Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Disturbing Developments

So you know when you have a daughter or in my case daughters and you joke about how you are dreading the days when boys come into the picture only you're not joking because it really, truly does scare the living crap out of you? Yeah, well, I thought I had some time. You know because after all Miss A is only 5 years old after all.

That's right. On Sunday, my first born child turned FIVE YEARS OLD. I know she already started Kindergarten but the actually turning 5 thing just made it all more... real.

So since her party with friends isn't for another couple of weeks we decided to take her to one of those indoor play places (large play structure, bouncy castles) to celebrate. As per usual, she came over to me within 5 minutes announcing that she'd made a friend. An adorable blond boy came running up to her frantically then and they ran off together laughing.

It turned out that said blond boy was there with two of his friends. My guess is that they were all about 5 or 6 years old. I'm not exactly sure how it happened but somehow innocent play morphed into something weird and unhealthy.

Miss A would be playing somewhere and the boys would locate her and try to bait her into chasing them. At first this seemed like fun to her, but then she was confused. During a bathroom break she told me she thought the boys didn't like her because they kept running away. I told her they did like her which was why they kept trying to get her to chase them.

She tired of this quickly and basically had no interest in playing with them anymore. They continued to seek her out and try to get her to play their game. When she ignored them they tried to get her attention by saying "Hey Girl!" not like "Hey! Girl!" Like "Hey Girl!" a la Justin Timberlake. Next they said "Hey Sexy Lady!" at which point I said "Hey, hey, hey. None of that!" They wandered off for a while but I kept an eye on them and they were completely fixated on her and kept coming over to where she was.

Finally she told me "Mommy, they're bothering me." I told her that she needed to tell them so and she said that she wanted me to do it. I told her I would stay with her when she told them and she marched over to them saying "Listen, you guys are bothering me and I want you to stop please." I was amazed that she actually did it and happy that they seemed shocked to hear her say that to them. This seemed to put an end to their silly behavior and we left shortly thereafter.

The whole scenario left me feeling a little sick to my stomach. I was so totally unprepared for something like this to happen at her age. It made me wonder where in the world those boys ever learned to speak that way at their age, it made me fear for the young men they would grow into and it made me sad because really, I think they were decent kids, albeit, confused.

It makes me realize how important it is that I teach her to stand up for herself. Because I can't always be there. Especially now that she is at school. She needs to know that she can speak her mind. And if someone is bothering you, it's important that you ask them to stop. If they don't stop you MAKE them stop.

I always knew that this face was going to be a blessing and a curse. I just didn't expect to see the downside so soon.


beth - total mom haircut said...

But you did such, SUCH a perfect job in how you dealt with it. And her ability to stand up for herself that way also exemplifies what a wonderful mother you are to her. As you said, boys are confused. They will be for a while, but having a girl be so clear will only help them to become Unconfused:)

Anonymous said...

You did a wonderful job encouraging your daughter to stand up for herself. And Little Miss A. did just that in an amazingly firm but gracious way. She even said "Please"! And it worked! But you are right, being confronted with this problem at such a young age is worrisome.