Huh.

A week or so ago I discovered quite by accident that Gal Smiley has a new bus buddy. His name is Big A and he’s in Captain Jelly Belly’s class, so he’s at least a year older than the Gal. I found out that they were bus friends when I picked the kids up from school one day, and I heard him yelling at Gal Smiley on the way to the bus that he wanted to sit with her.

So nice, I thought.

Then this evening, I was chatting at bedtime with Gal Smiley, and Big A came up, and she said that it’s weird how he is always kissing her.

RED FLAG.

I kept it cool, though, because I’m a cool-headed mom like that.

“Oh, really? Where is he kissing you?”

“On the cheek or on the nose, and one time on my eyeball but that was an accident.”

“And does this happen every day? Or just one or two times?”

“Oh, every day, he is ALWAYS kissing me.”

HUH.

I didn’t say anything about it because I wanted to get Sir Monkeypants’ read on the situation first. We both think this is something that makes us feel awkward and unhappy. On the one hand, Gal Smiley does say that she “LOOOOOVES IT” when Big A kisses her. But on the other hand, when she is sitting on the bus with him (she sits wedged into a seat, between him on the aisle and his friend on the window side)…she probably feels like she’s supposed to be having fun. That these are her friends, and that’s what friends do. Right?

I don’t know. Do you think I should freak out? Or should I let it slide? Is it innocent fun that means nothing, or should I defend my daughter against peer pressure to do something that maybe makes her uncomfortable?

Should I take her word for it that it doesn’t bother her, or should I try to put an end to it, no matter what?

It’s a grey area, that’s for sure.

I think we are leaning towards asking her to sit either with her brother or with a girl on the bus, and no more sitting with Big A. But the bus is a huge, lawless environment where anything can happen — the boy who lives across the street from us is having his own bully issues with another boy on the bus right now — and having peeps, friendly faces to sit with every day, means a lot. I’m not sure Gal Smiley is strong enough to say no, and there’s no one on the bus to enforce it for her.

(Captain Jelly Belly is a strict stay-out-of-it-lay-low-and-hope-no-one-sees-you kind of guy.)

I don’t know, I’m probably overreacting, right? I’m thinking I just might pick them up more often, though.

10 thoughts on “Huh.

  1. Oh man, I would step in. I don’t have a daughter but I would not be happy if I heard my son was acting that way towards another child. She says she loves it, she is so young, I know they are kids, and maybe I would be considered to be overreacting too but I think I would talk to the principle. And ask her to sit with someone else. This boy need to learn about personal space.

  2. Making decisions on who she should sit with on the bus isn’t good for anybody. This is a good time for her to learn a lesson in social coping skills. Talk to her again when you all have quiet time and ask her what the other kids think of this boy kissing her all the time and what she really “feels” about it. And then explain that you and her dad don’t think it’s appropriate for kids her age to be kissing like that — a hug now and then, okay, but not constant kissing. Tell her she has a right to decide who touches her body and how and when they touch it – ALWAYS. And then tell her that she should tell this boy that she likes him as a friend, but that kissing all the time isn’t appropriate and that he has to stop or she can’t be his friend anymore.This way she learns to handle situations like this on her own without you laying down the law AND she’s learned something about empowerment and appropriate social behaviour which she wouldn’t learn if you just lay down the law. Check back in a few days to see if he’s stopped the kissing and if not, what your daughter is going to do about it. If it continues to be a problem, I suggest you speak to his parents about it as well.

  3. We also have a no kissing rule at our school. Our bus also uses assigned seating. So my daughter is sitting in the same seat with the same child every day. They were having a problem with some rowdy boys so this was the solution to keep peace on the bus. If any issues occur then they can easily separate a problem pairing.
    I would handle it as XUP has suggested.

  4. yeah, it’s all no kissing at our school. I had one five year old girl who was an offender once (on the school bus) and she really got the gears at school……

    thanks for popping by the Mabelhood!!

  5. I don’t have a daughter, but like Chantal, I would be mortified if my son were acting like that. I had the same reaction as you when I read the forst few lines of your post “Get away from her!” I would have probably gone with the telling her to sit somewhere else. But I think XUP has some excellent advice. What better time than now to tart teaching Gal how to learn to say no when she feels uncomfortable and learning social boundaries. But if things still persist I would at least speak to the teachers on duty or the parents.

  6. Well, I’m really happy to hear that everyone seems to agree that this isn’t something that I should just ignore. It’s definitely my instinct to do something about it, but I was worried I was being too extreme.

    I talked to Gal and I think it went well. She is going to talk to the boy today on the bus and tell him that it is not appropriate and she doesn’t like it. Then she is hopefully going to sit with someone else. She is very nervous about this, so I hope it goes well…in any case I will be there to meet the bus today and tell her she did a good job.

    I’ll keep you all posted!

  7. MrsCarlSagan

    Good Call Turtlehead! After reading your post, I felt rather uncomfortable…I didn’t like the thought of Gal Smiley wedged in between two boys and being kissed (although she is adorable so I can understand others wanting to kiss her), but the thought of her not liking and being in that situation made me feel very uneasy – you are definitely not over-reacting. I hope it went well this morning.

  8. fame_throwa

    Yep, I, too, think something needed to be done. At that age, I imagine it’s difficult to explain why this isn’t a good thing, but I think it’s important to explain *why* you don’t like and why it shouldn’t be happening rather than just dole out orders to sit with someone else. It’s an early lesson in personal space and protecting your body for Gal.

    Glad to hear you took action!

  9. Miker

    Well…I had a thought when I read first read this, but as a non-parent I didn’t think I should comment and was hoping to see some other parent provide feedback along the lines I was thinking…it didn’t happen though, so here I am.

    I do agree with the idea of discussing it – and I think XUP had a good way of handling it, but think of it from the child’s point of view. Kissing (and hugging, etc.) are things that you ask from them constantly. And I don’t mean “you” specifically, but “you” generally. Parents ask for this from their children. Now you’re telling them that it’s a bad thing. I’m sure it would be confusing.

    Part of “tell him to stop” needs to be a good explanation of why it’s a problem.

    Miker.

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