sigh. sometimes I just feel lost. lost about being a parent, about being an adult, about...being.
Today, I went to pick up Kaia from after school care. She goes there right after first grade, which ends at 3, and stays until I pick her up at around 5:15. It's at the same place she went to preschool, and care before and after kindergarten. She loves the teachers, and knows a LOT of the kids. She has always played "house" and "marriage" with whomever, male or female, her friends at the time are.
Her current best friend is Ashley, she of the "shared germs." She has previously told me about plans she and Ashley have to marry a boy in their school (he goes to kindergarten, so they see him on the bus and at after school care). I really haven't seen a problem with it, seems like normal behaviour to me, to pretend to be mommies and daddies and families. And, I admit, when she told me about kissing Ashley on the bus yesterday, I really didn't think anything of it. (must be the slut coming out in me?!)
Anyway. Today, when I picked her up, her name was highlighted on the sign-out sheet, which means "see the teacher". I dutifully waited while he spoke to another parents, then smiled when he turned to me.
"Okay, " he said. "Here's the situation."
uh oh, I thought. There's a situation!?
"I had to talk to Kaia and one other girl today." He says this as if I can't deduce from the one other highlighted name, Ashley's, who this other girl might be.
"There's been a problem with kissing between these two and a boy they ride the bus with." At this point, it occurs to me that I really should have talked with Kaia about no kissing yesterday.
"I've talked to the three of them before about what's appropriate behaviour and what isn't. They know that at school and here, kissing is not allowed." (makes sense when he says it. I nod vigorously.)
"But today, they got off the bus and were laughing and talking about kissing each other on the bus." uh oh....leave it to my daughter to try to get around the rules....sigh....
"I told them that this time, I would have to talk to their parents." I nod again, of course I will talk to her about this. Kissing at school OR on the bus-bad. got it.
"Kaia loves to play house quite a bit." He goes on. I nod again, slowly. I know this....they have a set up there specifically FOR this purpose...so I'm a bit lost as to where this is now going.
"They have been playing mom and daddy and baby." Again, I slowly nod. She's been playing house for all three years she's been going to this school.....
"They asked if it was okay to hold hands, since they can't kiss." I start to nod...holding hands as an alternative makes sense to me...no germs are passed, no diseases....very good altern-
"I told them that holding hands is not appropriate behaviour either." I continue to nod, out of habit, but wait! Holding hands is NOT an appropriate alternative? WHY THE HELL NOT!?! Now, I don't say this, I just nod and say I will talk to her about what's okay at school and what's not. Then I go and get Kaia, and a whole 'nother problem with fits and whining occurs, but that's another story.
Holding hands is not okay when you are 6 years old and playing house? Am I just morally loose? Well, I am, but I had thought I knew where my personal boundaries exceeded society's. Apparently I was wrong.
So later, I am trying to talk to Kaia about this. I do fine with the no kissing rule (sort of).
Kissing at her age, I tell her, is only for mommy and daddy. oh, and granny...grumpy...family...wait, and Andrea...and Tania and Kathy...so other adults that we know..wait...I mean...people who we consider family because we love them...but not ones at school, even if we love them...sigh....moving on...
Also, I tell her, her teacher has said no holding hands while playing house. What!?! She responds. WHY NOT!?!
umm.... I say....well.....umm....I'm not really....because that's the rule at school. I finish with lamely.
She looks up at me, a combination of confusion and disbelief and disgust.
But WHY? she repeats.
Because holding hands is touching, and touching is...I start....then stop....I don't WANT my daughter to feel that touching, and holding hands, and even, yes, kissing, is wrong. I want her to feel comfortable in her body, a body that likes to be touched and held and cuddled. Before you get up in arms, of COURSE I know there are appropriate ages and places for different sorts of touching.
But HOLDING HANDS?!? Why is this wrong? How do I explain to my daughter that something that she's been doing her whole life, something that I MAKE her do for safety quite OFTEN is apparently inappropriate behaviour? Especially when I don't agree?!
Sometimes, I'm just lost.