Have you ever had an loud knock on your door in the middle of the afternoon? Was there an angry Grandpa on the other side?
The story really starts yesterday around 5:30. I had told Caleb he could go ride his bike. He likes to go one street over where there is a steep driveway that all the kids ride down. The yards here do not have privacy fences, so I can hear and catch glimpses of the kids over there and I allow him to go. He came back much earlier and quicker than usual. His face was flushed and not just from the heat. He was visibly upset. There was a problem with another boy. Let's call him B. B was in Caleb's class last year. They were friends at first, but after hearing how often this child went to the office, I told Caleb not to hang out with him. That was kind of hard since B is in the adjoining backyard with another little boy every day. Caleb is a pretty friendly, easy going kid though so I didn't really worry. Lately though, Caleb and B have not gotten along. Caleb's little girlfriend broke up with him to be B's girlfriend. Supposedly B has been making very ugly comments to Caleb and yesterday was no different. Caleb said B started shouting some very obscene things to him and Caleb charged towards him. Caleb told me they were just playing around, then Caleb admitted that is was more than that - he was mad at him and might have pushed him. Then the boy's Grandpa came out yelling at him and told him he had to get off their street. Caleb was super nervous because the Grandpa said he was going to come talk to me. I said, 'Let him, I have a few things to say to him too.'
Fast forward to this afternoon. Today is my mother's day as Bobby works all day tomorrow. All of us were lounging in the living room watching a movie. It was nice. Not for long. Grandpa was true to his word and banged our knocker against our door demanding to be noticed. I answered the door prepared for who it was but not prepared for a different version than I had heard. He said Caleb went after his grandson four times and four times the kid tried to run away from him. One time Caleb even had a stick in his hand, brandishing it at his grandson. (Later Caleb said B had one too but I didn't hear that from Grandpa.) He also said that Caleb was yelling obscenities at B - he said he would not even repeat the words Caleb said. Caleb had not told me that either. I told him Caleb would not be on their street. He tried to tell me that if Caleb was on his street again he would call the police, yeah right. My son has a right to ride his bike in his neighborhood but anyway - I digress. I told him what Caleb told me that B had said. I told him that B had shot rubber bullets and a slime gun at both of my boys, and I had already told them not to play with him. He said he would talk to B and B would not lie to him. Whatever.
I confronted Caleb, who admitted to everything Grandpa said except the cussing. He promises me he did not say any bad words. Brooklyn said he would have told her the truth and he told her he did not swear. I know Caleb has a temper. I do not doubt that. I do not doubt Caleb went after him four different times. But Caleb said each time B was running away he was yelling stuff over his shoulder to goad Caleb on. I believe that too. Grandpa didn't admit to that though, shoot he was up at his house, he may not have heard what was provoking Caleb. Caleb has never gotten into a fight with any kid other than his brother. Not a physical fight. I told him fighting would not be tolerated. We talked about what better choices would have been. Caleb has never let a cuss word slip in front of us either. He has gotten extremely angry with Brooklyn, Seth or Ayden at different times and I was not happy with his reaction but he never said a bad word. He has good behavior at school and gets the Good Citizenship Award every marking period. His teacher tells me he is popular and has a lot of friends. I just don't know what to make of this. I don't believe that he was cussing, but he wasn't entirely honest with me either. I have grounded him from going outside unless he's watching his little brothers out there, I have grounded him from his bike. I do not know what else to do. Should I let it go? I have never had to deal with something like this before. I mean the last really bad thing he did was bite a little baby's finger when he was three because he wanted to see what would happen. He really does not get in trouble and has always been a good kid. My gut tells me this kid had to really egg him on to make him that angry. I'm angry that he wasn't totally honest, I'm angry that he was trying to get violent but I'm also angry that the Grandfather was not ready to let B take any blame for his part. It's not like Caleb is some wild kid that just runs around bullying other people.
Well, I didn't mean for this post to get so long, sorry I rambled, but I would love any input.