Oh hello there. I remember you – do you remember me?
For reals, I’m sorry that it’s taken me so long to invest some time onto this space. Life has this annoying way of carrying on even when I don’t get to do everything that I need to. Like writing on my blog or like, brushing my hair and stuff.
Anyway, what could bring me out of my radio silence to vent even when I really don’t have the time for it?
WHAT ABOUT MY SIX YEAR OLD WRITING HER FIRST EVER LOVE LETTER TO A BOY?!
Yeah, that about does it.
Before I get into this discovery, I need to just quickly clarify something.
We are not the type of family that jokes about having boyfriends or girlfriends. In fact if you, as an adult, ask my kid if they have a boy/girlfriend in my presence I might just throat punch you, drag you from the room and then remove you from my friends list. Not that I have a list. But you know what I mean.
The moral of this story is that we take this seriously. Because in no way, shape or form should my child have a boyfriend or girlfriend. Not at 2 (don’t be disgusting) and definitely not at 6 or 7. We can maybe start talking about it when they hit their 20’s at a push.
Obviously I’m joking about being 20 – I mean I was married at 20. But I’m no idiot. In a World where children are exposed to things way earlier than they should be, the terms of girlfriend/boyfriend that we so casually put out there, mean so much more than you think they do.
Actually, I honestly could not care if in their little innocent minds, being a boyfriend or girlfriend just means that they sit next to each other at break time. What if that’s what it means for my 6 year old, but not the 7 year old boy she’s taken a fancy to? What if these terms mean that he tries to smooch her or something. I can feel my blood boiling at the thought of it.
It’s not on. It just isn’t.
Anyway. Back to how I found out.
This morning I was rushing around getting ready for school when said daughter asked me to spell some words for her. In the mix were, “love”, “you”, “eyes”, “heart”. I assumed it was all innocent until she asked her final question.
“Mom, how do you spell XXXXX boys name?”
Uh, say what now?! Are you putting all those things together on the same page for A BOY?! Oh no you’re not.
STOP THAT RIGHT NOW.
So I go take a closer look at the page she’s writing on. Which she tries to hide because obviously she is now embarrassed at being caught out. Which mortifies me a little bit because I really try very hard to create a relationship where they feel comfortable to talk to me about anything – without fear of judgement. But it’s easier said than done WHEN THEY ARE WRITING LOVE LETTERS TO BOYS!
When I finally got a look – there on the page was a picture of the boy (very well done I must say), with the words “I love you with my whole heart” and “I love your eyes” written all over it.
On the one hand I’m thinking it’s just so cute and innocent – telling someone that you love their eyes is just a really nice compliment right?! No harm done. But “I love you with my whole heart” kinda makes me want to throw up in my mouth a little bit.
Despite wanting to take the picture and rip it into tiny little pieces while telling her my plans to dig a basement that I’ll lock her in for the rest of forever, I couldn’t. Because I want her to talk to me about these things. So I held back. As hard as it was. And I asked her what does she mean when she says that she loves him? To which she replied, she “likes” him. Which is not great – but slightly better. So I replied, saying something like “love’s a very strong word reserved for her parents and siblings and no one else ever. And that she maybe just likes him as a friend”.
And then we were late for school so I haven’t really had a chance to finish up that conversation.
But I don’t even know where to start.
I mean, when I was in Grade R I distinctly remember crushing on a boy in my class. Completely innocently of course – I just thought he was amazing. I never acted on it though. I was too shy. But my girl is the opposite of me. She is not shy at all which means that she is probably serenading him with love songs during school time or something.
Argh. What to do. What to think. How to process.
I don’t have the answers, so I’ll just be mulling over some questions. Simple things like…
How do you challenge their thinking on this topic without making it something that they rebel on and then do even more fervently than before?! Where did she get this idiotic idea anyway? Who do I have to destroy? How hard is it do dig a basement? Will it be done before Christmas? Why is parenting so hard?!
If you’re looking for me this weekend you’ll probably find me behind about a million parenting books on the topic. That, or rocking in a corner with a gun and the lock to her bedroom door tied around my neck.