Locking Up My Daughters

Last night I witnessed, for the very first time, my daughter being flirted with by an older boy.



Now he’ll be a fine catch in 20 years or so, thanks to his pretty fine mama. But it was beyond strange to see sweet, rambunctious little little four-and-a-half year-old boy batting his long lashes at my not-quite-in-preschool little girl.

The interactions were entirely innocent of course. He wanted Thalia to watch him climb a jungle gym. He showed her how fast he could run. He held a door open for her. He asked to pick her up (then promptly dropped her on the ground). He drew her little pictures on sticky notes then pressed them into a book for her. He showed her his Aerosmith shirt.

He told her he wanted to be her big brother. Which, really? Heart-melting.

I was surprised at how protective I suddenly felt of her. That I didn’t want her to feel too flattered or too honored to be the object of some boy’s affection, no matter how adorable and blue-eyed that some boy happened to be. I was particularly happy that while he was drawing her flowers, she was attempting to draw her own and not simply admiring his.

In other words, she was age-appropriately oblivious. Way to go, T-Bone. Keep it up for thirteen more years.

Ryland, my love, I’d be honored to have you as a son-in-law when the time comes. But you’re going to have to get through Nate too, and he’s kind of got his heart set on a Redskin.

Hey, wait…how’s your throwing arm?


22 thoughts on “Locking Up My Daughters”

  1. My oldest would get crushes on older boys all the time when she was Thalia’s age—thankfully, that wore off and she now just wants to wrestle older boys to the ground. Oh. . .. wait. . .. That photo is adorable.

  2. at our easter brunch out, my daughter had a lollipop and an older boy came and asked where did you get that ? she ran and got another for him so fast…i was scared !!!

  3. At the moment I’m predicting bars on the windows of one of my daughter’s rooms when the teenage years hit. She has been flirting with men since she first achieved the ability to bring them into her infant focus. Who knew babies could bat their eyelashes? Eyelash batting has never seemed to come up in any 6 month developmental skill list I’ve ever read. My other daughter shows little interest in anything other than giants at the moment. I fear her falling for the first boy who tells her he has a great big beanstalk. Daughter one, on the other hand – I fear for the boys.My other daughter seems oblivious to the gender of her playmates

  4. Well who wouldn’t love her? She’s got the smartest, best dressed mom around with some of the prettiest business partners this side of the Mississippi.heh.

  5. pretty gosh darned cute. And as far as the sleeping goes, we’re in the same boat and I have zero suggestions. Do you have any to get my 3 1/2 year old to stop having pee accidents at school?And I do want those names.

  6. MGM fantastic question, and I pondered the same. To Thalia, there probably wouldn’t have been much of a difference. To me…well, I’d have reacted less like a freak saying OH MY GOD! HE’S FLIRTING WITH HER!

  7. I agree with BOSSY. There is nothing like the danger of truly young love. PunditGirl “fell in love” for the first time in pre-school (now about 4 year ago) with Joseph. She still pines for him, even tho’ she hasn’t seen him for three years.The power of love!

  8. Today my 14 month old scraped his forehead going down the slide (face first – thanks, DH) because he insisted on waving mid-slide at the cute little red-headed girl standing nearby. Can’t wait to see what he’ll do while trying to impress the girls when he has a car…

  9. If social plans escalate, the Berts will be available for chaperoning. As long as there are plenty of crayons.

  10. Boy they start flirting young, don’t they? Scary, scary!It’s emotional manipulation 101.I think it’s so great to have healthy boy-girl relationships before they hit the Real Emotional Teen Age.

  11. My son is such a flirt. He always picks the smartest girl in the room, and follows her everywhere.Remind me to put him on a leash if we ever come to visit you . . .

  12. Going thru somewhat similar feeling here – but for my 8 year old son. I see perfect and cute little girls following him around, throwing crushed papers with sweet notes written inside to his hair then giggling and everyone thinks, “oh, it’s so cute” whereas I have visions of those very same sweet girls breaking his heart come fifteen years and I suddenly stop myself, and repeat over and over again: “you will not be an evil mother in law, you will not be an evil mother in law.” Just slightly protective. Very tiny little bit protective. Yes.Sometimes I ask him what he feels when the girls are “on his case.” He just shrugs and says he wishes they played more soccer instead of giving him the flowery pictures they draw.

  13. ooh…deep breathing…am only recently starting to envisage my toddler in ‘grown up situations’ – shoplifting, bonging on in back of mates’ car, breaking some girl’s (or boy’s) heart, having his heart broken by some It’s a slippery slope from here on in, yeah?

  14. I’ve got a long way to go before I have to worry about this (thank GOD) but I do have to admit I get those feelings of over protectiveness *already*…. esp. when my husband thinks it’s hilarious to talk about who and how and when, etc. Logan will be hooking up with another friend’s baby girl. I guess you could say he’s a proud father….?!?! Good luck! I hear it only gets better from here 😉

  15. Man!!! She looks SO MUCH like you. I’ve just never noticed until this picture.

  16. Hi, just bumped into this blog and all I can say is…how cute! 😀And I think, 13 or even 30 more years, parents will always see their kids as babies anyway. So no worries there 😀 Great blog, by the way. May I link you?

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