I took M to the park this morning. As per usual, she took exception to the fact that other kids dared to be there, too, so she sat in the middle of the bouncy bridge and started whining. Before I could reach her to drag her out of everyone's way, two little boys ran over to her. They were both around 3.5 years old, and were incredibly sweet. They asked M what was wrong, told her not to cry, and one reached out and gave her a hug. M was totally charmed, and spent the next 20 minutes following them around. Finally, they got bored with her and went back to trying to push each other off the slide, and M got distracted by other things.
She didn't forget them, though. A little while later, she went back on the bridge and started fake crying, looking up every few seconds to see if her boys were coming. They were not, as they were still engrossed in trying to kill each other over by the slides. M started calling "Booooooys! Where are you?" They didn't listen. Undaunted, M got up, went over to where they were playing, stood at the top of the slide and ordered "Boys! Come here!" Finally, having received no response from the objects of her affection, M tried the crying gambit again. To their credit, the boys ignored such an obvious ploy for their attention. M finally gave up and went in search of attention elsewhere.
And while she seemed to forget about that encounter almost immediately, it's taking me a little longer to recover. My little feminist heart died a little when I saw my girl trying to manipulate those boys into giving her attention. I mean, I know she didn't care whether they were boys or not, she just wanted them to play with her, but still, yeesh! I thought I had a least a couple of years before I had to worry about exactly what M would do for a little male attention.