Jill Weatherholt

Writing Stories of Love, Faith and Happy Endings While Enjoying the Journey

Silly Wabbit

97 Comments

Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

When I was a child, I was very shy. I had friends, but I was much better one on one, than in a group situation. “Jill gets along well with others, but she’s very quiet and shy.” This was a comment written on my report card by my first grade teacher.

I think one reason why I was so quiet was because I had a speech impediment. It wasn’t anything major, but to a little girl trying to fit in, it made me very self-conscious.

My problem was with the letter R. I just couldn’t say it. Rabbit was wabbit. Roll was woll. I remember one day, I was playing outside with my sister and her friends, we were having so much fun. The fun was spoiled when my sister’s friend asked, “Jill, where do we go to get ice cream?” I replied, “At the cor-nor.” They all laughed because I couldn’t say “corner.” I ran home and cried, and wished I could talk normal.

At some point during the first grade, my parents and my teacher decided I needed speech therapy. I recall the giggles from my classmates when the therapist came into the room to take me to my session. “She has to learn to talk,” was whispered by one boy, but loud enough for me to hear.

I don’t remember a lot about the sessions, but I do remember one speech exercise in particular. I put my tongue in the middle of the roof of my mouth and rolled it, to make the rrrrrrrrrr sound over and over. I also read flash cards with words containing the letter R.

In time, I learned to pronounce words with the letter R just like everyone else. The teasing stopped, but my shyness remained.

Did something make you self-conscious as a child?

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Author: Jill Weatherholt

My name is Jill Weatherholt and I’m a writer. I have a full-time job, but at night and on the weekend, I pursue my passion, writing. I write modern stories about love, friendship and forgiveness. I started this blog as a way to share my journey toward publication and to create a community for other new writers. Raised in the Washington, DC area, I’ve lived in Charlotte, North Carolina since 2004. I hold a degree in Psychology from George Mason University and a Certification in Paralegal Studies from Duke University. My first book, SECOND CHANCE ROMANCE, published by Harlequin Love Inspired released on February 21, 2017 and is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.com. I was the first place winner in the Dream Quest One Short Story Contest in the Winter 2014-2015 competition. In 2014, I placed second in Southern Writers Magazine Short Story Contest. I was also a top ten finalist in Southern Writers Magazine Short Story Contest in 2012 and 2013. I’m a 2010 and 2012 winner of the NaNoWriMo Contest. I love to connect readers, visit me at jillweatherholt.com

97 thoughts on “Silly Wabbit

  1. Oh, my heart is breaking for you as a little girl. Not a bad speech impediment at all, but how children can be so cruel to other children. My 5-year-old grandson must have a similar speech impediment. When we all go to a farm as a field trip, the family thinks he’s so cute calling, ‘oh Wooster, come here Wooooooster.’ But now I realize he may be made fun of once he goes to school. Perhaps I’ll start doing some of those RRRRR exercises with him. (P.S. I have a huge problem with ‘r’s.’ I can’t say ‘rules,’ or ‘roll call’ without everyone looking at me askew, trying to figure out what I’m saying.)

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  2. My husband had speech therapy when he was a child and he’s still highly sensitive about it. He’s convinced he still has an impediment because people talk over him. He’s just soft-spoken and these other people are just plain rude. I also had speech therapy when I was little. I couldn’t say “th.” Birthday came out like birday. Even now I make an effort to speak distinctly but if I’m excited and talking fast, well, all my efforts go out the window 😉

    Kids can be very cruel. I remember being laughed at because I couldn’t some words correctly. But when I look back, I remember that everyone was being laughed at for one thing or another. Even the kids that started the laughing. I don’t know why/how children come to be so cruel when they are that young. Is it just a period of growing up when we’re testing the boundaries on emotional pain and humiliation? Is it learned behavior, in spite of some parents’ claim that they would never make fun of anyone? Graduating from high school felt like being released from prison, free from the daily humiliation of being different.

