We just don’t do that.

Boy is first grade different than Kindergarten!  A few days in to the new school year, Belle exchanged phone numbers with a boy in her class.  I didn’t think much of it at the time-she said she wanted him to come over to play basketball in our driveway, but rarely follows through with this sort of stuff.  I was rather surprised that the little boy (we’ll call him Dodger) called the next day to speak to Belle.  They didn’t seem to talk about much, at least Belle didn’t.  Mostly “Yeah” and “What?”.  A few days later he called again.  We weren’t home so he left a rambling message.  I didn’t tell Belle about it as we were rushed to eat dinner, take baths, read books and get to bed.  Which, in my opinion, is how children should spend their evenings!  Except without the rushing part, but hey, we’d driven into town to pick up the coveted soccer uniform.  

At 7:40, just as I was pulling everyone out of the tub, he called again.  I told Belle she could talk for just a moment, but to tell him it was almost her bedtime.  She did, and they chatted a few minutes while I dressed Little Lamb and Little Bear.  Then I heard her saying “No, no, no, no, no…We just don’t do that.”  My ears perked immediately.

I kept listening, having never strayed far from Belle, and she repeated, “We just don’t do that.”  I told her it was time to read books and she needed to get off the phone.  She told Dodger she had to go and then I began questioning her.  

It turns out Dodger has an older sister who was saying that Belle is Dodger’s girlfriend.  Belle knew that wasn’t ok with J and I, and I’m so proud of her for speaking up.  I quizzed her a bit more to see if she might have wanted to be his boyfriend, but said no because of me, and she said “No!  That’s gross!  And we’re too young for that.”

I gave her a huge hug and told her how proud I was of her for knowing the right thing to do and say.  I was hoping that might be the end of the story.  

We left town for NC Friday and returned Tuesday evening.  There was the usual backlog of messages which I expected were mostly hang-ups.  Little did I know that Dodger had left 5 messages for my sweet Belle, 3 in one evening, all ramblings about how he was about to go to the store.  Except in one message, he said “My sister says I love you, and I really do love you.”  A first grader pledging love to my sweet Belle????  There is something very wrong with this picture!

J wanted to call his parents right away.  I suggested Belle tell him he couldn’t call anymore the next day at school.   As fate would have it, Dodger called just a few moments later.  J intercepted the call, asking to speak to his mother or father.  The father got on the phone and J nicely asked that he speak to Dodger, asking him not to call anymore.  He seemed nice enough on the phone, even called back a few minutes later to say that he had indeed spoken to Dodger and it should be taken care of.

Only we didn’t think to mention to tell him not to talk about it to everyone at school.  Belle’s teacher is pregnant and has had some swelling.  There’s been a sub in the class since Tuesday.  Behavior was not at it’s best Wednesday, and it seems Dodger spent a good bit of the day telling classmates that his sister says he and Belle “hooked up”.  This embarrasses poor Belle and angers J and I.  I wish the teacher were there to help squelch things.

I don’t yet know how today went, but I’ll be asking her soon.  Man, I don’t want this to go any further!  Do we call the parents back?  Do we talk to the counselor at school?  Ugh, I really did not want to have to deal with this crap this young!

Yes, I do realize that many parents laugh off the whole boyfriend/girlfriend thing with kids.  But that’s simply not the standard J and I want for our kids.  And she’s not even interested in it either! [Thank you, thank you, thank you, Lord!]

As for the phrase “we just don’t do that”, it’s something I started telling Belle early on about what we felt was appropriate and what was not.  I don’t even know when it started, really.  But boy am I thankful!  It totally takes the pressure off her to have something to say, and it feels much more like a joint decision rather than “my parent’s won’t allow me to…”.  

Please share your thoughts, even if you think I’m overreacting.  I don’t personally think I am, but you’re welcome to think differently!  Oh, and I’m sure there are tons of mistakes in this, but I’m just gonna hit publish and maybe look over it later.  So forgive all those typos, mmk?  Thanks!


7 Responses to “We just don’t do that.”

  1. Not overreacting! Dodger is giving me the creeps right now. Talk to somebody for heaven’s sake. And see, my little girl never would have stood up to him (a big part of the reason we homeschool – she follows *anyone’s* lead right or wrong) – I like your system of “we just don’t do that.” Good for Belle – so early on too!

  2. I looks like Doger’s sister influences him more than his parents. It seems to me that Doger’s parents need to talk to the sister as well. It is hard to believe that society does not let kids be kids (like you guys are) and have them grow up so fast (sometimes too fast). You guys are doing a great job. Can you call block Doger? Do phone companies still offer it? Hmm. Belle is one smart cookie to tell him that she is not interested in a being boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. It (well in my opinion) is always best to know who you are and stick to you guns than to let someone that does not love you or that you respect turn you down the wrong path.

  3. It is so sad that she is having to hear these things as a first grader!! I am sure half the class, including Dodger, don’t even know what “hooking up” is. Definitely call Dad back and definitely take it up with the school. This is abuse in my opinion, both of Belle and of Dodger. It needs to stop and if you have to intervene, definitely do so. I wonder how old the “older sister” is? I also wonder if her parents realize that she if filling her younger brother’s head with this crap. I also wonder where she is getting this crap?

    You are not overreacting at all! Keep us posted on what is going on. Sub or not, that should not be going on. That sub should have immediately contacted a principal on that matter as far as I am concerned.

    As a high school teacher I could get fired for allowing that type of talk in my classroom. If it were to be said in a classroom about one of my students, their parents could sue the district for sexual harassment if it went unreprimanded. I am not suggesting that you should sue the district…just making the point that no matter how old your daughter is–this could be considered sexual harassment.

  4. Obviously Dodger’s sister is much older and he is being influenced by her. I think I’d send a note to the teacher – if she isn’t in, send it to the principal. Let them deal. The inappropriate comments happened IN the CLASSROOM. Make the school deal.

  5. Whew, Belle. Jason would be impressed at J’s action! So far Grace hasn’t had to deal with that and stays away from boys. I don’t think you are over-reacting. I don’t even think “Dodgers” are appropriate in jr. high.

  6. justanotherstayathomemom Says:

    wow…i am saddened by what other parents let their kids do…the comment from the sister is awful…the fact that they let dodger make phone calls is interesting…i don’t think i even knew how a phone worked in the first grade! lol! i mean, society is so diff from when we grew up…i am sorry you have to go thru this, but unfortunately, this is public school. *sigh* one more reason to re-consider homeschooling. just keep repeating…one more year…one more year…one more year (then you can move or afford private school, by the way, it’s amber, i moved again) i’m proud of belle too! you go girl!!!

  7. Unfortunately you can’t pick the peers in your children’s classes in public school, but you guys are doing a great job of making sure you stay connected with your children and know what is going on in their lives. It’s wonderful that you guys have such an open and nurturing relationship that Belle doesn’t hesitate to come to you and seek your counsel. She’s a sweetie and shouldn’t have to deal with this nonsense at such an early age. I’ll be keeping her school situation in my prayers.

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