Heaven help me.
Yesterday Punky made cookies to bring in to school for her class for Valentine's Day. And one extra large one with a heart made out of red candies for her boyfriend. Is it wrong that this made me want to gag?
Don't get me wrong, I didn't tell her it made me want to gag. Really, I didn't say much to her about it at all. Mostly because I really just don't know how I feel about this whole elementary school boyfriends thing. Honestly, I am completely lost on this one.
I can't imagine having had a "boyfriend" when I was Punky's age. I was still very much in the "boys are creepy but fun to climb trees with" sort of phase. Sure, way back in Kindergarten I was kindof a player, but then the social norms started to take hold and I was firmly anti boyfriend by Punky's age. I was a Tomboy, through and through.
I was more like THIS Punky than my Punky at that age:
While Punky has a lot of Tomboy and Dorky traits that she gets from me - she loves playing with bugs and her favorite Harry Potter character is Luna Lovegood - she also has a strong girly-girl side. She is still as irresistably drawn to anything pink or sparkly as a crow. And it's obvious that having a "boyfriend" fits strongly into the social construct she's trying to function in now.
It makes me uncomfortable, though. Really, I know I'm overreacting. It's just silly kid stuff. But something inside me nevertheless bulks when Punky says words like "boyfriend" and "dating." "Dating?" I asked her, "When have you ever been on a date?" "Mommmyyyyy..." she rolls her eyes at me.
Why does it make me uncomfortable? I'm really not sure. I've been trying to figure it out. My best guess - as horrible as it may sound - is that I'm worried she'll turn out like Bio. I won't go into the details of what I mean by that; it should be enough to say that as Punky's mother, there is certain behaviour I DO NOT want her mimicking or inheriting - however you want to look at it.
I'm probably taking this too seriously, right? I mean, Punky is only 9. The behaviour I'm worried about will be in her teen years. I have already taken steps to educate Punky on topics like self-respect and sex and to keep communication between us open. If anything, my internal discomfort with her talking about boyfriends now might pose a threat to open communication in the future.
Still. I don't like it.
Maybe it's not the boyfriend thing itself. It could also be the way she talks about it. It's funny, really. It's so serious. Sometimes it's hard to keep from laughing at how obviously she and her little friends are mimicking things from TV and movies (though we REALLY limit Punky's exposure to such things). Last night she told me her best friend isn't speaking to her because, and I quote, "I stole her man." Yes, she said man. And stole. I supressed a laugh. And a shudder. I'm simultaneously amused and horrified.
Or perhaps I'm just completely out of touch.
What do you think? What's too young to have a "boyfriend?" And, for the record, I'm just talking the "at school" type of boyfriend - not the going out doing things kind. Heaven help me when that starts.
Oh, and did I mention this boy is something like her 4th boyfriend this year? Snarky Paralegal says that's a good thing because at least she's not trying to "get serious." I suppose that's a silver lining...
Linking up with the girls for Talk To Us Tuesday because there's nothing I love quite as much as "no rules!"