Puppy Love

03/15/2010 By Shawn Burns

Erin announced, one depressing day, “Boys tell you you’re beautiful!”

I have no idea what to do with that.

Does it start so young? Erin isn’t even three years old and already she has experience with guys feeding her lines.

Erin isn’t even three years old and already she has a boyfriend I don’t like. He’s a weasely little kid with a problem with authority and mommy issues. I think he’ll be breastfed until he’s nine, or whenever Mommy’s Little Prince decides he’s done with it. Erin talks about him all the time and I think “Him? Really?”

But there’s hope that Erin isn’t that committed. As I dropped her off in her classroom the other day she was immediately greeted with screeches of “Erin! Erin!” and two other little boys ran over to her. She said “Hi” and then took her jacket off. She was standing in front of her cubby, facing the boys, and suddenly my two year old aged fourteen years: “Will you hang this up for me?” she asked one of the boys, giving him a smile and no choice in the matter.

And her victim gladly complied.

Does it start so young? The games, the infatuations? How can she have learned the stereotype so early?

There’s also some hope that Erin isn’t just living out a gendered role-play. While we were at a restaurant the other night she dropped a bag on the ground in front of a child who was standing there, staring at her. “Will you pick that up for me?” she asked. And her victim gladly complied. But then Erin tossed a “Thanks, girl!” over her shoulder as she turned away to play with her bag again.

Ah. She’s an equal opportunity machinator. Well that’s something.

Maybe I don’t have to worry about her after all.

Maybe I have to worry about the rest of you. You’re all doomed. Erin is coming to town and she’s going to make you do stuff for her.

And you will gladly comply.