I wrote the following a couple years ago because the situation took me so off guard, but I feel it’s still worth sharing.

The other day my daughter informed me that a boy in her second-grade class said she is “hot.” Excuse me?!?! Did I actually just hear this?

Although my jaw pretty much dropped as far as it could go after hearing this proclamation, I attempted to compose myself quickly, hoping to disguise my shock. “And what does that mean?” I asked nonchalantly.

“It means that he thinks she’s pretty and he wants to marry her,” my other daughter said.

Hot? Really? Perhaps I am turning into an old fuddy-duddy (though I prefer to think of it as delightfully old-fashioned), but the thought of some 8-year-old boy telling my innocent, sweet little girl that she’s “hot” is nauseating. She’s a little girl, for pete’s sake! To me, “hot” describes the chicks in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, Patrick Dempsey, or the way I take my coffee, but certainly not a 7-year-old girl who wears her hair in pigtails and still sleeps with her Care Bear.

I assume that this boy is merely repeating a word he has heard everywhere, which for a child usually has the connotation of “pretty,” as my daughter explained. But isn’t it a bit sad that kids this young just casually throw the word around as if it’s as ordinary as “hello” or the supremely more innocent “cute?” “Hot” just sounds so much like, I don’t know, “I want to have my way with you.” Yikes. I have to think about the boy thing already?

To be fair, I probably deserve everything I get in the boy department. I certainly put my parents through plenty in my own childhood, flirting with every male I saw starting from a ridiculously early age. Infatuation was my state of life. I guess I can be thankful that neither of my daughters is like that.

Yet.

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