    Being shy is a nice quality to have. Of course, I’m biased since I’m shy too. But I really think we need more shy people in this world.

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    • Hi Marie! I had to laugh at your diagnosis, “these other people are just plain rude.” 🙂 You’re right, I think everyone had their turn as a target for teasing. I think children do test their boundaries among their peers. I’ve always thought that the bullies didn’t receive the proper attention at home. Funny, over the past year, you’ve revealed more about yourself and I’ve realized how much we have in common. I agree, we do need more shy people…we make good listeners. 🙂 Happy Weekend!

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  3. Oh, poor you! Little b…, aren’t they? Do you suppose kids are any kinder these days? I doubt it somehow. It’s kind of ‘pick on somebody or get picked on yourself’ isn’t it? Some of us don’t improve much as adults either, Jill, but look how nicely you turned out! 🙂

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    • Aw…thank you, Jo. 🙂 I think some kids are a product of their environment and bullying other kids is what they know. It’s very sad and a sign of low self-esteem. Of course, as a child, I didn’t realize this. I’m happy not to be a kid these days. 🙂 Happy Weekend!

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  4. Jill I am so sorry you were teased. Teasing hurts when we are little… and big. Every little thing made me self-conscious as a child. I was shy, had no confidence and I was teased too. My parents pulled me out of public school for second grade and sent me to Catholic school. The teasing stopped but then I had to deal with the nuns!

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  5. How devastating that must have been Jill! My first boyfriend stuttered and I remember how self conscious he was about it, but I thought it made him all the more endearing. Teasing among children is about the worst form of abuse because it shapes who we think we are. There was a big girl in third grade who threatened to beat me up (for no reason) every day after school. I would hang around school until everyone was gone before getting on my bike to go home, and then looked back to see if she was following. I have never forgotten Lydia or her unfounded threats and I still worry about people who might hate me for no real reason.

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    • Thank you for sharing your experience with Lydia, Dor. My heart goes out to that little girl looking over her shoulder. That’s so true, the teasing does have an impact on how we think and feel about ourselves. These days, the internet makes bullying even easier for kids. It’s very sad. On a happy note, spring begins in two weeks! 🙂 Enjoy your weekend!

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  6. There was a girl in my class around first or second grade with a speech impediment and I don’t remember what it was. We didn’t make fun of her though. She was really nice. She took speech therapy and her diction was much better than any of the rest of us. She was very popular in high school and prominent on the debate team. I know her mother pushed her at the beginning but it worked out. Sometimes things that happen when we are young leave big scars. I was very shy so I was almost invisible until I hit puberty. It wasn’t until I got out of high school that I became my own person. I forced myself to do a lot of uncomfortable things to get there because I just hated being so shy. To this day I am not good at small talk at cocktail parties (which I avoid like the plague!)

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    • You…shy? I can’t imagine that, Kate. 🙂 I pictured you as the standup comic as a child. Seriously, good for you for pushing yourself and coming out of your shell. I’m with you, small talk at parties, isn’t my cup of tea either. Enjoy your weekend and take care of that hand.

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  7. Kids can be so mean sometimes! So many kids have problems with Rs. I wish your sister had stood up for you. 😦
    I was also shy as a kid. I was very self-conscious because I wore glasses and had a gap between my front teeth. I had to endure teasing for both, but especially for the glasses. Then in high school I was really shy when I had braces. I never smiled on photos.
    In college, however, I learned to accept myself more.
    Have a great weekend, Jill!

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    • My sister was too busy zipping me up in sleeping bags to come to my rescue. 🙂 I’m just kidding. I bet we would have been great friends as children, L. Marie. When we were growing up, glasses weren’t as common as they are now. I’ll let you in on something, having braces at 45 years old isn’t a walk in the park either. 🙂 I rarely smiled during those two years, especially while wearing the rubber bands. I was afraid they would shoot off into someone’s eye. Happy Weekend!

