For the past 6 weeks Ethan has been really into the sandpit at school. Everyday he comes home with sand in every orifice, pockets and socks full of sand and the occasional story about injuries sustained in the course of sandpit play. This last part had me puzzled from the get go as I have never heard of so many sandcastle related accidents! Then there was the occasional whimper of bullies in the sandbox.
To clarify, the sandbox at Ethan’s school is fully fenced to keep cats and teenagers out, it is surrounded by trellis so the kids feel pretty invisible whilst they’re ‘playing’ in there (I’m guessing).
So, yesterday Ethan was on the receiving end of a kick to the nads. He delivered a kick back and apparently peace was restored between he and his BFF. At this point I was unable to gather what had started the two boys off. Of course I had been speaking to Ethan’s teacher about my sandpit worries every time Ethan had voiced concerns himself, so she was aware that there were problems in the sandy oasis.
This morning at 6.45am we got the whole story.
Ethan came into our room to tell his daddy that he had taken his first kick to his ‘privates’ and for the first time he broke the first rule of Fight Club and told us about the Five Year Old Fight Club! The boys had all been gathering in the sand-pit to fight and wrestle and when the duty teacher came around they got busy pretending to play! There is one bigger boy who is one of the special needs kids at the school who is a ringleader of sorts (from what I can gather) and invites challengers to take him down!
So the full story finally came out, albeit like a stubborn prickle that could not be forced. Ethan told us what was going on in his own time. It is so frustrating though, I knew something was going on weeks ago but he wouldn’t talk about it, and obviously he is no innocent bystander as he was going back to the sandpit every morning tea and lunch to either take part or watch more beat-downs.
So, Dave went to the principal this morning with our findings and the doors to Five Year Old Fight Club are going to be locked for the next week. I have an ominous feeling that this is what the teenage years might be like, knowing something is going on but getting nothing from your kid despite numerous avenues of questioning and interrogation. We just have to hope that they trust us enough to eventually talk the situation through of their own accord, which is what Ethan did this morning, and for that I am grateful.