The Youngest has acquired a boyfriend and we're finding the whole thing extremely disconcerting

By Justine O'Mahony

Published 16/01/2016 | 00:00

Justine O'Mahony.
Justine O'Mahony.

The possibility of suitors looms on the horizon for The Youngest.

She is the grand old age of TEN! As you can imagine we're finding the whole thing extremely disconcerting. Well, no, I am. Himself is on the verge of a nervous breakdown. He's been pacing the living room muttering stuff about locking her up.

I was the accidental recipient of this unsettling piece of news. Over hot chocolate in a book shop with her best friend last week, I asked them did they have any boyfriends, wholly expecting them to be horrified.

'Nah. I got rid of mine,' said the best friend. 'Too high maintenance! But she has one!' she added pointing at my baby. As expected, she denied it immediately. 'He is NOT my boyfriend!'

'Well he fancies you' said the best friend. 'How do you know?' I inquired, intrigued as to the workings of the modern day version of young romance. 'Well, at the drama school disco he went over to her and clicked his tongue like you do when you call the dog and he said, 'Sexy laaaaaydeeeee!' claimed the best friend in a fit of giggles. How charming!

The Youngest turned bright red. 'Do you like him?' I asked her, full sure she'd say no. She looked confused and said, 'I don't know.' Sure God help her!

'What's his name?'

'Jamie.' That's not too bad. Could be a whole lot worse, I thought. 'What does he look like?' The best friend couldn't wait to divulge the next bit. 'He's got orange....and I mean REALLY orange hair'. The Youngest was incensed. 'It's not orange, it's auburn!' So she DOES like him!

I relayed the information to Himself who had to pour himself a brandy. 'I had my first boyfriend when I was 11,' I told him trying to allay his fears.

'What???'

'His name was Karl and we used to play kiss chase in the field behind the caravan park in Rosslare. He gave me a stone from the beach in the shape of a heart," I reminisced wistfully. Wonder what ever happened to him?

'Did you kiss him?' he asked aghast. 'No. I think I may have tried but he wasn't having any of it!'

'Jaysus you were an early starter! I didn't have my first kiss till I was 15 and that was at a pioneer disco. I hope she doesn't take after you!' I kind of hope she doesn't too, I thought secretly, thinking back on my misspent youth.

Drying her hair the following night, I Iooked for more news about the budding romance.

'So you know you can tell me anything, right?' She eyed me suspiciously. 'Tell me all about the disco? Did you dance with Jamie or maybe kiss him?' I asked silently praying the answer would be no. She let me suffer for a few seconds before giving me an emphatic 'No. I wouldn't feel comfortable with that. Maybe when I'm older like...14.'

She doesn't take after me!

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