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Love in the 3rd grade

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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Love in the 3rd grade

I was always boy-crazy. I was told this from as early as I can remember. I remember my third grade boyfriend, Marc. I remember the boy I liked in second grade, John. I remember the boy I liked in first grade, Rob and I remember the boy I liked in Kindergarten, Ryan. So, why then was I surprised that Isabella, who is in third grade, came home saying she liked a boy. Who is the boy? Tommy's friend. Why was I surprised when Tommy came home and said he liked a girl. Who is the girl? Belle's friend. At first the friends liked each other so I had two very sad kids on my hands. Then by some miracle, they broke up and asked Tommy and Belle out.

Now, let me interrupt here and tell you my stance on this whole boy/girl stuff in third grade. They are too young. It makes my head hurt a lot to think of having to deal with these issues so early. I told you about my third grade crush and I'll tell you that is the reason I am handling this the way I am. Marc brought me a locket, told me he liked me and asked me out. I ran home excited to tell my mom. She looked mortified, told me to tell him I was not allowed to go out with boys and give the locket back. I was devastated. I went to school, told him I liked him and put the locket in my desk. I liked him so much and I loved that locket. That was the last time until I was in junior high that I told my mom when a boy bought me something or when I was going out with someone and in fourth grade when James asked me out, I said yes and when he gave me a frog, I kept quiet and hid it in the garage. I do not want my kids to feel like their feelings aren't valid or that they can't tell me things.

Back to Tommy and Belle. Turns out the friends didn't really like Belle and Tommy and only went out with them so their friend wouldn't be mad. After some texts and letters with the boy saying he liked someone else, Belle was a self-esteem nightmare. I thought discussing this with her would be like discussing it with Nico. Nico liked a little girl in the neighborhood. After many discussions, he decided he was too young to go out with anyone but that it was okay to like someone. I tried this with Belle and she started yelling that I don't know anything and that no one would like her if she couldn't go out with boys. That it was too late, she liked this boy so much. I was unfair and she stomped to her room. I waited a half hour and tried again. It didn't go well. I ended up getting frustrated that she wouldn't listen to my logic of if a boy doesn't like you, you don't want to go out with him anyway (again...SHE IS 9). She said she didn't care. She liked him too much and didn't I know anything? "Girls don't break up with boys. Boys break up with girls." WHAT?!?! I quickly explained that was not true and be a strong woman! She cried, "I'm not even a woman, Mom!" I said, "Exactly! Which is why you are too young to be going out with boys!" She started crying again and stomped back up to her room. I waited and tried again a half hour later. She was still crying. I asked her why she was so upset. She said because this boy didn't like her. I told her that there were going to be plenty of boys (I even brought up Marc and pointed out that I didn't end up marrying him so she could see what happens in third grade doesn't always last) and that she was going to feel so much better when she was going out with a boy that liked her for her and not because he was afraid that Tommy was going to be mad. I told her that she needed to break up with him and she cried, "I am NEVER going to get over him. I like him so much." When I said I was putting my foot down and that was the way it was going to be for now, she turned on me and said, "If I can't, you better tell Tommy he can't either." LOVE having twins. Tommy came upstairs for was the funniest conversation I have had with my kids in awhile. It went like this:
Me: We're having some trouble with this going out with people thing.
Tommy (in a solemn voice): I know.
Me: I think you guys are too young.
Tommy: I know. I don't think I am feeling it.
Me: I think you should break up with her then.
Tommy: I...I don't know what I am doing. I don't know what to say.
Me: Just tell her you think you guys are too young and that you like her but think you should just be friends.
Tommy: Yeah, that's good. I...I don't even know why I asked her out. We don't go anywhere.
Me: You guys need to stop getting involved in the other's love life. No more finding boys for Belle or she isn't going to find girls for you.
Tommy: That's a good idea.
Me: Since you guys are so young, you can like people but no more going out, okay?
Tommy: I'm not going out with ANYONE for a long time. It's too stressful.
So much like his father it is scary.
Meanwhile, Belle was sobbing next to me.
Me: Belle...
Belle: I can't do it! I don't know what to say! He's going to hate me! No one is ever going to like me again! What if I like someone else and they don't like me?
Tommy: Want me to tell him?
Belle: We just said we weren't going to do that!
Me: No you have to tell him and just say you just want to be friends. Belle, he told two different people that he liked someone besides you. You are so special. You need to find someone that knows that and treats you better. Say bye-bye.
She runs to her room crying and I wonder if I damaged her self-esteem more. The next morning she went into my room and said, "You're right, Mom. I am going to tell him that since I know he likes someone else, we can just be friends and I want to break up." OMG!!! She finally got it! Something sank in!

On a side note to this little story I want to say that even though they are only 9, I really do believe that how they feel and how they handle or how we teach them to handle situations like this shapes how they will behave in the future or what choices they make. This whole thing led to a discussion on how it is better to be nice to everybody, girls and boys and you might start to feel stronger for one person over the others and that will naturally lead to going out with them. That is usually why it happens when you are older because it takes time for those feelings to happen. Like I said, I was boy-crazy at 9 and I have heard people say that if you let them have boyfriends and girlfriends at such a young age, that will lead them to be promiscuous and I strongly disagree. My mom, besides the locket episode, never made me feel like my feelings weren't real. She let me talk and talk about the boys that I liked all the while teaching me that I was worth more than what some boy thought of me. From an early age, I learned to respect my body and not give myself to a boy I liked because he said he liked me too. I pray that I can instill that in my kids. For Belle, if the self esteem discussion doesn't work, she has seen Teen Mom (on accident) and said, "Mom, I know that if that happens to me, you would still love me but you would be so mad and then when the guy leaves, it will be harder to find another one because they will have to love me and the baby so I am not going to do that until I have a husband." I think we are good for now. I talk to the boys about respecting girls and themselves enough to wait until they are in love and ready to make grown-up decisions. That and if they have sex before they are ready, their peeshes will fall off.


At February 17, 2011 at 6:39 AM , Blogger Rochelle said...

HAHAHAHAHAHAAH!!!!! LOVE the last line! I'm sending my kids to the queen of chaos when it comes time for "the talk"!

At February 17, 2011 at 6:15 PM , Blogger AnnMarie said...

Bring them on by! We'll have a "slice" of chocolate bundt cake while I give the talk. That still cracks me up!

At February 23, 2011 at 9:18 PM , Blogger Claudine said...

Seriously AnnMarie, I was laughing so hard in the end. We work so hard to try to explain things to our kids, Patrick and I look at each other and say did that even work? You pray for the best and that they will remember to respect themselves. I am a new fan and I will tell everyone to read your blog, or else their peeshes will fall off!

At February 24, 2011 at 6:41 AM , Blogger AnnMarie said...

Thanks, Claudine! So glad you like it!


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