A few months back, I did a post where my son’s teacher called him the Kindergarten Casanova because all the girls loved him and chased him around the playground and fought over who was his “girlfriend”???
I was a bit disturbed at first, but then I was rather impressed that MY son was the boy all the girls loved and as an added bonus, they all thought he was sweet and that’s why they liked him. Yay!
Then kindergarten ended and first grade began…
A week ago today my kids started back to school and while I was at home singing the Hallelujah Chorus, there was A LOT going on at school, too, such as a retelling of the cougar story, with a few added details (of course), a handshake day/watermelon feed where one kid picked his nose right before shaking my son’s hand…, and an uncomfortable breakup.
At dinner that night when I could no longer standing hearing about the kid who picked his nose or all the embellishments Eddie added when recounting the story of the cougar’s visit (to the new principal, no less), I started naming off their friends from last year and asking if they’d come back and if they’re friends with them again this year. It’s a small school, so provided they stay there, they’ll practically grow up with all these kids, which is really neat. Anyway, apparently he’s still friends with this boy and that boy, but didn’t want to discuss any girls. Odd.
After a little more probing, I heard the one sentence I would expect from a sixteen year old, not a six year old, “We broke up.”
“I said, Sierra doesn’t like me anymore. She broke up with me.”
Now, I must admit, as a mother of two boys who are only five and six, I was a little baffled. How on earth do kids this age know what that means? Sure, over the summer his uncle would tease him and ask who his girlfriend was and he’d turn red and say, “I don’t want to discuss it.” Then run off. But words like “break up” really shouldn’t be in his vocabulary. For goodness’ sake, he’s SIX!
The next day he came home and asked for a stack of paper and a pencil.
“Why?” I asked as I give him paper (and not the backs of old manuscripts, I’ve learned my lesson there).
“I’m forming a plan,” he said simply, taking the paper from me. He sat down at the table and started drawing and writing on the paper.
“What kind of plan, Eddie?”
“Plan of attack for Sierra!” He twists his lips and continues to draw.
“A plan of attack?”
“Yeah. Today she wouldn’t talk to me. All she did was run up to me at recess and did this–” He then turned in my direction and put his index and middle finger up to his eyes, then turned them around and pointed at me. “Lucy said she’s making some sort of plan on how to get me, so I’m making a plan for the boys on how we can get her first!”
“Oh. And what does your plan consist of?” Honestly, I’m scared to know, but need to ask.
“Well, I plan to get a worm, roly-poly and grasshopper from the backyard and bring them to school in a box and let them crawl on her. And them I’m going to fill a bucket with water–”
“Stop right there,” I said, horrified. Was this really MY son planning to do these things or had his body recently been taken over by an alien? “You’re NOT to dump water on anybody. Ever. Neither are you to bring bugs to school and let them crawl on her–”
“What if I catch the bugs at school?” he asked hopefully.
“No. Eddie, that’s not nice. The reason she liked you last year was because you were nice and I highly doubt she’s ‘planning’ to do anything to you. She’s just saying that because she likes you.”
“No, she doesn’t,” he insisted. “She did this.” He repeated his earlier gesture. “She said she doesn’t like me and everyone is going around saying we broke up.”
“Eddie, do you realize there is a difference between a girl friend and a girlfriend? You are welcome to have all the girl friends you want, but you don’t need to be concerned about a girlfriend. You’ll have plenty of time for that in a few years. Swing on the swings. Slide down the slide. Race across the field. Play superheroes. And if she wants to play and be your friend, let her.”
“But she doesn’t want to be my friend.”
“That may be, but you still need to be hers.”
I nod. “Yes. She might be devising some evil plan to make you suffer inhumanely, but that doesn’t mean you have to do the same. Be her friend. If she drops something, pick it up for her. If she needs a pencil, lend her yours. If she wants to join your games, let her. Be nice.”
“But she’s not nice!”
That’s because she likes you! I scream in my head. “Son, that’s how little girls behave when they like little boys. They do these kinds of things to get their attention.”
“That doesn’t make sense.”
“No, it doesn’t, does it?”
Of course this conversation lasted another twenty minutes and a week later, I’m still checking is backpack every morning to make sure he’s not packing any bugs, but it did make me think about the novels I read (and write…) and how in some of the most loved plots, the women start out spitting venom and the man either tames them or “fights back”. However, he does not do it with grasshoppers, earthworms and buckets of water, so until my son and this girl get a little older, I think I’ll have to continue the “be sweet” method. Gads. Who knew genuine girl trouble would start so soon??? Any mothers with sage advice, I welcome it.