It’s summer and love is in the air. The Raging Bull, four and three quarters, has (at last count) 100 billion boyfriends. She tells me this nonchalantly one afternoon, flashing me her innocent puppy-dog eyes. It’s a figure she enjoys repeating to anyone who will listen.
I’ve only met a couple of the boyfriends so far. One is an older ‘man’, about 7, who was mortified when the Raging Bull grabbed his hand as we were walking down the street. She then ramped up her affections slightly by leaning over to kiss him. I’m afraid this didn’t go over too well, but she was nonplussed.
The other little boy has been chosen as the Raging Bull’s next playdate friend. They’ve spent a good while jumping off sofas and laughing with each other at the local coffee shop. They seem to have bonded over their babyccinos.
Meawhile, I have it on good authority (her older sister’s) that she is actually engaged to be married to someone else.
It’s all very cute, and I laugh along with her games of chasing boys in the playground, which currently has the innocence of a kitten playing with a ball of yarn.
Part of me wonders, though, if there comes a time when a playdate between a boy and a girl is considered awkward. I can’t imagine inviting a boy over for a playdate when he’s approaching double digits. It just seems a violation of some sort of unwritten rule.
Playdates seem to be governed by a secret code that goes something like this:
- Don’t assume you can go to someone’s house over and over again. Eventually you will need to reciprocate or face a shrivelling up of invitations.
- Children with working parents might not be popular playdate friends for the reason stated above.
- Some playdates will involve dinner or lunch; others never will. But if your child has eaten at someone else’s house, you should probably think about doing the same for their little angel.
- At some point the parents don’t expect you to tag along on the playdate; they’d prefer it if you just made yourself scarce (unless you happen to be friends).
- Boys and girls don’t tend to mix very much unless the parents know each other.
- Some playdates will involve numerous emails, text messages and planning. Others will happen spontaneously.
I can only assume (hope?) that one day the Raging Bull will snap out of her boyfriend phase and find the male sex repulsive. Isn’t this what happens to all little girls? It certainly happened to me for more years than some would say is healthy. The British Husband will argue that I still hold the male sex in suspicion. They are to be tolerated, of course, but not always trusted.