Monday night we bundled up Robby and took him for his ice skating lesson. He has learned to love his lessons and, I have to brag, he is doing quite well steadying himself on two thin blades on top of ice. With the exception of the first class where we arrived late and woefully unprepared, Robby has always smiled throughout his class.
Until, of course, Monday night. He was happily practicing when Scott and I both saw a little girl come up to talk to him. As soon as she skated away I saw Robby's face and I knew that he was upset. Although he stayed on the ice, we both knew that he was struggling to hold back his emotions. As soon as he got off the ice he pleaded to go home and immediately dissolved in front of my eyes.
To our frustration Robby absolutely refused to tell us what the little girl said to upset him. He was insistent that he was not going to talk to us about it and, although we tried, we could elicit few details about the incident. I don't like him holding back information, especially when he is upset, but I decided not to push the issue. I just gave him a hug and reminded him that I will always love him and vowed not to mention it again.
Yesterday morning Robby asked if he could stop by and see Mr. Bill, explaining that he needed a "man to man" talk. I agreed and after school I drove directly into Bill's driveway. He had the cheese and crackers ready and invited Robby inside to talk things out.
Robby came out of Bill's house about 20 minutes later with cracker crumbs and cheese bits stuck to his chin and cheeks. He was also grinning from ear to ear. He gave me a huge hug and said, "Momom, you are beautiful. I don't care what that mean little girl says" before skipping through the yard to gather sticks to start a bonfire.
When Robby was out of earshot Mr. Bill filled me in on the details. Apparently the little girl told Robby that his Mommy had "an ugly leg and walks like a monster." According to this little girl, I also have a "fat butt" (she is correct although it is shrinking daily) and a "super duper ugly face" (a point I will take issue with).
Robby is used to stares, questions and second glances. He is accustomed to hearing hushed whispers and direct (and sometimes personal) questions about my leg. He is not used to hearing me be insulted, and my little guy didn't know how to handle the situation and didn't want to tell me for fear of hurting my feelings.
In addition to uncovering the information, the pair talked about how to handle the little girl in the future. I understand that Robby briefly toyed with the idea of pushing her on the ice but decided against it because he didn't want to her to break a bone. Instead he devised another plan. He confided in Mr. Bill that next Monday he plans on standing in front of this girl in the skate line and "toot" through the entire class, forcing the little girl to skate in the stench. Mr. Bill, of course, offered a suggestions. "Buddy, be sure to eat yourself a lot of beans."