So last night as 5-year old Kenyan was climbing the ladder to his top bunk, he grumbled, “I hate myself!” I stopped half way out the door. “What did you say?” “I said I don’t like myself”. He repeated, using better words. I went to his bedside to be a daddy.
“Now son, why don’t you like yourself? You have a family that loves you and lots of friends.” “I know that.” He replied dejectedly. I was very concerned as no 5-year old should be saying what he was saying. Then he made things clearer. “I don’t even have a girlfriend!” Well that explains it! And son, you think you have issues now because you don’t have a girlfriend? You just wait until you do have one. I didn’t say that of course. He’s still too young to understand. Instead I said, “Well Mikhail is 7 and he doesn’t have a girlfriend. He wasn’t fazed. “And what does that have to do with me?” I told you the kid was precocious. Ok then I’ll try a new approach.
So I had to break it down for the boy. Told him to think about school and forget about girls. I told him that when I was his age, I ran away and cried if a girl so much as looked at me. I painted a not-so-rosy picture of what having a girlfriend was all about.
Today while driving him home, I asked him how he felt about not having a girlfriend and his response was, “I am too young to have a girlfriend, daddy! The kid’s a fast learner too!