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  8. I think allot of kids have problems pronouncing words with the letter R (and some others too), don’t they? Glad you got speech therapy, Jill, but sorry the kids were mean. My friend is a speech pathologist working in a school, I am going to ask her if they’ve changed the way they pull kids out of the classroom to avoid embarrassment. I’m Hispanic and the kids in my school were very cruel toward me (and my siblings). I was very sensitive and would be so hurt…but was able to overcome that and be proud of who I am.

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  9. Luckily the recommendation is to now start speech therapy much earlier. How sad those kids teased you. Makes me want to take their ice cream away!

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  10. I love the Henry James quote, “Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.” I’m so sorry you suffered emotional bullying, Jill. At school, I also bore the brunt of unkind remarks about my ‘skinny’ legs and slim build. Children and some adults too can be very cruel, and although they may say they’re just teasing or jesting, it still hurts. Your mention of a speech impediment brought to mind the concert here at the country club last week. One of the solos was sung by a dear and courageous man in his 70’s, who has Parkinson’s disease. He has always loved singing, and has apparently been going to a speech therapist for months to help him sing his best on the night. Well, I was astounded at how beautifully he sang “The Impossible Dream”. He couldn’t get up on the stage because of his walker, but he stood by the piano and sang his heart out. I had tears in my eyes. When I went over to congratulate him afterwards, his wife was there. She didn’t smile, or agree with me about his performance. She just wanted to get him out of there and go home. I heard from another friend that since he’s been ill, she’s refused to take him anywhere with her, and hardly speaks to him. I only ever see him with his carer. My heart breaks for this man, who just wants to be normal again. Luckily, he has many friends who support him. As the Dalai Lama said, “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”

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  11. It is awfully easy to disempower the teasers and to allow and encourage acceptance and sympathy in a classroom situation but teachers, it appears, are not taught how to do this. Some teachers do it naturally and the behaviour then flows on, into the out of school life too. I was very different as a child and was often teased and bullied. It wasn’t until I studied child development [psychology] that I developed the understanding to let it go. But as a teacher I was a tough nut with bullying – mostly on the parents of the bully!

    Personally, I love hearing a bit of a lisp or a ‘wabbit’ sayer! My youngest daughter still falls immediately in love with any man with a slight speech impediment – no-one really knows why, though she says it’s because it makes him somehow more real and vulnerable, which is very appealing to her. Bless! 🙂

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    • Well said, Pauline. I too studied Psychology in college and I’m a better person for it. I’m happy to hear you were tough on the parents. That’s were it starts, right? I love that about your daughter! I think she has a valid point. Enjoy your weekend…hugs to Siddy! 🙂

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  12. My son had the same problem. He also got some therapy and is good today. Parents always feel bad for the little ones since we know it will get better and the teasing will stop, but it is painful for the child. LOOK AT YOU NOW!!!!

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  13. Kids are cruel and I could fill a book with things that made me self-conscious as a child. I think that is one of the pluses of adulthood–we still get self-conscious about certain things, but I think we’re more apt to say, “Forget you!” (or something else, depending on whether or not you’re a sailor…)

    Glad to see you made it through to become the intelligent, beautiful person that you are! Have a great weekend.

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    • Oh, thank you, Phillip. Ha ha! Thanks for keeping the comment “G” rated. 🙂 It’s so true though, a perk of adulthood is the ability to blow off ignorant comments. Who has time to worry about that? Enjoy your weekend and hugs to Angus!

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  14. I got sent home from 5th grade for “fighting”–the one and only time that happened. One of the fourth graders (we all had recess together) was being teased by a boy in my class; he was making fun of the 4th grader’s inability to clearing make certain sounds. I didn’t even know the 4th grader’s last name, but he was alone, very small and cowering, and I saw him wiping his eyes and trying to get away from the bully. I lost all control, swung back and socked the kid in the face. His nose bled and he lost an already loose tooth, and my mom got called and came to get me. Strangely, neither of my parents got upset, just told me that next time I might consider intervening in a less violent, bloody way. 😉
    Many years later when I was living in another state and teaching high school, the lady who had been principal and had to send me home was at the same baby shower luncheon I was attending. She came up and hugged me, saying she’d been waiting for a time to tell me how glad someone had punched the bully in the face!

