As the father of a girl, I’m frightened by the possibility that she’ll have a boyfriend one day. I’m not that worried about the boys themselves, because at least I have a basic understanding of how their minds work. My real concern is that my daughter will become obsessed with one of them, and be transformed into an insane, irrational creature.
I realize that by nature, most teenage girls are insane, irrational creatures. Yet they somehow manage to get even worse when boys are involved.
I figure it is inevitable that she’ll become single-minded in focus. She’ll want to spend all her time with him. When they’re apart, she’ll want to call him. (Or text, or chat online, or whatever they’ll be doing then) I also expect to receive a hostile reaction when I try to get her to do something that doesn’t involve the boy.
While I have accepted this fate, I didn’t expect it to happen so soon.
My daughter is two years old, and she has become infatuated with a boy in her preschool class.
The classmate – we’ll call him Willie – appears to be just as fond of her. He refers to her as “The Princess,” they often hug each other, and as they part ways, he bids her farewell with a “Bye-bye, Cutie Pie.”
Yes, it is just as adorable as it sounds.
Last Friday, I took the family to the frozen yogurt store. While we were in line, Willie came into the store with his family.
The Cutlet was delighted. The children ate their desserts together, and once finished, they held hands and ran around outside. They were talking and laughing and having a jolly old time.
At one point, the Cutlet fell down and scraped her knee. Normally, this might have sent her into a crying fit, but she seemed to be relatively okay with this particular injury, mostly because Willie had a matching scrape on his knee.
It was getting late, and even though the kids didn’t seem to be tiring at all, their parents were definitely ready for the night to end. We told the Cutlet that we would be leaving soon, and she asked, “Will Willie sleep over?”
Oh, hell no!
Sorry, Sweetie. I’m going to try to be a cool parent, and Willie seems like a nice kid, but I think you guys need to take things a little slow.
When we broke the news that they would have to part ways for the weekend, the Cutlet did not take it well. We basically had to pull them apart, and as we were carrying her away, she was reaching back and shouting: “Want to see Willie! Want to see Willie!”
After finally getting her into the car, we calmed her down by reminding her that she would see Willie again on Monday, and that maybe the two of them could have a playdate soon.
She then spent most of the weekend talking about Willie. We went to the playground: “I want Willie to go to the playground too.” We were going to go swimming: “Can Willie go swimming?” She tried on her various princess dresses: “What dress will Willie wear?”
I’m not sure that Willie would necessarily want to wear a princess dress, but who knows? Kids aren’t always as hung up on gender roles as adults are. I’m sure Willie would make a very pretty princess if he chooses to wear a dress.
I’m just holding my breath waiting for the heartbreak. What happens when Willie chooses to sit next to one of the other girls at snack time? Or if the Cutlet sees him giving another girl a hug? Will she spend the entire night crying and throwing a tantrum? (In other words: Just another night.)
I’m sure the Willie infatuation will soon pass, and we’ll be nicely settling into the “boys are yucky phase.” But I know that will (probably) just be a phase. Eventually, she’s going to become interested in boys, and I may have to deal with crying and tantrums once again.
When that day comes, I’ll probably be very glad I got this practice now.