By Diane Ako
The second to the last day of kindergarten, Olivia surprised me with a request. "Instead of walking me all the way into class tomorrow, could you just drop me off at the parking lot and let me walk in myself?"
I was FLOORED. Firstly, this child just last week clung to my arm and begged me not to go, then chased after me as I walked down the hall.
Secondly, she is only five. I thought they don't get embarrassed of their parents until at least pre-teen. What the --?
I was hurt, but tried not to be. I coolly pried around the topic to try to figure out why she would say this. I didn't get very far.
"Did someone tease you?" I asked. She said Chevy teased her, but when I pointed out that his mommy still walks him into class, she didn't get the hypocrisy.
So she changed the reasoning to, "I just thought it would be funner this way," and wouldn't give me any further details.
I complained to Claus, who hugged my disappointment away and rationalized that she is trying to be a big girl because she's entering first grade. He said he overheard the kids being excited about it recently.
The next morning when I did the drop off, I insisted on going with her to class and told her she better not complain about it. I even made her hold my hand.
In class, I asked the teacher for her opinion on this behavior. Was it a common behavior and was it indeed fueled by a desire to show how grown up they were now?
"No, I haven't seen this before," the teacher said, then put her hand on my shoulder and joked, "You're going to be in trouble by the time she's a teenager."
Oh, brother. I don't even let her watch Disney Channel because I think it's too sexy for a five year old, but apparently, I am helpless to stop the process of growing up.