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    • I love it! Thank you so much for sharing your amazing story, Marylin. That poor little boy. I’m so happy you came to his aide and that years later, the principal supported you. I’m not surprise to hear your parents didn’t get upset. 🙂 Happy Weekend!

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  15. Curly hair! The curly hair not of today’s hair products, my dear Jill, but that of the late sixties early seventies, when dippity-doo was tres chic! Yikes! No time traveling for me. I need today’s antifrizz serums!

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  16. A lot of Brits can’t pronounce their “r”‘s…. I think it’s a matter of the culture rather than an actual defect. I didn’t have that problem but I became very shy after moving to the US as American kids made fun of my accent… I NEVER said the word “water”… to this day I have difficulty with it. In southern England where I came from, it is “wawta” instead of the American “woderrrrrr”… rolling the Rs and flattening the t. When we moved back to England I had an American accent and was made fun of for that. I couldn’t win! Now people ask me what kind of accent do I have and I tell them it’s MY accent!

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    • I like that you own your accent, Roslyn. I’m sure it was very difficult moving to the US as a child. We have a neighbor who was born in India and speaks Punjabi, but he was raised in England, so he has the British accent…I love it! Thanks for sharing your experience. Enjoy the weekend!

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  17. Sorry that you had to have that negative experience, Jill. Some children can be cruel. It’s worse when I see adults teasing. I don’t recall any experiences from childhood that caused me to get self conscious.
    About my speech…I learned to say the “th” sound when I was in college at 26 years old!!! I was taking a speech class (required for my program) and I had to record myself reading a passage for 1 minute. It was then that I found out about my issue!! Thankfully, the teacher understood cultures and gave me some good tips to make the adjustment.

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    • Hi Elaine! I agree, teasing is worse when it involves adults. It sounds as though you were fortunate to have a teacher who knew her stuff. I’m glad she could help. It’s more difficult to correct a speech impediment when you’re an adult. Have a great weekend!

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  18. 😀 had to laugh Jill as I have just posted my latest blog and it ‘kinda’ touches on the same thing. I am impeded by a number of words! I ‘m not sure if it has something to do with the fact that I speak three languages (relatively fluent in all three) or if it is something else 😀 My eldest son, like you, had a problem with the letter ‘r’ and saw a speech therapist for two years.

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  19. Oh Jill, I’m so sorry to read this. If I had been with you I would have put those kids straight for saying those things…grrrrr. My eldest son was told he has to go to ‘Speech’ because of the way he sounded the letter ‘T’ and ‘R’. I couldn’t understand it as I thought it was becasue he had an English accent when he first moved to America (which of course he lost as the years went by, although some of his friends said that he still used certain British words and sayings). I’m so glad that the excercises helped you though. I am just like you, much prefering one-on-one with friends, still do. Although friends think I’m extrovert and yes, I do like a good party, as you know, ha!, but not all the time!! I was labelled as ‘shy’ when younger at school and it wasn’t until high school that I came out of my shell. Have a great weekend my friend, hope the sun shines for you and DFD and catch up soon 🙂 xoxo

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    • Thank you, Sherri. I know if you had been with me, you would have told those kids to, “Shut your cake hole!” Ha ha! You probably regret the day you taught me that saying. 🙂 I’m like you, I enjoy a good party, but I really prefer my quiet time.
      I mentioned on your blog about the flock of Robins I saw today. We have Robins year around, but the flocks grow as we approach spring. They made me think of you. Enjoy your weekend and keep writing! DFD sends his love. xoxo

