Five-year olds are not the most reliable of narrators, but eventually you can piece together a story.
Jordan is a big kid, but he's a gentle one. He often gets bulldozed by his younger sister, even though he could clock her and totally take her down.
He has this new and adorable friend at his school. She's in his class, and they play together every day on the playground at recess, and sometimes we hang out with her and her mom after school. They are such good little pals, and this is a friendship I am happy to foster.
However. Jordan started coming home with stories from the playground that I did not like. Of getting spit on. Stories of getting hit. Of being chased and his friend being pushed outside the playground gate, and the gate being held shut, like a jail.
This was coupled with him beginning to bite his nails the second week of school and generally acting anxious. So Nick talked to the Vice Principal, who immediately contacted the school counselor.
This school is totally on top of things.
There have been different incidents with different kids, and I'm now quite sure that the spitting, which was one kid that first week, was provoked, in that Jordan was pulling on the kid's arm.
But the other incidents all involved another kid.
One that my mom started to refer to as the Bad Hat, if you've read that Madeline story. Nick asked her to stop, because it's unhelpful to label the kid as such, when we're trying to build bridges. (This is, however, how I think of him in private. The Bad Hat. Who actually turns around becomes a good kid. He needs some attention and some friends.)
So Nick talked to the dad, and then Nick and Jordan went to the BH's birthday. Nick and the dad are working on it, because the kid has his own struggles, and is acting out, and it's not that he's targeting our son specifically. And everyone is aware of what's going on.
Yesterday I asked Jordan how recess was, and he said, "It was good! Nobody hit us!"
The bar, it seems, has been set low.