The Odd Mix

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Location: Virginia, United States

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

If I Knew Who He Was, I’d…

…rip his tongue out through his nose and staple it to a wall.

High up on a wall.

Well at least I’d like to. But I wouldn’t. Because that kind of behavior is considered inappropriate. Especially when directed by an adult toward a kindergartener (OK. He’s in first grade now, but who’s counting).

I have been accused of having a hot temper. Not true. What I have is more of a ferocious but controlled temper – I think it’s sort of a Celt/Norse thing dating back to the Vikings in Scotland. I rarely get angry enough to show it, but when I do (I am told by MDW) I am frightening. I know my temper and I therefore control it ruthlessly. I have never, not once, allowed myself to really loose my temper with my wife or children. In fact, I can only recall a handful of times in my life when I did loose my temper, and it scared me enough to want to never do it again. Now into my nice controlled life, I have just discovered, intrudes a nitwit who really makes my blood boil - and I cannot vent it in “real life”. So I am venting here.

As you may know, I have four wonderful children – three of whom are beautiful, one of whom is handsome. I am not just being biased (though I freely admit that I am) – many people have told me how attractive my children are. (Does anyone ever tell you if your kids are unattractive?)



And they have all been home schooled – except for last year. We decided to let Caleb and Gabriella attend public school for a year to see how it would go. Answer: Not well at all. No more of that nonsense for now.



Ready for the screeching left turn? Since last year, Gabriella has resisted letting MDW put her gorgeous red hair up in a pony tail or braid. We couldn’t understand it, and it resulted in not a few arguments. This winter she finally told us that it was because she didn’t like to see her ears. Huh…? Well, you may have guessed it. She admitted to MDW this morning (during one of the aforementioned tearful arguments) that the reason she does not like her ears was that she had been teased about them in kindergarten last year. By one little xy chromosome bearing individual whom she didn’t even like. While the teacher sat and did nothing. Which Gabriella took as tacit agreement with the opinion of the little jerk. And now there is no convincing her that her ears are beautiful. What is a father to do (besides the stapling the tongue to the wall trick I have already rejected)?



I know that life is full of hurts. My wife and I were both teased unmercifully when we were kids. I survived with a mildly dented ego. She didn’t fare nearly as well. I know that Gabriella will undoubtedly hurt again in her life. But this is the first time someone has hurt her, badly, on purpose.



And darn it, I am the Daddy that held her when she was an infant and critically ill and sang You Are My Sunshine until she quieted for a few minutes. I am the Daddy she runs to when she hurts herself. I am the Daddy whose side of the bed she sneaks into when she has a nightmare. I am the Daddy who took a fall down the stairs rather than drop his little girl. I am the Daddy who wants to be home to hold her, who would protect her forever if I could. And hearing her weep in the background as my wife talked to me on the phone is tying my guts in a large, complicated knot. I don’t know whether I want to cry or break something. I have no target (thankfully) for my rage. The boy is nameless and faceless, the teacher has retired. So I’ll pray about it… and look at pictures of my beautiful Sunshine… and vent to the blogosphere.



Please do me a favor. If you read this post, leave a comment for Gabriella.

30 Comments:

Blogger mekayla said...

your children are truly beautiful. and only a daddy's heart can breat the way yours has. Stay strong and keep the faith.

1:22 PM, March 14, 2006  
Blogger mama_tulip said...

I am in tears. That last paragraph...you are a fabulous father.

Gabriella, you are beautiful. When I first started to scroll down I was struck by your gorgeous hair. Not many people have such beautiful hair, my dear. And you know what? Your ears are wonderful, because they're yours. No one else's but yours. So wear your hair up with pride, sweetie. You are gorgeous.

Okay I'm seriously crying now. **Hugs** to all of you.

1:31 PM, March 14, 2006  
Blogger Rhonda said...

What a great dad.

Gabriella, you are remarkably gorgeous. Your hair is the color of a beautiful sunset. You should be proud of it and your ears and everything else about you because that is what makes you you. I have learned with age that people who tease others are only doing it to feel better about themselves. Don't let it get to you.

2:35 PM, March 14, 2006  
Blogger Katie said...

I am so sorry, Gabriella. I used to be a teacher and I remember how mean some kids can be. I wish I could give you a big hug and tell you how special you are!

