We’ve spent considerable time teaching our children their phone number and address in case they ever get lost and have to tell the nice policeman where they belong. And just last week my daughter demonstrated acute recall ability when she began handing out said phone number to little boys in her kindergarten class.
How do I know this? One of said boys called two afternoons ago while my daughter was with her grandmother. Our conversation went something like this:
Little Rico Suave: Hi. Is Leah there? This is Little Rico.
Me: She’s with her grandmother.
LRS: Could she play at my house later?
LRS: I’ll call back later.
Me: 10 years from now would be good.
When I confronted my daughter she informed me that Little Rico wasn’t a boyfriend. And as any child springing from my loins is wont to do, she turned the conversation into a semantic debate. She explained, “I took the word ‘boy’ and ‘friend’ apart. I told Little Rico that he’s my friend who’s a boy. Not my ‘boyfriend’.” Does she think I fell off the turnip truck? Like that excuse wasn’t around a kazillion years ago when I was in elementary school?
I reminded her that she wouldn’t be talking to boys, distributing her phone number to boys, or going over to play with the Little Rico’s of the world until she was twenty three. Reasonable, right? She pouted.
That night I called Little Rico’s mom and told her that I had not intended for my 5-year old to give her phone number to little boys. The mother agreed, bemoaning this fast-paced generation where kids hook up over their preschool snacks. Apparently she wasn’t so keen on my daughter giving her phone number up so easily. Did she just call my daughter a floozy? No matter. This would all soon be in the past.
The next day I asked Leah if she had informed Little Rico Suave that she is not allowed to give her phone number to boys. She told me she had but complained, “He said he didn’t care what you say. He’s going to call again anyway.” I imagined this five-year old boy defending his love for my daughter passionately, calling outside her window, “LEEEEE-ah” in a very Stella-esque manner.
A warning about this had not been distributed in my parenting materials.
I told my daughter our address wasn’t up for grabs either.