How are they like this? I could say my kids are overflowing with love for others because we shower them with so much love that they are bursting forth with adoration. They cannot contain themselves and throw themselves onto all that cross their paths in hopes of surviving a love explosion. Sadly, I know my own short-comings.
Case #1: Child, age 5
Previously mentioned in this post, Lily is still in love with "little C" in her class. The shortest and possibly smallest boy in kindergarten. I understand from the teachers that all the girls mother him. Lily set her eyes on him on the first day and declared her unrestrained love for him the next. She is all set out to marry him and it doesn't seem to phase her one bit that she is 5. As she told me, "He is chubby, has a flat head...and I just love him." Yes, I just about lost control of the vehicle I was driving with that declaration. Is that really her standard? Girth and head shape?
The latest news is that another girl, told her that she, not Lily, was going to marry the little boy. I asked Lily how the girl knew this. Lily replied that the little boy hugged the little girl on the playground. Honestly, Lily seemed quite unphased by this turn of events, still believing that little C's heart is hers and hers alone. She announced to a teacher assistant, ""I am going to marry him so that I can kiss him all the time, whenever I want."
Last week, Lily announced to me that she got into a fight on the playground. Say what? A fight at 5? Insane! Evidently a girl from another class is also quite smitten with this boy. The two girls squared off on the playground and attempted to figure out a challenge. Unfortunately, Lily said, they couldn't think of one. Therefore, Little C just chose her.
Finally, I was witness to the following dramatic scene: We were playing on the playground after school. The afterschool care kids came out to the playground while we were still there. I was rounding up the kids as we aren't allowed to hang out there when they come to the playground. Lily realized it was the afterschool group and ran to find Little C who, by now, was sliding down the slide. Lily squealed, "Little C!" and ran over to give him a hug. About that time, I heard the word, "Little C!!" called out in a not so nice way. I looked up from the hugging couple and saw a look that would kill on what I assume is Lily's nemesis' face. She was a woman scorned. As Lily walked away from Little C, Lily told me that she was the "girl who I got in a fight with on the playground." I watched Little C, head hanging low, slowly walk to the girl who, towering over him, put her arm around him in the most possessive way. Thankfully, Lily did not see this.
Case #2: Child, age 8Sadie has had a little connection with a boy in her class for a while now. Actually, it began last year when the two were paired for some dance in a special event day at her school. The story, like most of Sadie's stories, is somewhat vague, evolving and ever-changing on who made the first move. The beginnings of this relationship (if you can call it that) supposedly began with a verbal confessional on the part of the boy. Amazingly this boy has to be the sweetest, most well-mannered, quiet boy I know. They say opposites attract, right? Throughout the school year, there have been ebbs and flows of adoration. I checked in with the boy's mother during the class Christmas party. Her thoughts were about the same as mine: sweet, yet a very perplexing. The mom said that one day her son came home and announced the he and Sadie were over. The reason? Because she was just too bossy. Evidently they made up a couple of days later.
Case #3: Child, age 9
Sometime during the month of January, Ethan and I had one of those deep talks at bedtime. He initiated the conversation, saying he wanted to talk to me about something. I was completely not prepared for the next statement: "Mom, I just feel like I need to be a relationship." Stunned, not moving...catatonic for a few moments I was. I snapped upright as a thousand thoughts came rushing through my brain like, "You need to be more focused at school. You need to be able to locate your gray jacket that has been lost for 2 weeks. You need to remember that you have weekend homework on Friday, not on Sunday night when I tell you it is time for bed. The last thing you need is to have your mind consumed by this!" BUT, I refrained and simply muttered a calm, "Uh-huh. And, how did you arrive at this conclusion at age 9?" The verbal spewing began as he spun tales of unrequited love with a girl in his class. The pained look on his face told me that this was something he had been thinking about for quite a while. Now, he was at a crossroads...to tell or not to tell this little girl of his affections. The problem, however, is that the girl is already "taken."
Frankly, all I could think about was how to shut this entire pre-pubescent train down. NOW! This was way too much all too soon. I brought this craziness up to another swim mom and Ethan's swim coach. As I was telling them what had transpired, Ethan, who had been in the locker room changing into his bathing suit, walked by - dropping his socks along the way and neglecting to pick them up. "See!" I hissed. "He can't even keep up with his socks, he has no business thinking about relationships!" His ever-so-wise 23 year-old coach replied, "Kelsey, when he is 25 he still won't be able to keep up with his socks. He is a man. You can't tell him to stop. It is natural what he is feeling." Point well made. I still don't like it. Not one bit.
Jay wasn't much help either. He wanted to spur this crush on by, "creating a plan of courtship." What are we? 1850? I think what he really meant was that he wants to teach Ethan how to at least talk to girls, how to treat them, how to get to know them. At least Jay agreed that Ethan didn't need to be in a relationship at this age, but also doesn't want Ethan at age 16 unable to utter a single word to a member of the opposite sex. I can go with that. Maybe.
People of the world wide web...I beg for advice from any that might stumble upon this post. I have no idea how to handle these situations. I mean, this wasn't supposed to happen until junior high, right?