Saturday, November 19, 2011

Baby bullies, Part 1

Tonight I managed quite a feat-- I garnered several horrified faces from fellow parents of little kids. We were attending Tot Shabbat services at our synagogue and my little Josh was dancing around the rabbi trying to keep his yarmalkah on. The kids were running amuck as usual while the adults sang along to the simple songs in Hebrew, English,Yiddish and a smattering of words from no particular language such as "bim-bom."

My Joshy was about to get pushed down for the fourth time by an otherwise adorable curly-haired three-year-old half a foot taller than him, when I intervened. I'm not sure why I did it. I'm not sure that I decided to do it. I am sure I was immediately red-faced, ashamed and imploringly apologetic. I babbled for a good minute about why I did it and why I shouldn't have and what I should have done-- tell them and let them deal with it obviously--O blatant hindsight!

In that split-moment, I must not have had enough time to pull Josh away. I must not have been able to block him either. In that partial-second, that curly-haired toddler transformed into every monster of my childhood-- the pretty little girls who didn't want to play with me, the teenage boy that mocked me for being an observant Jew by singing prayers at me on the school bus. The incessant laughter of children emotionally torturing an innocent must have been swirling like a tornado in my amygdala.

And I grabbed the boy's arm as it was about to come down on my son.

Sent from my iPhone

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