Warning to cute bullies

By Melodee

At our private pool the other day, six-year old Grace asked me for $1.50 to buy a snack from the vending machine. She likes the process of choosing a snack and putting in the money more than eating the snack. Feeling generous, I gave her the dollar bill and two quarters.

She was in the snack shack housing the two vending machines for so long that I finally put down my novel and went to check. Sometimes the snacks get stuck in the spiral dispenser. But no, she was just pondering the choices. She’d been in there about ten minutes.

About five minutes later, she approached my table, clutching two quarters but no snack.

“Where’s your snack?”

“Well, these girls pressed a number and it wasn’t what I wanted and I told them not to but they did.”

The vending machines are the kind where you press the letter and number combination that corresponds to the snack you want.

“They pressed the number after you put in the dollar?”


She didn’t seem upset, but surprised. And bewildered.

I, on the other hand, was angry. “Show me,” I said.

So, we went into the snack shack and she told me again what happened. I went over it again: “So, you put in the dollar and then the girls pressed a number?”


“Where are the Cheetos?”

“They put them on the microwave.” Sure enough, there behind me were the Cheetos. I picked them up. Grace doesn’t even like that kind of Cheetos.

Just then, the girls came into the snack shack doorway.

Two girls, about eight years old.

“Which one of you has a parent here?” I asked so I would know which one was a member and which one was a guest.

The girl on the left said, “I do.”

“And are you the one who pressed the number after Grace put in her money?”

“It was an accident.”

“An accident. You just happened to press the number after she put in her dollar?”

“I didn’t mean to.”

“Well, Grace would not choose this snack.” I waved the Cheeto package. “She doesn’t even like this. She put in the money and you pressed the number just to be mean.”

“No, I wasn’t trying to be mean.”

“Yes, you were. It was a mean trick to play on her.”

Grace pipes up. “Mom, it’s okay with me.”

“It’s not okay with me. Go swim.” Off she went.

To the culprit: “Do you want me to go talk to your mom?”


“I think you need to apologize to my daughter. What you did was mean and NOT okay with me.”

I stalked off to my table, deciding not to tell her mother what she’d done. I would have if the girl had been lippy with me and not repentant. The little girl came right over to my daughter (who was in the pool) and apologized. My daughter came up to me a while later and said, “You didn’t need to be so mean to that girl.”

I wasn’t the slightest bit mean. It would have been mean if I’d taken that child’s money, plugged it into the machine and purchased her something she hated. It would have been mean if I kicked her in the shins. But scolding her for doing something that was out of line was my job. And I take that job very seriously.

My job? Protecting my kids from bullies, even when they are cute little girls with big eyes wearing swimsuits. Don’t mess with my kid.

Originally posted at Actual Unretouched Photo.

8 Responses to Warning to cute bullies
  1. edj
    June 21, 2009 | 7:09 am

    I think you handled it really well. You weren’t mean at all, and you didn’t even make her deal with consequences, such as making her pay back the dollar, etc., but at the same time, you didn’t let her get away with it.

  2. melissa
    June 21, 2009 | 12:59 pm

    i admire your spunk i dont think i would have done it myself…..

  3. Storm
    June 21, 2009 | 6:44 pm

    I hate bullies. Good for you.

  4. Carrie
    June 21, 2009 | 8:11 pm

    Go, you! Hopefully you taught those girls a lesson & their bullying will not escalate or continue. 🙂

  5. Melodee
    June 21, 2009 | 11:31 pm

    Thanks, everyone, for your comments. I appreciate it.

  6. Anitra
    June 22, 2009 | 8:16 am

    Go mom! I was bullied as a little girl in school, and the bully knew how to turn on the charm with adults. “Who, me?”

    There were a few adults who were wise to her tricks, but many who would buy it. I eventually had to change schools.

    All this to say, thank you for standing up to this bully. Even if your little girl doesn’t appreciate it, you did the right thing. And maybe the bully will learn something from the experience.

  7. Natalia
    June 22, 2009 | 1:36 pm

    I would do the same thing.
    I am usually very shy and I used to run away from any conflict, but when it comes to my kids, I always protect them.
    I didn’t even know I could speak out.lol
    Once two bigger boys (7-8) in church were making fun of my 4 y.o. daughter’s name. I talked to them and made them apologize. I was so angry at them (which I am not proud of:-), but I agree with you “Don’t mess with my kid!”

  8. lennot balille
    April 3, 2012 | 2:40 am

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