Sunday, March 04, 2007

K-i-s-s-i-n-g: Kindergarten Angst

A few days ago, I walked in the bathroom to check on the kids in the bathtub. Upon rounding the corner, I discovered Chloe had wrapped the shower curtain around herself and created a veritable cocoon of white plastic.

"What are you doing?" I asked.
"I need some time alone," said she. This is the size of our apartment, that one must wrap themselves in a shower curtain to find some personal space. But that is a whole 'nother blog.
"Why do you need some time alone?"
"Because something happened at school today that I need to think about," Chloe said.
"A bad thing?"
"Someone said something to me and I didn't like it."
"Who said something to you? What did they say?" I asked, doing my best to stay my Mama Bear instincts and calmly, collectedly investigate the situation.
"I don't want to tell you, I just want to think about it."
"Ok, honey, that's fine. When you're ready to talk about it, just let me know. We're on the same team, right?" This is what I said. What I thought was, "Tell me now. Tell me right now! Whose mother do I need to call?"

Over the course of the next hour, Chloe processed the situation and then dropped facts for me to pick up and put together, Nancy Drew style.
"It was about me and Max and Jimmy." (names changed to protect the innocent)
"Someone said the same thing to Claire and she didn't like it either."
"I don't think Max and Jimmy really cared about it. I think I was the only one who didn't like it."

And then, the breakthrough.
"Remember when Max and Jimmy both said they wanted to marry me?"

Yes indeed, I remembered. Chloe's teacher told me about it. Max and Jimmy had said, in front of the entire kindergarten class, that they both wanted to marry Chloe. They demanded that she decide which one of them was for her. And my precociously political girl told them that it was silly to decide now, that she would decide when they were all in high school, if they even still knew each other then. I thought it was a cute story. But cute stories are not without consequences in kindergartens.

So I asked Chloe, "Was what the person said to you--was it about that?"
"Oh, Kiddo," I said, "as you get older, boys and girls will like each other and sometimes they'll both like each other at the same time and sometimes they won't...and it seems like kids will always tease other kids about it all. When I was little, we used to sing this song, Fred and Mary, sittin' in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g."

At this, Chloe's eyes grew wide, her relief evident that I knew of such things. "That's it! That's the song that they said to me. And I figured out what k-i-s-s-i-n-g spelled. Kissing!" Here she made a sour, boys-have-cooties face.

"I think almost everyone has had this song sung about them at some time or another, honey. If you don't like it, ask them to stop singing it, or just ignore them when they sing it, ok?"
"Ok," she said. "I think they were just being silly, anyway. It doesn't really matter."

Right on, kid. Self-differentiation is a good thing.

But growing up is hard, you know?


Laurie said...

Oh, the downside to being so darn cute.

Lorraine said...

Oh. My. Yord.

I'm feeling your...whatever it is...not exactly pain, more like an ache. An ache with a dollop of amusement.

And you handled it sooo well. Yay mom!

Jan Hoekema said...

Dana, just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy reading your blogs. I check it a couple of times a week - you're a great communicator. P.S., I don't think loose hamburger is such a bad meal, and I also am a chocolate chip snacker!
(Matt's mom)

fig said...

Hey, k-i-s-s-i-n-g-s is a good thing. I am sure Jude and I had that sung about us in 4th grade. We acted like we didn't like it but in truth I was thrilled.

Dana said...

Laurie, I know. It's such a burden.

Lorraine, must admit that I too felt a dollop of amusement after it was all over...

Jan, Good to hear from you. And loose hamburger has potential, certainly.

Fig, Were you and Jude giving those 4th graders something to sing about?

TeSlaa said...

So cute. It is tough. My 2nd grader had a slumber party a few months back. All nine girls were talking about boys as they sat around the table. One proceeded to say, "all the boys are just hot." I had to comment, "does that mean they need some air conditioning?" She replied, "oh no. That means they are cute." Oh my word! However, I do recall my huge crush on Sean Harris - I was in 3rd grade and he was in 2nd. That was serious stuff! LOL

groom's mother said...

on behalf of the groom's family~we are truly sorry for any angst Max has caused.....if Max would fill us in on his days at Kindergarten~perhaps we could have worked on a pre-nup or at least talked about what the first dance should be....or when an appropriate time to ask a girl to marry you might be....