It’s funny the things we tell children. There are bad, made up things to deter them for doing things we don’t want them to and then there’s crazy, made up things to encourage them to do what we want . I’d guarantee I’m not the only mom that’s told my children they should eat the crust on their bread because it’d give them curly hair. Or how about my grandmother always told my cousin that his “turtle” would fall off if he kept touching it. I remember him being 3 years old and running, crying into the bathroom because he thought his little package was going to go away.
I wonder if it works, if even for a little bit. Or if the kids can see right through it…
We were eating dinner this evening and our kindergartener was telling us about recess. She was playing with a new friend, Sydney, and I asked her what they were playing. She proceeds to tell us that they were playing chase with two little boys.
I look at M, my husband, raising my eyebrows, “Leave it to her to already chasing boys!”
She giggles. “They kept tackling us,” she says.
Then she blushes a little bit.
“They kept trying to kiss Sydney and me,” and a little squeak of laughter spills out of her.
“Kiss you! You better not be letting them kiss you,” I joke.
M looks at her, his face completely serious, and says, “They’ll give you cooties.”
I look at him surprised. “Cooties?”
Now it’s his turn to look at me like I don’t know what I’m talking about.
I ask, “That’s where we’re going with this? Cooties?”
He looks back at her and shakes his head. “Yes,” a quick glance in my direction, “cooties. If you let them kiss you, you’ll end up with cooties.” And without a second thought, he goes right back to eating his dinner.
And I wonder… will the fear of cooties keep her from kissing boys, even if only for a few years? Only time will tell, but I sure as hell hope so!