BTW, our new church is almost directly across the street from the new Comcast arena at UMD.

3:12 PM, March 14, 2006  
Blogger suburban mom said...

I'm sorry. I know how that is. It rips your heart out.

3:39 PM, March 14, 2006  
Blogger Tree said...

Gabriella,
Hi sweetie. First, I want to tell you how beautiful you are. I have three boys who all think you are gorgeous and think you're hair is amazing. I told my oldest (whose name is Caleb!) that somebody made fun of your ears, and he just didn't get it. "Why?" he asked.
"People make fun of other people when they don't feel very good about themselves," I told him.
It's true, Gabriella!
Don't you let that person make you feel bad; that's just what he was hoping for! The best thing to do in this type of situation is to trust the people who love you. And you are a very lucky girl, because a lot of people love you.
Sounds like your Daddy, for one, loves you very, very much.
:)
And you know what? That makes you beautiful AND lucky!

4:47 PM, March 14, 2006  
Blogger Susie said...

Gabriella, you have to be a beautiful girl to match such a beautiful name. I see the pictures your dad has posted and I have to say you are lovely! Your skin is like porcelin! Women kill for that skin! And your hair? That gorgeous red hair tucked behind those cute little ears... you don't get much cuter than that.

So pay no attention when people say mean things. They usually say things like that because they are jealous or feel bad about themselves. Feel GOOD about yourself! You are beautiful!

7:19 PM, March 14, 2006  
Blogger Lucky Lum said...

Gabriella-
First of all, you have the most beautiful name, and such unique traits to match. Many girls and boys will wish they could be as different and gorgeous as you.
You will get made fun of your whole life. That's what mean people do.
Hold your head up high, shrug them off, and make sure to point out that they're just jealous!

And Daddy-
Make sure to teach your baby that no matter where she goes in this world, outside her home there will always be people that may try to hurt her feelings. Your first instinct is to protect and make better, but over time she will have to learn to fend for herself.
I'm sure you will be a great teacher of life's lessons.

8:05 PM, March 14, 2006  
Blogger eric said...

gabriella, your ears are suh-weet! little kids sometimes say mean stuff to nice girls because they aren't happy. that's not your fault. people are going to say mean things, but it doesn't make it true.

dad, i know how difficult it is, if you have that intimate personal connection like i do. at the same time ... i know it's hard to do, but you're going to have let her find her own way with those things sometimes. it's dealing with difficulty and difficult people that helps us better define ourselves.

it was one of the hardest things i had to do, but i saw my 5 year getting mildly bullied by an 8 year old while playing basketball.

i let it go for just a bit to show him that not everybody in the world is nice and that not everybody will like you.

then, i let his older cousin (almost 8, and much like a brother to him) step in and take care of the situation.

it worked out. my oldest boy needs to learn how to stick up for his little brother when it's necessary. he looks to me to learn those lessons, and when i have an opportunity to let someone else be the example and step aside, he learns it through experience.

i know it's different in some ways, but that's just my unsolicited opinion. i bet it's harder with girls, though.

e+

12:26 PM, March 15, 2006  
Blogger Tink said...

There is NOTHING wrong with her ears! In fact, her ears are the last thing I would have noticed. My first comment would have been, "What gorgeous fiery hair." She looks like a little Celtic Goddess. What I would have given to be born with that instead of the mousy brown hair I have. So mousy people used to think it was wet when it was bone dry.

Besides... Perhaps he was teasing because he LIKED her. It is the way of little boys who aren't confident enough to give a compliment.

1:25 PM, March 15, 2006  
Blogger Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

Gabriella,

Usually when a boy teases you it is because he likes you.

The way I knew that one boy liked me was because he kept pushing me and making fun of my cat. He liked me enough to marry me.

It has nothing to do with your ears. He just wants to be your boyfriend.

3:46 PM, March 15, 2006  
Blogger eric said...

i was going to mention that, too, but i thought it might just gross gabriella out. ;)

speaking as a guy who has trouble understanding women, much less how to talk to them with saavy, i can attest to the pick on them because you like them approach.

e+

4:09 PM, March 15, 2006  
Blogger WILLIAM said...

Gabriella, beautiful name and a beautiful child.

4:45 PM, March 15, 2006  
Anonymous Jessica said...

