I can hardly believe I’m writing this, but Monkey had his first kiss last week. I’m still in shock! Of course, Monkey never said a word to me when it happened. I found out from his bus driver the day after. Here’s the skinny:
He was on the bus heading home from school. Due to some issues he’s had with bullying earlier this year, all seats are assigned on the bus. He typically sits by himself, which is how he likes it. However, on this particular day there was a girl sitting with him. I’ll call her the Divine Miss M. Since I’m friends with her mom, Monkey has known her since she was born. The Divine Miss M is the same age as Prince Charming, and they’ve all grown up fairly close to one another.
Anyway, he was apparently having a nice ride home on the bus with her sitting next to him and he decided to kiss her on the cheek. Her response? She smacked him on the head!
After the kiss happened, the bus driver had a little chat with him about how it’s not okay to kiss anyone on the school bus and that he should not do that again. Once I found out about the situation from the bus driver, I spoke with the mom and told her about it. She, of course, already knew about it. You gotta wonder what it must be like to have neurotypical kids that offer up information willingly…
So, I waited for quiet moment when Prince Charming wouldn’t interrupt us, and I asked Monkey why he kissed the Divine Miss M. He said it was because he loves her. I have to admit I was a bit surprised by his statement. I wasn’t sure what he thought love meant, so I probed further. I asked, “Why do you love her?” He replied, “Because she’s nice to me.”
There are some items of note here. First, Monkey used to be a hands-off kind of kid. He didn’t like to be touched and I didn’t get a lot of cuddling time with him when he was little. Second, he has a difficult time expressing emotions and tends to be on the more serious side of life. He only began saying, “I love you” spontaneously to my husband and I not much more than a year ago. The very idea that he was willing to kiss a friend (who happens to be a girl) because he “loves” her is a very big deal. It actually made my heart swell with pride. That’s progress!
He and I have taken some time to talk about things a few times in the past couple of days. I discovered that although he was upset that she hit him on the head in response to his kiss on her cheek, he was more distraught by the fact that the bus driver pulled him aside to tell him it wasn’t okay. He doesn’t like to feel like he’s in trouble and be the center of negative attention in front of other kids, so this was a little upsetting to him. He has since decided that he won’t try to kiss her anymore because he doesn’t want to get smacked on the head again. I am not sure if he thinks of the Divine Miss M as “cute,” but I have a suspicion that he does. In his mind, I would venture to say that he equates niceness with being cute.
Something interesting happened the other night. I briefly mentioned the girl’s name as Monkey was going to bed and my hubby was standing behind me when I did it. I saw Monkey’s face change. I could swear it was a sudden flash of embarrassment. I can honestly say that I had never seen that type of emotional response from him before. In the dim light it looked like his cheeks were starting to turning red, which was amazing to me! I immediately shut my mouth and dropped the subject, honoring what I thought I saw from him. The next morning I spoke with Monkey so I could clarify what I witnessed the night before. He told me that he was fine talking about the Divine Miss M with me, but that he didn’t think that we should talk about it with his Dad. It appears it really was embarrassment. More progress!
I was practically reeling from the normalcy of the whole situation. Could this all be really happening? I definitely didn’t see this coming! Although it wasn’t entirely appropriate for this age, I am actually very proud of Monkey. He’s come a long way. So many things have changed for him to even approach a moment like this. All of these things combine together for some thrilling progress!
As far as the kissing stuff goes…oh boy. He just turned 9 and I’m not ready for this stuff yet!