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      • Haha! Jill, firstly, no, I don’t regret it (you make me laugh so much, I love it!!) and secondly, you can bet your bottom dollar that ‘shut your cake hole’ would have been the very least that I would have said, you know it 😀
        Yes, how lovely, I literally just replied to your comment about all your darling Robins, what a wonderful thrill for you! And how lovely to be thought of, ahh, you’ve made my Monday my friend, thank you so much! Had a lovely weekend and hope you did too, and yes, I am writing!! So don’t be freaked out by the final blog challenge I’m doing this week…and that’s it!!! Love to you and DFD and say hello to all your beautiful robins for me. Mine tweets back to say hello to you both…in an English accent of course 🙂 xoxoxo

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      • Yes, I do know! Ha ha! 🙂 Oh yes, the Robins are everywhere. They’re pretty skittish, but I’ll try to get a photo to you so you can see the difference in size. Unfortunately ours lack the English accent. 🙂
        Glad you had a nice weekend and you’re getting some writing done. Keep it up! I’ll be checking in. xoxoxo

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  20. Being a kid => being self-conscious. Bullies tease others . . . to fit in and gain acceptance with the group. Those teased do their best to conform to the norm . . . to fit in and gain acceptance with the group. As long as we use an external yardstick to measure our worth, we are apt to fall short in one way or another.

    Now, about those missing rrrr’s . . . perhaps it’s because the Scots are being a bit greedy with them?

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    • Fortunately, I found my ‘r’s’ after a year of speech therapy, Nancy. I’ve always looked at bullies as insecure kids/adults who are in desperate need of attention. The cyber-bullying that goes on these days with teens, is crazy. Enjoy your weekend!

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  21. BIG FEET. As early as my 10th year of life, I had to wear boys’ shoes because way back when, larger girls’ shoes weren’t made. I was very self-conscious and for good reason. My nick name was Big Foot; not a moniker a coming-of-age girl wants attached to her. Larger sizes were available once I hit my 20s, but by then, the damage had been done. But as with many challenges growing up, we make it through and are better as a result.

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    • I’m so sorry, Irene. That must have been very difficult for you, as a young girl. I agree, the challenges we faced growing up, only made us stronger, much like the challenges we face as adults. Enjoy your weekend!

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  22. Jill this is written so well, I can see it as a book. I felt for you and wanted to scream at all those kids and be your protector. But I was a shy little girl too. My big drama when I was young was and is a mole on the side of my face. Its bigger than a fly and for many years people asked me what it was. I felt so ugly for a very long time and dreamed of surgery to get rid of it. Every now and again a small child will point at it and say “What is that.” It does not bother me anymore. Age does funny things to a gals vanity.

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    • Aw…thank you, Kath. Well, if I were to turn it into a children’s book, of course you would have to do the illustrations. 🙂
      A mole on the face became very popular here in the U.S., after Cindy Crawford debuted in the world of modeling. I remember hearing about girls who drew moles on their face with an eye pencil. Happy Weekend! xo

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  23. Jill, I was shy also. I was self-conscious about being shorter than most kids . . . and a year younger than everyone else. I skipped kindergarten and was put in first grade when I was five-and-a-half.
    Like you, my daughter had a problem with her Rs. Her name is Marcy, which she turned into Mawsie. I wrote a post about her wanting a Bobbie Vehwahwee one Christmas. https://mthupp.wordpress.com/2013/11/25/my-daughter-and-the-bobbie-vehwahwee/
    I think all kids feel self-conscious for one reason or another. It takes most of us time to develop any self-confidence.
    Thanks for the post,
    Theresa

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    • I remember that post, Theresa. Thanks for sharing the link. I remember wishing I were shorter. I seemed to tower over all of the boys in my glass. I agree, we all had a reason or two to feel self-conscious. Have a great week.

