Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Whoa, Nelly!

To the best of my knowledge, 9 year old boys are supposed to be interested in Legos, bike riding, knives and fire. Joey fits into this category perfectly, showing a healthy interest in all of these things.

9 year old boys are NOT supposed to be interested in girls, nor girls in them. No way, no how. That simply must be quite a few years down the road. I am so convinced of this basic truth that I have not spent even one minute thinking about what unique parenting challenges a development in this area might bring.

(It is at this point in my rant that I am going to choose to ignore that fact that girls and boys were quite interested in each other in my own fourth grade class way back when.)

As sure as I am that I have my facts straight, I nonetheless have begun to notice that Joey is, in fact, interested in girls and they, in fact, are interested in him.

A few days ago, a girl called Joey and they talked for, I kid you not, two hours and twenty minutes. ABOUT WHAT?! I have no idea. I was so flabbergasted by the entire episode that I couldn't even decide whether I should allow this. All I know is that he was positively beaming as he carried the phone around the house, trying to escape the curious ears of his siblings and the panicked, deer-in-headlights gaze of his mother.

About a week before this, tweenage girls at Julia's gymnastics class were actually tossing their hair and giggling at him as he waited for his sister. He now wants to come with me to every one of her classes.

What the heck is going on here? Has the world begun to spin backwards?

My emotions about this are mixed. One one hand, I am happy to see the obvious confidence and pleasure that this is giving him. One the other hand, I am fighting the urge to stuff him in a closet and not allow him to see the light of day for the next ten years.

Obviously, there will be no girlfriends and no dating allowed for many, many, MANY years. But what about all the stuff in between? Can he talk to them on the phone when they call? Can he sit with them at church functions? Can he suddenly become my most consistent tag-along at his sisters' activities?

Jay and I have some quick thinking to do here. Yikes!


Jen Savard said...

Oh my dear friend....take it from me once that train has left the station there is no turning back. I am not saying this because I have a 13 yr. old daughter no no no it is because of Jeffrey, my little Don Juan himself. Jason went to the store with him the other day where they ran into a couple girls from his class who started screaming "Oh my gosh, it's Jeffrey!" Jason thought he was with Elvis or one of the Beatles for crying out loud!! Jeff spends more time in the mirror than the rest of us combined and talks to himself about how good he looks!! Where did he get this from? I remember very well our first crushes back in the days of Main school! Your saving grace is that you and I are around alot more than either one of our Mothers and we have the influences of our husbands. They play such an important part in this area of development. We have told Jeffrey as long as his grades are good he can talk on the phone. Guess what? His grades are pretty darn good!!

Jennifer HInojosa said...

Wait till middle school Suz! My biggest challenge as a 7th/ 8th grade teacher is figuring out who likes who and sitting them strategically in class! Even then, the notes get passed and the flirting continues- and no attention goes into the CA standards they must learn!

Suzanne Di Silvestri said...

You are right, Jen. We are blessed indeed to be able to be home with our children and to have the support of our husbands every day. Imagine how frightening it must have been for our single mothers who had to go to work and leave us every day.

I'm sure by the time they are teenagers, my children will all WISH that I worked!

Suzanne Di Silvestri said...

Oh, and I am definitely thinking about homeschooling them ALL for middle school and high school since, apparently, I have much to look forward to in this area. Thanks for the heads up, Jenny. :-)

Annie Bizzi said...

I second the middle school warning--just wait until the girls are calling asking if your little 12 year old can go with them to the movies! I didn't go on a "date" until I was 16...times have changed! Good thing we haven't lost that all important presence in their lives. I don't think there will ever be an age when we don't worry about "what's next"... Joey has the best role models though so don't fret!