Recently I’ve been getting a small test as to how I will react when a boy becomes smitten with my precious angel of a daughter.
We have really good friends that live just a few houses down from us on our block. They’re proud parents of a two-year-old and a four-year-old boy.
The four-year-old is a down to Earth kid. He always says, “hello Justin” whenever he walks in the door of our house or sees me outside. Just yesterday he stopped by my at-home desk and said “how was your Easter Justin?”
You just can’t help but smile at a kind young little bastard like that.
He’s two years younger than our daughter, but at this age it doesn’t really matter.
He loves to play with her and she loves the fact she can pretty much manipulate him to do whatever in the hell she wants him to do.
Play school? Done!
Play veterinarian? Done!
Play stuffed-animal tea party? Done!
And so they’re friendship has blossomed.
When she eats her lunch, he’s sitting almost on top of her.
Macy: “You don’t have to sit so close to me.”
Neighbor Kid: “I know, I just like to Macy!”
This is when my mind starts to get the best of me.
What if the neighbor kid is working me over?
What if he’s trying to get me to fall head-over heels in love with his little dimples and innocent interest in how my day’s taken shape, just so he can drop a Jedi mind-trick cloud of oblivion over my weary brain so I’m cloaked from seeing the obvious….that he’s slowly taking my daughter from me.
I know, I know, they’re four and six.
But they grow up.
Hair starts protruding in awkward places, little hormones start revving their engines and next thing you know the sweet little neighbor kid has me rambling about what a dick my boss is while sweet Macy ganks $40 from my wallet so the two of them can sneak out later, buy some liquor and make-out at the neighborhood park.
I’m watching that little guy.
What he doesn’t realize is that I’m playing along with his little game. While he’s being all nice to me, I’m being super nice right back. Not because he’s four, cute and armed with a winning personality.
But because I’m keeping my enemies close. Watching….learning….remembering.
When I hand him a plate of chicken nuggets, grapes, and a cup with ice cold 2% milk I make sure our eyes meet as I give him just a split-second glare that says “bring your A-game little man and let’s dance.”
And when he smiles right back and says, “thanks for making me lunch Justin,” I immediately know he’s accepted the challenge and the game is on.
Only time will tell who the winner will ultimately be.