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  24. Thank you for sharing, Jill. I also felt like I didn’t fit in when I was a kid. For me, I was usually the shortest kid in my class until high school and I had a lazy eye. I often joke that this was why I could identify with S. E. Hinton’s book, “The Outsiders.” At times, I felt like I was on the outside looking in.

    I also was bullied. That stopped in about the 5th grade. I was insecure but I wasn’t shy. The lazy eye meant I had to wear an eye patch to strengthen my weak eye. This led to me being called a pirate, etc. When our youngest had the same problem, I made sure to draw cartoons and other things on the eye patch to give her that “cool” factor.

    These incidents helped shape me. It might be why I root for the underdog. 😉

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  25. There was a LOT to read here. It took me a few sittings. Your comment later that the bullies are insecure and wanting attention was pretty on target. That’s a good place to start. Some have been taught through example that others are inferior. I could tell you stories of childhood bullying that would make your hair curl. One teacher actually had to empty the class of all the boys and sit all the girls down to curtail the abuse. I loved that teacher. She saved my life. I was tortured at home and at school. Bullies come in all sizes and shapes and often don’t outgrow the need to oppress. I even had a teacher who inadvertently set me up to be teased throughout a year. I couldn’t even protect my own children from some of it. Kids made fun of them because they were well dressed and clean for goodness sake. We didn’t have money for anything fancy, just clean wholesome looks. I don’t understand it but my kids didn’t bully anyone. They learned to be advocates for the underdog. You’ve given us a lot to think about here.

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    • I appreciate your honesty, Marlene. I’m sorry to hear both you and your children had problems with bullies, although your experience both at school and home, sounds more harsh. I’m really sorry. I am happy to hear your kids learned to be advocates. You obviously played a roll in that outcome. Thank you for your comment.

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      • I wish there was some way to end this for all kids. It just hurts my heart. It’s good when children have a safe place to come to when things are tough at school. I’m glad you were able to get some help for the speech difficulty though I enjoy hearing people who speak differently. Why should we all be the same for goodness sake.

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      • I agree, Marlene, why do we all need to be the same.

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  26. Thank you for sharing this about yourself, Jill. I’m sure many people can relate to being hurt by classmates at some point. I didn’t have anything in particular that I was self-conscious about, but I did get picked on like just about everyone else. Kids always find something to pick on (I’m extremely short, so that was an easy target).

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    • My pleasure, Lori. It sounds as though growing up, you had a good self-esteem. I remember the boys being picked on more for being short than the girls. Enjoy your week!

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      • Ha, no I had a horrible self-esteem as a child. I just thought I was unlovable just for the sake of being unlovable. It wasn’t any one particular self-conscious thing. I used to go back and forth from crying like a baby when picked on, to fighting back like a little yappy Chihuahua. No one took me seriously and made fun of me all the more.

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      • Ha ha! Thanks for the clarification, Lori. 🙂

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  27. Awww, pobrecita! Kids really can be so cruel without even realizing how they are making the person feel. I am sure you are a very proficient R sounder and I bet you can even roll your R’s when you speak Spanish? Yes? No? No matter. 🙂

    When we moved to Amherst from PR and I went into 5th grade without knowing English, the teacher arranged for an aide to come to the classroom and pull me out of class to take me in order to practice my English. It was bad enough that kids stared at me and said things I didn’t understand but then to be singled out and pulled out in front of everyone was awful. I was so shy as well and hated bringing attention to myself.

    The things we had to endure when we were young! Thankfully, the older I get the less I care what other’s think! 🙂

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    • Being the wonderful Spanish teacher that you are, Maria, not only do I know the meaning of ‘pobrecita’ but I can also roll my ‘r’ with the best of them. 🙂
      I can’t imagine how difficult that must have been for you. To move from PR to Amherst while in the 5th grade, it’s no wonder you are the Brickhouse Chick! Thanks for sharing your memories.
      I hope this week brings warmer weather or at least, no more snow. xo

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  28. I was bigger than everybody else. I was almost full-grown by the time I was 10. When I made my first communion in the second grade, my mother had a tough time finding “cute” white shoes in a Ladies Size 7! Oh yah – and I had a big nose. Well, HAVE a big nose – but my face is bigger now, too, so it’s less traumatic. And I was the middle child. Oh, Jill – why did you get me started? I’ll spare you the story about how the bully 6th grade crossing “guard” made me turn over my jelly beans before crossing me over. Can you believe I survived childhood???