Gabriella,

You are such a beautiful girl. Never be ashamed of any part of you, let alone your precious, delicate little ears! And you are so very lucky to have such a devoted daddy!

6:33 PM, March 15, 2006  
Blogger Gidge said...

People say the stupidest things that hurt our feelings don't they? When I was in middle school, there were these boys who always called me BUG EYES. I began to hate hate hate the way I looked. Some people would tell me I have Doe eyes when I got upset, but I misunderstood and thought they meant DOUGH eyes (I don't know what that meant it just SOUNDED like it meant ugly) and after having been told that for so long....I began to believe how terribly ugly I was. How could I ever be pretty when my eyes were so hideous and BIG?
Even my parents couldn't convince me.....I just thought that they had to love me so they would lie so that I wouldn't be sad.
And then one day someone I didn't know told me I had the most beautiful eyes, and how much she wished that SHE had big eyes, because hers were small and the thought they looked silly in her big head.
And I realized that she had no reason to lie to me....she LIKED my eyes and wished hers were more like them.
And that maybe I wasn't a hideous person after all. I realized that some people LIKE big blue eyes, and consider them pretty.

You are just a beautiful girl Gabriella, and boys stay silly things. Sarah is right you know, they especially say silly things when they like you. It's because they can't think of anything normal to say.

After all.......they are boys.

11:48 PM, March 15, 2006  
Blogger LotionBarBunny said...

First to you daddy--Your children are beautiful. I also hear the remarks people make about my Porkchop, who is 4. They joke about his ears and say he could fly away. I tell him everyday that it is his ears that make him unique. He also has a large birthmark on the side of his face. Dr.'s have asked me if I want to remove it so that he can look normal. Wha??? My child is normal and BEAUTIFUL just the way he is. I tell him this birthmark was God's way of telling him just how beautiful he is. Now my other children want a birthmark like that. ;) You can see pictures of Porkchop on my blog back in the Feb. archives. I put up his pictures when it was his birthday (2/10).

Gabriella, you are gorgeous. Remember that God has made you in His image. And what part of God is not perfect? So you are perfect, just the way you are. Beautiful ears and all. xoxo

10:36 AM, March 16, 2006  
Blogger tammy said...

1st - there is nothing wrong with your ears. As there was nothing wrong with mine when I was teased at abour the same age.

2nd - I am very sorry that your first school expeirnce was with a teacher that allowed that to happen. As a kindergarten teacher, I would NEVER allow that to happen in my classroom.

3rd - from one red head to another - your hair is awesome!

5:17 PM, March 16, 2006  
Blogger Mom Underground said...

Gabriella, you're a beautiful little girl. Believe every single loving word your father tells you about yourself because he KNOWS "beautiful" when he sees it - he married your mom, didn't he?

(And Odd Mix, more little girls need daddies just like you!)

10:37 PM, March 16, 2006  
Blogger Alien said...

OK. So I'm a little late. (I found you via comments on Katherine's (Mama Tulip) blog. But I couldn't not respond to this post.

Gabriella, you are absolutely stunning. And I mean breathtaking. Your hair is beyond gorgeous. It may be hard for you to understand now, but one day you'll realize that you have hair that the rest of the girls in the world wish they could have.

And I think your ears are adorable. They're so pretty!

And what is the most important thing in all of this is that you have an unbelieveable daddy. And one day, you'll realize that nothing else matters. Just remember that no matter who makes fun of you or teases you, you can always come home to a daddy that thinks you are perfect. :)

9:13 PM, March 18, 2006  
Blogger Kami said...

She is GORGEOUS.

Lemme at him.

8:23 PM, March 20, 2006  
Blogger MomToTracyNSheri said...

Gabriella - I'm a little late on the scene here and I'm not as poetic as soom of these other people, but I HAVE GOT to tell you that you're a knockout. Anyone who tells you otherwise needs glasses or truth serum. And you have a really really nice Dad but I think you already know that!

8:38 PM, March 20, 2006  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Hey Gabriella,
I too have red hair. When I was a little girl about your age I HATED when people would always comment on my hair. People would touch my hair in the grocery line and tell me how beautiful it was.
I just wanted to be like all my other friends who had blond or brown hair. No one every commented on their hair!
I'm not a little girl anymore, I'm a mom. Let me tell you a secret. I love my hair color.
Do you know what happens when some little blond or brunette girls turn into adults? They color their hair red! It's true! (And a little funny, don't ya think?)

