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Love Is In The Air

There’s a little boy in
Maddie’s class – who shall remain nameless – who
spent most of the first of the year terrorizing Maddie. I know for
sure he was part of the group of boys who teased her so
traumatically most recently – and nearly got their asses
kicked by me because of it. And I know that his name has come up in
other stories Maddie’s told me of boys being mean, usually
with her ending in tears.

And I also know that he now has a thing for her.

A couple weeks ago this boy –
let’s call him Joe – got moved to Maddie’s table
in her classroom. Now, I volunteer regularly in Maddie’s
class, and I know this kid: he’s the grinning, charming,
unrepentant sinner who says, “I’m going to flagrantly
disregard your order, but don’t take it personally. I like
you – a boy’s just gotta do what a boy’s gotta
do.” In other words, this kid will either be the charming
face of a crime ring, or an insanely popular politician.

But ever since Joe was moved to Maddie’s table, his attitude
towards her has distinctly changed. For one thing, she’s told
me that he’s said “the whole table is his friend now,
and he’ll be nice to us.” Creating a posse for himself
– very smart. He’s charmed all the kids around himself,
and now they’ll be reluctant to rat him out. He’s good.

It’s more than blanket kindness, though – Joe has
singled out my girl. Last week she told me that she and Joe kissed
during Read-To-Self time. Trying to remain casual and striving to
be heard over the sound of my heart thumping, I said, “Where
did you kiss each other? On your hand, or on your cheek, or

“No,” Maddie replied, “On the lips. That’s
what Joe wanted to do.”

Ok, Joe’s got to be brought to heel. And Joe, incidentally,
is seven years old – in KINDERGARTEN – and thus is at
LEAST a year and a half older than my daughter.

I fired off a casual email to the teacher – “Just
thought you should know, here’s what I heard, blah blah
blah” – and she replied immediately. “Yes, I saw
him kiss her (she made it clear it was his idea, his orchestrating,
etc.) and stepped in right away. I told him it’s not ok and
made it clear nothing like that should happen again.” Of
course, I had already done my damage control, going the
“It’s not ok to kiss anyone who’s not family. We
don’t want to spread our germs to other people or get their
germs from them” route rather than dipping my toe in the
Birds and the Bees pool just yet. So hopefully it won’t
happen again soon.

He’s definitely pressing his affections, though –
towards the end of the week Maddie said, “Joe brought me a
pink hair rubber band today.” Bewildered, I said,
“Why?” She looked at me like was an idiot.
“Because that’s what people do for people they like
– they give them gifts. And he thought a girl would like
something she could use in her hair.”

This kid is really good.

Maddie, having gifts as a love language, was won over and wanted to
reciprocate the gesture. She started out wanting to give him a DVD
and I talked her down to a Match box car. She picked it out Sunday
and may put it in his Valentine box.

I will not steam open the valentine Maddie made for him and read
what she wrote inside. I will not steam open the valentine Maddie
made for him and read what she wrote inside. I will not steam open
the valentine Maddie made for him and read what she wrote


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