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    • Oh Shel, I’m sorry I got you all stirred up. I’m shocked to hear the crossing guard made you pay with jelly beans, in order to cross. What an abuse of power! Thank you for sharing your experience…I think you nose is perfect! Enjoy your week.

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  29. My older son Jason had a speech problem growing up and had to have speech therapy. One of the words he couldn’t pronounce correctly was Arizona. He would say Arizon-ya. It was so cute. I hate to say it, but I was sorry when he stopped saying it that way. 🙂 Being raised South Florida I knew a lot of Spanish, but I could never roll my r. Still can’t so even though I still speak a little Spanish, I’m self conscious of doing so in front of anyone.

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    • I bet it did sound cute, Elizabeth. 🙂 I didn’t know you were raised in South Florida. One of these days I’ll tell you about my struggles with Spanish. Rolling my ‘r’ was the only thing I could do. I can relate to being self-conscious speaking it. I tried to hide behind the student in front of me, so I wouldn’t get called on. Enjoy your week!

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  30. Those Trix commercials probably didn’t help either! This makes me wonder if all writers were teased as kids or if it’s just that most kids were teased. It seems like the bullies were the only ones that weren’t (and I guess that’s why they were bullies). They picked on me for all kinds of things – because I was a new kid and didn’t wear the right clothes, my hair was never right, my last name was funny. You name it. I’m glad we survived it all somehow! 🙂

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    • Ha ha! I loved those commercials, Sheila. 🙂 I think you’re right about the bullies being the only ones who weren’t bullied. I do remember when a new bully came into my sixth grade class and he bullied the ruling bully. Gosh, I’m glad we survived it all too! I wouldn’t want to go back to that time. Have a great week!

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  31. Jill, I really liked your catchy title and picture, too. It was a breath or breeze of Spring to see this!
    Sometimes this is a developmental thing, which is not expected to overcome until age 7 sometimes. Jill, this is sad to me that the speech teacher (therapist) didn’t have a system to have you come before lunch or after recess, where you could have just separated from the others, without being noticed. My son and I practiced with books with “R’s” there were books called, “sound box” books, which dealt with certain letters and their sounds. We also played a lot with his red fire engine, trying to get him to produce his ‘r’s.’ I had another child, my oldest daughter who could not spell. She cannot, to this day spell. She would get so upset during Spelling Bees, but she was excellent in science and math. These days they would call her Leaning Disabled, strong in some areas and weak in others. I refused to let her go to the ‘learning center’ in Middle School, for exactly what you were talking about. Middle School is tough enough without being segregated out. I am so glad your school handled this early in your schooling and although you may feel ‘shy’ you seem to be very social and I am glad you are my friend.

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    • Aw…what a sweet thing to say, Robin. I feel the same…so happy we connected and became friends. I’m curious if your son was able to conquer the ‘r’ without formal speech therapy? I agree, the fact that I was taking speech therapy could have been handled a bit more discretely. I’m sorry to hear about your daughter. I guess everyone had their areas where they excelled. I could spell, but I was horrible in math. Thanks for sharing your experiences, Robin. Have a wonderful week!

