit through this to be strong!

The Over-Thinker said...

I swear..(literally, when I read this post)...that humans can sure be jerks. Like Sra, I can think of the MANY character-shaping moments of my childhood and still cringe at the angsty-mess I was in middle-school.

I hope each day gets easier for Jacob and that his schoolmates can get off the stupid-bus and be kind friends.

In the meantime, I'll be sending many good vibes his way.

P.S. You're a wonderful mom.
P.P.S. I'm looking forward to hearing about the "sweetness" of the girls :)

Lost In Splendor said...

Poor Jacob! These situations are just awful. It is amazing the things that children will latch onto and pick on each other for. It will pass. I hope Jacob heals soon and those kids find something else to focus their attention on.

Irrational Dad said...


Stupid bullies... I can only imagine how helpless that makes you feel. I hope things went better yesterday.

Anonymous said...

Hey! Just getting caught up w/ you here...sorry about Jacob. that just breaks your heart. Kids are such heartless animals sometimes. I know I was pretty mean sometimes at that age.
I hope that he is feeling better!

Anonymous said...
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Idabel Oklahoma said...

Hey, found you on Georgie Decisionally Challenged. Have you tried taking him off wheat products? My kids had it bad bad. Hands would bleed it got so bad. I took them off wheat products and no problem since. Also, vaseline worked better than any lotion our doctors ever gave us.

Happy Campers said...

I'm so sorry to hear about how the other children treated your son. Children can be horribly cruel. The other commenter was right though...kids who bully want the victim to slink away. They are just as insecure as others. I hope he's having better days now, & it hasn't happened again.

Anonymous said...

hope he's feeling better now, yes your kids are the cutest!!!