Today Big Kid came home and sadly reported that some kid in his class said he was annoying and that he knew 1000 people who didn't like him.
I proved to him that this simply was not true by listing everyone in his class who clearly likes him and offered some advice if this child says anything like this again. (Ignore him completely, tell the kid to mind his own business or the always efficient "Whatever", and if all else fails, tell the teacher). He thanked me for the advice and seemed to feel better.
However, I cannot stop thinking about how awful it would be if I accidentally tripped and elbowed this kid in the face tomorrow while volunteering. I would feel really bad if I lost my balance and gave him a black eye. Really, really, terrible. It's not this kid's fault that he's rude and annoying, and adults can't go around elbowing kids in the face for being rude and annoying.
Unless it's an accident.