Both of my children have beautiful red hair….
They’ve always loved the colour of their hair and to my knowledge, until this week nothing negative has ever really been said to them about their hair colour. Just the opposite in fact, they often get stopped by people who tell them how lovely it is.
I took them into town as I had a problem with my mobile phone and had to spend over an hour in the shop while they sorted out (now that’s a whole other ranty post). Anyway, the poor kids naturally got bored sat in the shop for so long so after they’d played on just about every display phone in the shop, I sent them to the shop next door to buy themselves a cake each.
I made them eat the cakes in the doorway of the shop (cake crumbs, sticky icing and mobile phones aren’t a great mix) and as I was sat watching them, I saw a little boy of about 10 or 11 approach them and say something. I knew it wasn’t nice by the expression on his face and the fact that Miss Frugal automatically reached for her brothers hand.
Obviously I went straight to them and Master Frugal pointed at the boy stood with him mother and two younger children and told me that he’d just called them stupid ginger ninjas. The boy by this time was sniggering with the older of other two children and while I was stood there, the two of them walked right up to us and said the same thing!
It’s not my place to tell other children off when their mother is stood less than 10 feet away but I said very loudly to my two that they should ignore them as they were just being mean and obviously weren’t very nice children. The mother had managed to light her cigarette by this point so actually looked up to see what her children was doing.
She started to pay attention just in time to hear her two delightful children call mine Ginger Idiots! She didn’t even have the grace to look embarrassed and certainly didn’t make any attempt to tell them off. She just started walking away and her children followed – not without a final parting ‘ginger ninja idiots’ shout though.
The sad thing is that Master Frugal uses Ginger Ninja and variations of it all the time to refer to himself – we even have a Mii character on our Wii that he made to look like himself and nicknamed the Ginger Ninja. It’s always made us laugh in the past but he’s not so sure about the name any more now thanks to one nasty little boy.
I’ll never understand why it’s OK to single out anyone for the colour of their hair (or for anything else for that matter) but one thing I do know is that children aren’t born with prejudices of any kind. It’s our responsibility to teach them that it’s wrong to single other people out for their differences to us – my two wouldn’t bat an eyelid if they saw a gay couple walking down the street, they understand that people are the same no matter what colour their hair or skin is and although they have the usual arguments and spats with their friends, they will never be bullies.
I’m proud of my children, I wonder if the parent of the mean children we encountered this week can say the same?