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  32. What a great story, Jill. It’s amazing how times change, because I never see kids getting bullied or teased for speech impediments anymore. Dozens of students see the speech path in the school where I work, and nobody thinks anything of it (at least that’s the impression I get). I’m glad the service was available to you, and you were able to get it corrected. Until very recently, my daughter Fiona was very self-conscious of her teeth. She was badly in need of braces, and she’s been seeing an orthodontist for more than a year, but we had to wait until all her permanent teeth had grown in to start the braces phase of the treatment. They finally went on in February, and it’s amazing how quickly the teeth shift once treatment begins. I’ve seen a boost in her confidence in the weeks since.

    When I was a kid, my parents divorced when I was 6, and they agreed that we kids would live with our dad — a very atypical situation in the 70s, and for some reason it made me really self-conscious. So when I was around other kids, I’d make a big deal of saying “I’ll ask my MOM,” or, “well my MOM said.” I felt bad about not being honest, but I guess the alternative of inserting “Dad” in the sentence was worth the lie. Then when I was in 3rd grade my dad’s girlfriend moved in with us, and she later became my stepmom. I felt so relieved that I could say “I’ll ask my mom,” without having to lie. 🙂

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    • Thanks, Gwen! Maybe I’m jaded when it comes to bullying because of my job. You’re not kidding, once the braces go on, the shifting is amazing and painful, especially after the wires are changed. I’m happy for Fiona. I’m sure it was difficult for her to wait, but it will be worth it.
      I appreciate you sharing your story, Gwen. I think, given the circumstances, you had a free pass to bend the truth a little. 🙂

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  33. Aren’t kids cruel? Although having said that, I agree with Gwen that there doesn’t seem so much of it at school these days. Indeed, with the kids I support (who let’s face it, appear slightly odd compared to their classmates – because they are autistic), there is no cruelty or name calling – in fact, they are welcomed and supported by their peers which is very heartening. As for me, I just love them – so rewarding in their own way.
    I’m so sorry you had such a wretched experience but I love that it’s brought out Marylin’s true colours – imagine her punching anyone?!!
    And Jill, I don’t know what’s happening but I’m not getting your posts in my reader. I’ve tried to unfollow and refollow but it doesn’t work. This is happening with yours and Yolanda’s blog and I’m really fed up about it. Apologies for being late – I shall have to remember to pop in every Friday for yours and just hope the posts suddenly start appearing again. Grr – why can’t WordPress leave things alone!!

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    • I wonder if these kids are on their best behavior when the teachers are around, Jenny. 🙂 It’s nice to hear the kids aren’t cruel to those who have true challenges.
      Oh my, Marylin’s comment cracked me up…so out of character for her, but somehow, I can picture it.
      I’m not sure what’s going on with WP. For the past several weeks, I publish a post and WP confirms it’s been published, but then it’s not on my blog. When I go back into the editing feature, it shows the post was published months ago…before it was even written! Crazy! Thanks for going above and beyond to visit. I always enjoy your comments. 🙂

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  34. Jill, I am so sorry you were teased as a child. Thanks for sharing your experience. I can relate, I was very shy when I was a child, and teased about my red hair.

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  35. Oh I feel so bad for little you, Jill! How hard it is to feel that the whole world is against one when one is so young. I’ve written in the past about being bullied, but sometimes it was a mystery why. Where I might be “cool” in one group, suddenly I would be “new” and would have “weirdo” written on my forehead. I know that when I turned about 12 I was suddenly teased by boys for being flat. It wasn’t that I hadn’t yet matured, but rather that I had and was too small breasted for their taste. Something must have happened to me at a young age, though, because I never teased other kids and often stuck up for kids who were being teased. I never had a taste for it.

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    • I remember you talking about your experiences with being bullied, Luanne. I didn’t necessarily feel bullied about my speech impediment, more like teasing. I guess the end result is the same though…it makes you feel inferior. Your comment about being teased for being “flat” reminded me of the boys snapping our bras. If that went on today, kids would be charged with sexual harassment. I never teased other kids either. We would have been good friends. 🙂

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  36. My weight made me very self conscious as a kid. I knew I was chubby but it hurt so much to be made fun of for it.

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