My six year old son, Leif, really didn’t have much of a chance from the beginning regarding girlfriends. I met my husband in second grade and the rest is history. Unfortunately for Leif he has also been blessed with genes that require him to beat off the little girls with a stick (and this is not a metaphor- I’ve actually seen him running away from a pack of girls on the playground wielding a stick as protection). I honestly don’t understand the draw for these girls, though – I mean, this is the same kid that refuses to change his underwear, but I guess there’s somebody for everybody.
There was one little girl in particular who held his attention during kindergarten last year; a sweet little thing with pigtails and just the right amount of sass to keep him interested (hopefully this trait is something he continues to look for when it actually matters). However, no matter how sweet the girl or how in love a six year old thinks he is there are always things about the opposite sex that can quickly become tiresome. In this case, the first of these annoyances was Pigtail’s burgeoning insecurities.
It was a sunny afternoon and Leif came home excited about his day. I was trying to listen, but as most parents do (or I like to tell myself they do) started to tune him out, until he said this:
“Mom, [Pigtail] asked me today if I thought she was ‘hot’”.
“Oh...really...well what did you say?” It is at this point I am quietly making a mental note of any strange bruises or bumps that would give away what his answer had been.
“Well, I said “Why? Do you have a fever?” –I knew what she meant, but I’m not playing that game”
(cue spitting out coffee)
I really had no response to that. What does one say to their beautiful, blue eyed child looking up from his ninja turtles colouring book while at the same time stating with such conviction, he was not, under any circumstances engaging in the games women play to get compliments.
My larger question really was: What the hell is my husband telling this kid, and how badly am I 'accidentally' burning his dinner to punish him for it?
However, I soon realized that my husband wasn’t giving Leif pointers, as my husband is absolutely clueless when it comes to the wiles of the opposite sex (which, I suppose in a twisted way is good for me). He actually believes that a good night out involves a six pack, a pound of hamburger, a bottle of the finest wine $6 will buy and a tin of Copenhagen (That’s really another story).
Soon, Leif was expressing his love in other ways. One day he came home to tell me about how he and his girlfriend “made out”. As I held back the expletives that were quickly rising along with a healthy amount of bile, I said “What EXACTLY does that mean?”
“We held hands...talked about when we get married. You’re invited to the wedding, but I think Dad has to work”.
As all childhood romances do, Pigtail and Leif’s romance was not meant to be. Over a box of timbits and a hot chocolate, he advised me that his fiancé and he had recently broken up. Curious as to the reason, I asked him why.
“Well Mom, I think it was just time that we parted ways. Time to move on. I said that to her, but I’m not sure she understood. She kept hugging me and then stole the play-dough”.
Note to Kindergarten teacher Re: Leif’s entrance in to the broken hearts club
Dear Mrs. C
In case you haven’t noticed, the couple of the year has since parted ways. Leif has informed me that this has caused a few issues in class. Acting as Leif’s legal council to ensure an amicable separation between Leif and [Pigtail] could you please monitor Leif’s access to the play –dough and division of other assets between the aforementioned couple? My Client is also entitled to the dye-cast fire-engine and requests the full return of all ninja-turtle related toys which were his before the relationship commenced.
Thank you for your consideration in this matter,