Flashback Friday: Junior’s First Girlfriend

Posted on February 10th, 2012

Copyright Tina PhillipsToday’s Flashback Friday is a column I wrote when Junior was in the first grade. You’ll be relieved to know that since he is now a teenager, he no longer spits on future girlfriends :)

Junior has discovered girls.

Oh, he’s always known they existed. But they were disgusting, cootie-carrying creatures that he avoided at all costs. In Junior’s universe, girls were gross. Boys were not. And I kind of figured it would stay that way for a couple of years.

But I didn’t count on Junior. You see, my son has to be first at everything. And being the competitive little squirt that he is, he apparently had to be first at liking girls. And it has caused all sorts of problems.

Take the other day, for instance. Junior brought home a red light. Now, in the first grade a red light is the equivalent of the teacher telling you that your child is a beast from hell who drove her so insane all day long that she will exceed the maximum martini-in-the-bathtub limit when she gets home that night. So when Junior brought me this offending slip of paper, I gave him a time out, then I read the red light notice. It seems Junior was spitting on a girl. Of course I asked why. And of course, he answered.

Junior spit on her because he loved her.

Is it just me, or does that seem a little odd? Look, call me an old fuddy-duddy, but I do vaguely remember dating. What I don’t remember is a boy spitting on my head during the date. This spitting thing sounds more like the boy is marking his territory. But in Junior’s world, spitting shows a girl how much you care. It’s a Hallmark moment for first graders. They spit out of love, not hate. At least the boys do. It seems that Ashley, the recipient of my son’s loving spit wads, was not exactly thrilled to spat upon.

And that’s how Junior ended up with the red light.

So I had a little talk with my loogy-lover. I told him girls like boys who are nice, who play with them and talk to them. Well, that went over like…well, like spitting on the playground. Junior was horrified that loving Ashley meant actually playing with Ashley. I guess for first grade boys, love is spit and nothing else. But I did finally get Junior to agree to be nice and he even pinky-promised me that he would never, ever spit on Ashley again.

Unfortunately, he took my words to heart. The next day, Junior bought Ashley a ring in the school store and they were married at lunchtime by a third grader who had seen “My Big, Fat, Greek Wedding” one too many times.

So I went from being the mother of a little spitter to being the mother-in-law of a 6-year old girl who, in Junior’s words, was “prettier than Brittney Spears, smarter than Mommy and more fun to play with than the dog.” Clearly, Ashley was quite a catch.

But what about Junior? I mean, I had big plans for him. I figured he’d go at least to the third grade. But now he had a wife to support. He’d have to get a job. He has no discernable job skills other than Game Boy and bike riding. And he’d probably have to drop out of school before he even learns what a verb is, let alone discovering the joys of multiplication.

Fortunately, Ashley took care of that for me. No, she didn’t get a job. She broke up with my son. It seems that one day of marriage to Junior was quite enough for her. She traded her wedding ring for a blue Barbie shoe and half of a Hershey bar.

Divorce for 6 year olds.

Poor Junior was heartbroken. It took him an entire afternoon, a hot fudge sundae and a new Game Boy cartridge to forget Ashley. He even vowed never to play with another girl again. In first grader terms, this was a serious breakup.

Since then, I haven’t heard much about Ashley. And Junior hasn’t been tossing out the spit wads to anyone else. I think he’s over the heartbreak and back into Spiderman, dogs and way too much Game Boy action.

But yesterday, I heard that Ashley had spit on Junior while they were playing on the swings at school. I just hope this doesn’t mean they are getting back together. I don’t think I can take Round Two of their love-spit relationship.

And I know I’ll be the one with the martini in the tub if Junior brings home another red light.

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