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Is 4 too young to date?

'Big A' hugs Hannah on their big date.

‘Big A’ hugs Hannah on their date.

My son, “Big A,” is not your typical 4-year-old. He talks like he’s a teen-ager, often using four-syllable words. He’s a sponge. He absorbs everything. Sometimes this leaves me absolutely awestruck and beyond proud. Sometimes this is my worst nightmare and leads me straight to the liquor cabinet.

He has big ideas, and I don’t always know where they come from. Last year he told me that he was going to take me on a date to McDonald’s and that I needed to wear a pretty flower-y dress. He understands what “dates” are because Mommy and Daddy have “date nights.” He knows these are a big deal and very important to us. So important that Mommy gets dressed up to go!

And who helps make date nights possible? Hannah. My 18-year-old gift from God. Our salvation and keeper of my sanity. She is the person I trust to drive my kids around, to stay overnight with them, the person I can simply walk out the door and give no instructions to and know that everything will be perfect when I return home. She loves my boys like her own. And they adore, no, WORSHIP, her. She has become like a member of our family and we love her beyond words.

About two weeks ago “Big A” told me that he wanted to take Hannah on a date. “Just me and Hannah, Mommy … somewhere quiet so we can talk. A steak place.”

I knew this was serious – a steak place. (I only got McDonalds for my hot date. What the heck?)

I asked Hannah if she was up for it and of course she was thrilled, so we set it up. Adam was very concerned that everything be perfect. He wanted to wear a tie and he wanted me to make his hair “spikey and awesome.”

At this point I had to admit that there was a very real possibility I am not his “Valentine” any more. Properly coiffed and ready to go, we headed out to get flowers for Hannah. “Big A” picked pink tulips and was very satisfied with his choice until we got back in the car and he realized they did not have a scent. (Oops!!) Next, I gave “Big A” $100 cash which he held onto in his little Velcro wallet. I told him since he asked Hannah on this date that he had to pay for dinner. He was very excited about this.

When Hannah walked into the restaurant “Big A” ran to her and yelled, “pretty flowers for my pretty Hannah,” and shoved the flowers in her face. We could possibly work on some smoothness of the moves there, but he was so excited he could not even contain himself. He threw his arms around her and hugged her with all his might. Of course I had to take some pictures. We talked about being on our best behavior and he told Hannah, “I’m paying for dinner!” And off they went. He even requested a booth for their date. Very cozy! Hannah reported that “Big A” took a few liberties on their date — opting for fried shrimp instead of his usual chicken nuggets. Stinker! Anytime she would try to “guide” him he would hold out his hand and say “I’ve got this — I’m paying tonight!” STINKER! But he was also a little sweetheart and all the wait staff couldn’t stop watching them. What? They’ve never seen a 4-year-old on a date before?

Do his teachers all likely think I’m a nutjob because he went to school talking about his date the night before? Probably. But I’m proud of my little man. He was well-behaved and treated Hannah like a princess. It’s never too early to teach your boys how to treat a lady! It all starts at home and our little man is well on his way to being a great guy, just like his daddy!

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