My 5 year old came home from school this week and announced to the family that he has a “girlfriend.”

I’m not sure what this relationship means to a 5 year old boy, but hopefully it means nothing close to what a 17 year old boy wants it to mean.

Dylan has been very enamored with a little girl in his class and they have had one playdate so far at our house and she came to his birthday party. When they exchanged valentines cards, they made special ones for each other with extra presents. So, he apparently spent some time thinking about it and finally asked her to be his girlfriend this week. She immediately responded that she wanted to ask him to be her boyfriend too. Kismet.

It’s not unusual for him to have lots of friends that are girls. He seems to be drawn more and have similar interests more with the girls in his world than the boys – although he still loves all things “boy” including acting like the Hulk just as much as quietly coloring and playing dress up with girls.

But it’s a stark contrast to his big brother who is just plain anti-girl right now. I mean, my 8 year old son actually threw away a Fun Dip at Halloween because it had princesses on it. (That’s probably an entirely different discussion and post in itself).

In all of his friendships with girls, this is the first time there has been a “boyfriend/girlfriend” label presented and/or accepted. I’m currently stuck somewhere between “what? They can’t be talking about girlfriends and boyfriends at 5!” and the “oh, it’s so harmless and cute” extremes right now.

Since the big announcement 3 days ago, discussions around the boyfriend/girlfriend thing have included the following:

  1. He dressed up in a suit and tie this morning to look handsome for this little girl
  2. He made a comment about how another little boy won’t like it that she has a boyfriend. Oh jeez.
  3. He wants to know when they can have a date.
  4. When the 8 year old immediately yelled “Ewwww, so gross, now they’re going to kiss!” I calmly responded with “now, just because you have someone that you feel is special to you right now doesn’t mean you are kissing! It means you like sharing things with each other or spending time together.”

But I’ve asked him what he thinks is fun and cool for them to do together and it doesn’t seem that kissing is anywhere on his agenda. They want to have lunch together and maybe hold hands sometimes.

I’m a little nervous about what happens when/if she breaks his heart. And I’m holding off on any further discussion or pouring any more attention on top of this for now with him but have a nagging thought in the back of my head about kindergartners getting suspended from school for innocent touching.

I know it’s far more innocent at their age than we adults think of the word, but….wow….Dylan has his first girlfriend. At 5. Okay. I guess.

Here we go!

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