How to shop for a boyfriend: 1.Wear gym kit 2.Take balloon, X-box controller, Tigger DVD put in shopping trolley
How many boyfriends does a girl need?
According to our three year old daughter you need quite a few.
For example, arriving at her play school one morning, as we pull into the car park she looked expectantly out of the window, spying the other children already in the building through the window. "How many of my boyfriends will be here today?" She asked.
Of course, when she says 'boyfriends' she means the one of the bevy of male toddlers who hang on her every word and act on her every whim at play school. So, walking in to the play school she is immediately surrounded by four adoring little boys, each offering a toy with which they hope to win her attention.
When we adopted our daughter we were concerned, I think quite naturally, that we may need to promote her femininity, given she would be living in an all male household.
We needn't have worried! She's very clearly aware of who she is and is also working out how to use her feminine wiles. My concern is already turning to her teenage years.
That's why I've already been doing some preventative work.
Encouraging her to be cautious about her interaction with the opposite sex has already begun to bear fruit. In the playground at our son's school she was playing with one of her coterie of 'boyfriends.'
"Can Benjamin come to my house?" She asked both his mother and I. "I won't take him to my bedroom!" She added quickly.
Benjamin's mother laughed.
"When are you allowed to take a boy to your bedroom?" I asked.
"When I'm thirty," our daughter said solemnly.
"Good girl, that's right!" I said.
Benjamin's mother looked incredulous guffawing. "Best to manage her expectations," I said.
That makes me hopeful.
But there again, there are conversations like this one.
The children want a biscuit, so I offer them both the tin. Our son, who's seven, grabs the remaining chocolate cookie first. "Hah, got the chocolate one," he crows at his sister. Her right hook takes him aback, more importantly it makes him drop the chocolate biscuit.
Our daughter picks it up. "Got it now!" She says and begins to walk off.
I'm quietly impressed at the audacity of the move. Our seven year old son's wailing brings me back to my senses. Some time on the thinking stair and a little chat are in order.
"Is it good or bad to hit?" I ask our daughter once she is sitting there.
"Bad," she says. "Unless my brother annoys me."
"No," I reply.
Three year old isn't listening, she's already building her list of exceptions. "Or someone kisses my boyfriend."
How you obtain a boyfriend is an art that our daughter appears to have planned in detail.
She arrives in the kitchen one Sunday morning in gym kit.
"Why are you wearing gym kit?" J asks.
"Going out," she replies.
"Going shopping for a boyfriend."
I'm a bit concerned about this.
If she finds one she likes how is she going to get him home.
I ask her, "haven't you forgotten something? What if you want to bring one home."
Ah! She has thought of this and runs out of the room to collect her boyfriend collecting utensils. She returns pushing a toy shopping trolley.
"Is that it?" I ask.
No, it is not. She disappears and returns, filling her shopping trolley with the range of items she'll need, one by one. Three year old's boyfriend entrapment kit includes:
X box controller.
That Sunday we'd planned to go our for a walk in the Forest.
Packing the car with our boots, the dog travelling cage, lead etc. Daughter sees this trip as a perfect opportunity for boyfriend hunting.
We try and explain that there'll be little opportunity for either finding a boyfriend and additionally the terrain isn't really suited to shopping trolleys.
Her determination shines through as she is undeterred and loads the shopping trolley in the back of the car alongside our bemused looking dog.
In a bastardisation of the old Chinese proverb, 'may you live with an interesting daughter,' we certainly do that.