The Dating Game Gets Serious

>> Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I would have thought that a pre-k music class was too early to enter the boy and girl dating world, but apparently not all of the little children agree with me.

Yesterday Toddler and I went to said music class. We go every week, so I was not expecting anything new. In fact, I was expecting that Toddler would sit next to me (or on me), sing songs, and play games unless and until other children began running around the room. At that point, he would either run around the room with them, or he would run back and forth between them and me to see if he could knock me over from my sitting position with a full blown wrestle tackle and possibly a good clout to my chin.

Of course, any successful gathering of children has the potential to turn into a race or a full-contact game of football, especially if one of the "fun games" is selecting a musical instrument from a pile of them on the floor. Even the crawlers get in on this act, ripping drumsticks out of other children's hands and beating anyone that gets too close.

And yet, somewhere in this melee of music and madness, two small children found a rare moment of peace.

I was sitting on the floor, singing, waiving my arms in whatever motion the teacher directed, wishing for all the world my child were with me to sing. Instead, he was wandering around the room. The teacher has a policy that we are not to drag children to the circle, they must come of their own free will, so I was forced (against my instincts), to let him wander or sometimes run madly about the room with other children. This day, though ... this day was different. On this day, I was not the mother of a toddler or small child. No. On this day, I was the mother of ... a boy.

Yes, a boy. As in the opposite of a girl. As in ... I looked up and saw my son holding hands with a little girl and walking around the room with her while the music played.

Oh, no. Oh, no. I am way too young for this. I'm not ready for this. Darn aggressive older women, anyway. (Seriously, she had at least a year on him.)

After a period of time, during which I sat with my chin on my lap watching my child circle the room escorting a girl in a dress and wondering how this was all happening so soon, the girl decided she didn't want to hold hands anymore. She dropped him like a hot potato and ran away.

Well, Toddler is ... well ... a toddler. He didn't exactly catch on that he was being rejected. He followed her around and kept trying to grab her hand. She came and sat down next to her mom, who was next to me, and he snuck in to try to grab her back to run around. She cringed away. Her mom said, "Just tell him, 'No thanks!'"

I'm thinking, "That's easy for you to say; how casually you instruct your daughter to break my son's little heart. Fickle, the lot of you!" What I say is, "Toddler, when a girl says, 'no' you have to listen."

And the first moment of gender-based education came and went just like that. Somehow it stung a little for me, and Toddler spent at least two whole minutes staring longingly at the girl, wondering what on earth had happened and where had it all gone so wrong? (And haven't we all been there?) Don't worry, Toddler. Girls will come, and girls will go, but I will always be your mom. Small consolation, I know, but it's all I have to offer. No one told me I had to prepare the "what to do when your girlfriend dumps you" speech before you hit preschool.) Toddler stayed quietly near me for most of the rest of the class.

That is ...

until someone attacked the girl of his dreams. Then, broken heart or not, he felt compelled to do something. During one of the final songs of the class, another little boy (apparently younger than Toddler by more than a little) had grabbed the pretty girl by her waist while she was hanging on to a doorknob. He was attempting to pull her away. The girl's mom was distracted by her other children, and the boy's mother was sitting in a circle ineffectually calling, "No! No!"

Toddler leaped to his feet, ran over, and pulled the little boy away from his erstwhile girlfriend. Then, before I even knew what was happening, Toddler and the little girl were running around the room holding hands again. He was looking googly-eyed, and she was smiling. I guess she found her Prince Charming. I have to say, the girl's mother did not seem too impressed by the result. (Hey! What's wrong with my son hanging out with your daughter, you snob! I think it has something to do with me forgetting her son's name a few weeks back....)

While I am firmly of the belief that Toddler would NEVER consider holding a girl's hand unless "she started it," I am finding myself asking one question. At what age did Cassanova's mom realize she had a problem? Or was she in denial her whole life?


Anonymous February 16, 2010 at 7:48 AM  

Collegeman fell in love for the first time as a 2 year old. They met in a play class at the local YMHA and became fast friends for years until we mved away. He used to sing her name all the time. I think there is no age limit on love. It is a wonderful human emotion. You are also raising a wonderful boy:)

SharaPCS February 16, 2010 at 4:13 PM  

First: "I was sitting on the floor, singing, waiving my arms in whatever motion the teacher directed, wishing for all the world my child were with me to sing." HAHAHA! I can totally see you singing out, no kid beside you, feeling all silly. That rocks.

Next: She dropped him like a hot potato? Girls suck.

Third: I bet that mom IS mad at you for forgetting her kid's name. How could you?

Next: My eldest son is 11-years-old. He is just NOW starting to show an interest in girls. So I'm not sure how to answer your Casanova question. My kid was more interested in eating dirt than in holding a girl's (cooties!) hand at that age. I feel for ya, sista. I really do.

Move near me. We'll hang.

Karin Kysilka March 28, 2010 at 6:00 PM  

Aw, Elise, you make me feel all warm and fuzzy ... exactly the opposite of that mom. Thanks!

Shara, I need to know if you were in that music class with me, and your kid was running around in circles, would you be waving your arms like a silly goose next to me, or what? I have a hunch the answer is "YES!" You might not even need to have a kid in the class, I'm guessing. :-)

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