So yesterday, I picked the Impossible Son up from school as usual and when he climbed in the car, he said this week was "Stop-The-Bullying" week at his school, and in celebration of this, the kids in his class got to watch a film.
Now, the thing you have to understand is that when the Impossible Son is excited, or confused, or upset, his narrative tends to get somewhat... garbled. It's even worse when he's trying to work through his memory to tell you the story.
So, he started telling me about the film, and I could tell it bothered him, because his eyes were big, and his voice got high, and he was speaking very fast, as if he just wanted to get it over with as quickly as possible. The basic gist of what he told me is this; Kid A starts bullying Kid B. Kid B tells, and Kid A is suspended from school. His parents ground him for a month and take away all his privileges, so all he can basically do is just lay on his bed in his room and do nothing. This makes Kid A feel bad, and finally... he sets himself on fire.
Yes, you read that right. Go ahead and read it again, I'll just sit here and file my nails while I wait.
Okay, to reiterate, Kid A feels so bad he SETS HIMSELF ON FIRE.
This is bad.
He goes to the hospital and when he comes back, he has a lot of scars. The Impossible Son doesn't specify where the scars are, but I get a pretty good idea after Kid A goes back to school, because all his bullying buddies turn on him and call him "Pizza Face."
However, Kid B, his former victim, stands up for him and everyone stops. Kid A still has to transfer to another school, where he meets Kid C, who becomes his best friend and supporter, and when Kid A's teacher finds out what happened to him, he throws Kid A a party. The end.
So... the message is... don't bully or you might set yourself on fire, and then your new teacher will give you a party???
Once Mr. Impossible told me about it, we talked about it and I asked him what he thought about it, and he said it was kinda freaky, because OMG, THE BOY WAS ON FIRE!! And I said, "Wait, did they show him on fire? I mean, did the film show him setting himself on fire and burning?"
"It was pretty weird, Mom," he said, which didn't really answer my question.
I backed off for a bit, then asked him about it again when we got home and he said, "It was just a movie," and I asked him if he thought what the boy had done was the right thing to do. He said, "It was pretty stupid to set himself on fire. It just made everything worse. All he had to do was just read some books to get through the boredom, and the month would be over and he could go back to playing and stuff. I didn't like that, it was stupid."
I thought, okay, no worries on that front. He understood that much.
I forgot about my son's overactive imagination.
The Husbandly One put him to bed last night while I made lunches early, because I felt like crap and just wanted to go to bed. And it looked like I was actually going to get to bed before 11 p.m., it really did! Until I sat down at the computer only to find a shivering child next to me with tears streaming down his face.
"What on earth?" I asked and he threw himself into my arms.
"I can't stop thinking about the boy being on fire!" he wailed.
. . .
It took putting him in our bed with THO on one side of him and me on the other, and a LOT of talking to settle him down. And none of the usual, "Think about cookies, think about Grandma holding you while she sings, think about Muta purring as he curls up next to you," worked to distract him. Finally, I had to give him a lot of water imagery to focus on, until he decided to imagine Katara from Avatar using her waterbending healing skills to put the fire out, and then he finally relaxed. I ended up having to sit at the computer so the light from the screen would light the room up enough to let him go to sleep. It was after midnight when THO was able to finally carry him to his bed and tuck him in.
Needless to say, I have emailed his teacher to get an idea of what actually happened yesterday. I called the school, but after the trouble it took for the secretary to understand me (I have a nasty case of laryngitis right now), email seemed to be a better idea.
Can we please just have one week without some sort of excitement going on around here? Just one???