Sausage is now in year one of primary school and she’s settled back into things brilliantly. She’s responding really well to the more structured aspect of year one, compared with the ever-so-slight ‘free for all’ feel that reception class had and she seems to get on well with 99% of the kids in her class, as well as having some close friends that she spends time with. She only turned 5 a month before starting back at school and some of her friends are already 6, as she’s the second youngest in the whole class.
One thing that I wasn’t quite ready for was talk of boyfriends.
A few of the kids in her class have kind of paired off and refer to each other as boyfriend and girlfriend – their relationships are well-know throughout the class and everyone knows who is ‘in a relationship’ with who. Let me just stop here and say that this FREAKS ME THE HECK OUT. I am soooo not ready for the prospect of boyfriends and if I’m honest I thought I’d have about another 10 years before it became a serious consideration.
As it turns out, I needn’t have worried. Sausage informs me that she doesn’t have a boyfriend, nor is she interested in having one, although she did tell that there’s a boy in her class who she likes. Her reason? Because he’s brave and has a deep voice! I’m sure there’s something evolutionary anthropological about that…!
At 5 and 6, I realise that a heck of a lot of learning is done through the type of role-playing games that kids of that age engage in and its really important to their emotional and social development, but the thought of pairing off at such a young age opens a WHOLE can of worms. It’s not long before many girls start to measure their worth by how boys view them and that’s not something that I want for Sausage EVER, let alone when she’s not even old enough to tie her own shoelaces.
I remember how much the pressure of other people’s pairings can put on a kid. When I was younger (although still a lot older than Sausage), I wasn’t the sort of girl who turned boys’ heads (save for having them stare at my ridiculously over-developed chest) and I remember looking at other girls of my age who had boyfriends and wonder what was wrong with me that meant I didn’t have one. Yes, this is hopefully all something that’s very distant in our family’s future, but the speed at which the past five years has gone means that it’s actually not that long until we have to start worrying about things like this, and current pairings are making that even more apparent.
I guess all I can hope is that we imbue Sausage with enough confidence and self-worth that she won’t have to measure herself by someone else’s yardstick, though I do worry that it doesn’t matter how much we do to forearm her, the pressure of life and teen-dom will mean that these problems befall her just as much as anyone else.
So, I guess what I’m asking is this – I can put her in a box and not let her out until she’s 25, right?! That wouldn’t be cruel and torturous, would it? I’d just be protecting her from the world…!