I arrive at 5:15 on a Friday afternoon. A three-day weekend looms and the preschool is decidedly empty compared to most afternoons. The remaining kids are out on the playground and I head out to greet Swee’Pea and TheMonk.
Swee’Pea sees me first and races towards me. About half-way there, however, she is distracted by a boy in her class. This boy, Jack, is also a twin but I only know him as a boy who likes to wrestle his brother to the ground and likes to sing the chorus to Queen’s We Will Rock You. As Swee’Pea passes him she throws on the breaks and heads over to give him a hug. I take note of this and, possibly, give Jack my most fatherly stank-eye practiced to-date.
As we head out to the car, I ask Swee’Pea about Jack. “Do you like playing with Jack, Swee’Pea?”
“Yes,” she replies. “I’m going to marry Jack.”
I casually reach up and push my eyeballs back into their sockets before I calmly ask, “Did you say Marry, Swee’Pea?”
“Yes.” she replies. And, then, she adds the dagger to my heart. “I’m serious, Daddy. I’m going to marry him.”
I get into the drivers seat of my car as we continue the conversation. I’m curious so I inquire why she likes this Jack so much.
“I like to play with him, Daddy.” She tells me.
I say, “That’s nice, Swee’Pea. But remember, boys who play with you have to treat you nicely. They have to be nice to you all the time. Do you understand?”
“Yes, Daddy.” She dutifully replies.
And it seems she did understand. Later that evening, over dinner, I recount our conversation for Mommy’s sake. We talk about Jack and I can tell Swee’Pea is a bit embarrassed to be talking so much about this boy. But as I wind down the conversation, about to change the subject, Swee’Pea suddenly announces.
“Boys have to treat me right.”
That’s my girl.