I think I might be going to jail soon.
Yesterday, the three-and-a-half-year-old boy who lives in our building and continues to poke, push and holler at Sabine whether she is minding her own business or showing interest in his business, jumped my twenty-three-month-old kid back-alley style from behind. She fell so hard with him on top of her that her head smacked the concrete like a bowling ball.
Sabine was standing with her back to the boy, laughing while watching an older boy make silly faces. She was not engaging her assailant or anything related to him. And out of nowhere, he looked at her, yelled, "no," took a few running steps and pounced on her with his whole body in a way I've only seen on Animal Planet, when an unsuspecting deer is lunged at by a hungry lion.
Now, a little backstory so that I might accurately paint this picture: On previous occasions, when this boy thinks no one is looking, he has pushed Sabine to the ground, nudged or elbowed her as he passes by, and has thrown balls at her, as well as at me and Kadin. He has also whacked us in the back of our legs with whatever toy weapon he happens to be packing that day. Think Macaulay Culkin in The Good Son.
I'm still filled with rage, and the feeling of a thousand needles under my skin over the fact that he attacked my child the way he did. I want to pinch him hard while baring my teeth and warning him in a sharp, whispering voice to never, ever again touch her or I will become his worst nightmare. And oh I want to do much more than that, too, but I can't write it down, because you know, he's three, I'm an adult, and there's the law and stuff.
Suffice to say, I'm pissed off, devastated and sleepless over this occurrence. While almost no one could've predicted that that tiny, blue-eyed, three-year-old boy would morph into a hungry lion in seconds, as a parent, I can't get away from the notion that I didn't protect her. I should've been standing closer to her to prevent him from jumping her vs. having to pick her up off the ground after his father peeled him off of her. Or I should've recognized previous behavior as evidence that he was a budding terrorist.
It's beyond frightening to have a living, breathing defenseless piece of you running around and suddenly realize that at any moment someone or something could hurt her in a way that she might not recover from. It suddenly feels like everything moving around in this world has monstrous jaws that are just waiting to gnaw on her perfectly innocent limbs and swallow her up. It's my job to make sure that they don't and after yesterday, I feel completely unqualified and ill-equipped for the position.
Part of the reason why the job feels so insurmountable is that I'm ridiculously, unreasonably sympathetic toward the bad guy. My fingers are typing the next few sentences without my being able to stop them because while I don't want to spill dirty, embarrassing, not-so-little secrets, I have to be honest with myself, be brave and blow something wide open in order to change and be the kind of mother and person for Sabine that she deserves: When I was somewhere around the age of five, someone I loved violated me repeatedly in a physical way. This person would emotionally manipulate me, making me feel sorry for him before and after he did what he did to me. Again, I was about five and I loved him, so when he told me I was hurting him by saying "no" or "stop it," I believed him and felt sorry--so I gave myself over.
And isn't it amazing that what happens when you are this little becomes your DNA, who you are, your map or navigation system so that you're still functioning this way when you are a thirty-something-year-old woman?
I don't know what made this boy snap. But after so many years of sympathy for a broken and harmful person in my own life, I don't give a shit what is wrong with this tiny turd. He hurt my kid. Badly. Unprovoked. She's not even two. And there's nothing stopping him from wanting to do it again. I cannot give him my sympathy, or the benefit of the doubt anymore. I cannot be hopeful in terms of rehabilitation and cooperation. He crossed a big fat line and if he touches Sabine again, someone is going to have to pry my ugly, short, nail-bitten fingers from around his neck. This is my tiny girl, my everything. And if there's ever a time to get over my shit, stand up and fight someone off of someone and re-write my sadly f*cked up road map so that I'm more protective than I am sympathetic--it's right now. For Sabine.
|Image via Observando|