I didn't think I'd be writing this post for a long, long time.
A really long time.
But last night after Olivia was tucked into bed and it was quiet in the house, Ethan told me about his girl trouble.
Yes, he has girl troubles. Did I mention I didn't think I'd be writing this post for a long time? Afterall, he's only five...
It all started last week, when the parents of one girl in his class told me that their daughter referred to Ethan has her 'boyfriend.' Now to protect the 'innocent,' I'm going to change the names here, so let's call this girl Suzy. Ethan loves playing with Suzy, and she loves play with him. She's a sweet girl, nice manners, good parents - and that's all just groovy by me.
During a field trip last week, I had the chance to speak with Ethan's teacher about all the girlfriend/boyfriend talk in the preschool classroom.
"It's mostly the girls" she told me, "the boys are a little oblivious."
"Isn't that always the way?" I quipped, "Women do like labels for things."
So I brushed it all off as some silliness that would run it's course.
Until last night.
"Mumma, today Sydney told me she's my girlfriend," Ethan said, looking a little bit worried.
Amused, I replied, "What about Suzy?"
"Well, I was going to be done with Suzy and let Sally be my girlfriend but then Sydney told me she's my girlfriend." Hmmm, I'm not sure I like where this is going...
"She said she was my babe," he continued. Despite the sincerity on his face, or maybe because of it, I couldn't help but giggle a little. I tried to stifle it, but failed.
"Your.... babe?" I choked out, wondering if I'd heard that wrong. But no, Ethan nodded his head solemnly.
Now Sydney isn't necessarily my favorite influence in the classroom...
"How do you feel about that," I asked, hoping for a moment more to wrap my brain around what he was telling me and come up with the appropriate response.
"Well, I don't know," he shrugged looking confused. And small. And cute. And FIVE.
"Ok, well, you're five and - "
"Sydney is five, too," Ethan interrupted.
"Yes, you're all five and you don't really have girlfriends and boyfriends until you're at least fifteen."
"Fifteen?" He repeated. I nodded.
"But she said she was my babe," he said.
"Yes, you definitely don't have babes until even more than fifteen," I replied. Ethan thought about that for a minute.
"I like Suzy and Sally and Sydney, too. But I really like John and Jerry, too."
Then it dawned on me - he wasn't talking about 'girlfriends and boyfriends,' he was talking about 'best friends.'
"Oh, you can have lots of best pals, Ethan, lots of different friends are good."
He nodded then snuggled up and pointed to the book on my lap.
"Can we read now?"
"Yes," I replied, relived that this conversation was over... for now, and enjoying some snuggle time with my sweet five-year-old boy.
This morning as I was dropping the kids off at school, we saw Suzy and Sally in the hallway.
"Hi boyfriend," exclaimed Suzy beaming a great big smile at Ethan, and that anxious feeling returned. I wondered what Suzy would say when she found out Sydney had declared herself Ethan's
'babe' and how Ethan would handle it.
Ethan may be just talking about best friends, but the girls are definitely talking about girlfriends and boyfriends.