The other day in the car, little kid casually was talking about a girl at his school who cheats at four square -- a cardinal sin in the extremely competitive and political four square environment that is his elementary school. Four square is so serious that they have adult four square police at each court and my kid gets kicked out so often and so loudly protests the injustice of it all that I've seriously considered going down there and figuring out what the hell is going on (other parents have, and their children allegedly have immunity now) but I just don't care.
I think the four square police lady sounds a little intense about it all, but what do I know, I'm just glad I don't have to do it.
Anyway, while he was telling me about her improper serving techniques, he casually slipped in that she had a crush on him.
"She sent her friend over to tell me. That's how they do it sometimes. Last year, Olivia* came up to me at recess and said she loved me. That was brave."
"She did?! What did you say back? I can't believe I haven't heard this story!!"
"Uh, it got real quiet. She didn't even say she had a crush on me, just that she loved me. What do you even say to that?"
"You had to have said something."
"I really don't think I did. She ran off pretty quick."
"Wow. You've got to admire the approach though. That's bold. I remember her, she was sweet and pretty."
There is another girl he knows whose behavior sounds atrocious, and he is fascinated with her bragging and tattling and rumor spreading and drama and everyone's various reactions. I know I shouldn't encourage gossip but it's like a soap opera and I love the updates.
The other day she said her dress was designer and he joked that his dog was designer, and I thought it was hilarious. If any of this makes me sound like a bad parent, it's just because you haven't witnessed one of the reenactments.
So it was surprising when he got off the bus the other day and said that he overheard her tell her closest frenemy that she had a crush on him.
"What did you do?"
"I turned around and said, 'I heard every word of that,' and she got white as a ghost!"
"No, you did not! That's amazing."
"I did. She said I better not tell anyone, but like I'm going to tell anyone? It doesn't make me look good. I told her she better not tell anyone. The last thing I need is for this to become a rumor."
"This all makes sense in a way."
"It does. I think her behavior is bad normally but that she is showing off or something? And I think when she tells on me -- because she tells on me all the time -- she's just trying to get my attention. Even if it's in a bad way. It's not a good strategy, though."
So, unsurprisingly, little kid is a ladies' man. When asked if there was anyone he had ever had a crush on, he gave a thoughtful but emphatic no.
"I just want to play four square with my friends, and not have people cheat."
"That is a good plan. Let me know if you need to me to go down there and ask the four square ladies for clarification on what's going on."
Because it's better than girl drama.
*Names changed to protect my ability to attend after school park play dates.