So, don't you ever listen to anyone who thinks you aren't pretty enough or are not the same as them. You are you, and from what I see, you are simply beautiful!

9:07 PM, March 21, 2006  
Blogger LoriLaurieLauri said...

Hmmm...I have examined your ears, as closely as possible on the internet, and I have no idea what that kid was talking about! But...my theory is, that he liked you very much and thought you were really cute and, rather than saying that to you, he found another, albeit wrong, way. Boys are dumb that way. And they do it a lot!

I need to ask you a question though. Yesterday, my daughter Claire, who is 4, was playing doctor and checking my ears. She said that they have hair in them. I asked her what that meant, and she said that hair in my ears meant I was turning into a troll!!! She then gave me some anti-troll medicine, but I don't think it's working.

Have you ever heard of this? And what can I do if my ears turn into troll ears?!? Please help!

8:43 PM, March 24, 2006  
Blogger DadGuy said...

Gabriella,
Oh the red hair! Mr Dadguy, my one true love has red hair as does my oldest girl named Birdie, so I love me some red hair!
I think that you are beautiful. You make me think of a perfect and luminescent seashell.

1:18 AM, March 28, 2006  
Blogger DadGuy said...

ooops!
that last comment was actually made by me on Dadguy's computer!
haha... ahem!

bon from
becauseiamthemama.blogspot.com

1:44 AM, March 28, 2006  
Blogger Jennboree said...

Sweet Gabriella, you are a such a beautiful girl! Every child gets teased in life and it is generally by kids who don't like something about their own body so to make themselves feel better, they pick on others.

I was always called "gooseneck" and "lobster face" for being thin and having big eyes. Now, my eyes and neck are some of my best features!

Your parents are not lying when they say you are lovely in every way.

8:14 AM, March 31, 2006  
Blogger Amy said...

Wow. First time visitor and you've already made me cry.

Gabriela,
You are a beautiful child. I had a friend named Becky when I was a little girl who had hair just like yours and I was incredibly jealous of her beautiful hair. I'm sorry your classmate hurt your feelings. One time a boy said something about my teeth and I cried and cried and begged my parents for braces, so I know how you feel. The thing is, there was nothing wrong with my teeth--the little boy was just being mean. I forgave him, though, and we became great friends.

Dad--I felt my chest tightening at the description of your anger. I am an assistant principal of a public school, so unfortunately, I see this all too often. You sound like an amazing dad.

3:08 PM, April 06, 2006  
Blogger Heather said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:44 PM, April 06, 2006  
Blogger Heather said...

This is late coming, but here goes.

Lots of adults would kill to have gorgeous red hair like yours, kiddo. When I was in grade 2 there was one really mean girl in my class who made me upset one day. I don't even remember what about. My dad, being the super dad he was tried to make me feel better.

He told me there were just some people in this life who (and this is his actual explanation, feel free to sanitize it) go around with a little, invisible bag of poo (he didn't say poo and that was the first time I heard the s-word) on their belt and they just make it their life's goal to just throw poo at people for no reason. Hold your head up high and know you've done nothing to deserve him being mean to you. It's too bad there are people like that in the world but there's nothing you can do but realize that they're the ones with a little bag of poo on their belt and not you! You're gorgeous kiddo and don't believe anyone who would tell you anything different.

5:23 PM, April 06, 2006  
Anonymous B.J. said...

This is totally late, but I just came across your blog from another site and started back in the archives to get a feel for who Odd Mix was.

From the beginning I questioned the beautiful red head child, that was happy, determined, but always had a look of unbounded energy that didn't quite fit with hair always down. You know what I mean - how is it that this amazing always clicking away father never seemed to have a picture of his baby girl with her hair up? Especially on a farm!

And I'm in real tears at work now that I have come across the reason why. There is the obvious sadness over her hurt feelings and lingering adamant emotions. But what is really choking me up is the pain you must be feeling. The first thing you as a parent, cannot fix or change/guide her young mind on. The things that are to come with growing up, and becoming a woman one day. The heartbreak to come Odd Mix. I am so sad and she is not even my child! (it makes me so scared to start my family one day)

8:26 PM, April 20, 2006  

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