The Bombshell has a boyfriend. She’s not even five.
I went to pre-primary on Monday to pick her up, and she ran out of the classroom, breathless with excitement. ‘I have a new friend,’ she told me.
‘That’s nice,’ I told her as I tried to stop her little friends from poking Baldy Baby in the face. ‘Is there a new kid in your class?’
‘No,’ she said as though I were stupid. ‘He’s always been here.’
‘What, and you just noticed him for the first time? It’s week 8’.
‘Last week he chased me and I didn’t like him. Now he’s my friend,’ she clarified.
‘I love him,’ she told me quite seriously.
‘I love him too,’ her little friend told me.
Oh great, I thought. I can see my life flashing before my eyes: it starts at school, trying to sit next to him in class, sharing bits of apple at morning tea. Then she starts scribbling his name on her pencil case and folders. Then it’s phone calls after school, becoming friends on Facebook. Do kids still pass notes in class anymore? Maybe they text each other their love notes.
Then at some ridiculously early age she will ask to go out on a date with him. Do kids actually call them dates? I never did. Holding hands in the movie theatres (3D of course), buying each other Happy Meals at McDonalds. Parties without adult chaperones. It gets worse, I know it does. It’s not that long ago I was a teenager (ok, maybe a couple of decades) but I still remember what we got up to – and I was one of the good ones!
Then we have to deal with bitchy friends at high school, peer pressure, body image, too much homework, teenage sex, drugs, zits, getting your licence, drinking, getting into uni, figuring out who you are and what you want to be and all the other horrid aspects of being a teenaged girl.
The thing that is quickly becoming apparent – your kids don’t even have to be teenaged for these issues to start raising their ugly heads.
So it was with heart palpitations that I watched the Bombshell and her friend sit down and start drawing pictures of themselves with their new boyfriend. I wonder if he knew the fuss he had caused in their little worlds, merely by not chasing them at lunchtime, whether he knew the effect he was having on not only their hearts but mine.
Then she presented me with this.
‘I’m going to give it to him tomorrow,’ she told me.
The following day after school, as I was emptying out her backpack I came across the picture, rumpled and squashed under her lunchbox.
‘I thought you were going to give this to your new friend,’ I asked her.
She barely looked up from the book she was reading.
‘He didn’t want it,’ she told me flatly.
My heart leaped and stopped at the same time. I was sad for her, yet thrilled.
She’s not ready for a boyfriend, and clearly, neither am I.