At the dinner table tonight:
Evan: Mom and Dad. I have something to tell you - but I'll wait until my brothers aren't here.
Oh - THAT is REALLY going to work now that he's said it in front of everyone.
Zach gives him an annoyed look. Zayd smirks. Ethan looks interested, but continues to shovel food in him mouth.
Zach: You might as well tell us. You already started.
Evan: No. I don't want you guys to know.
Zayd: You like a girl.
Evan: Yes - I like a new girl now.
Did I mention this is the second day of school.
Me: A girl you knew from elementary school?
Evan: No. This is someone who went to Clara Barton (elementary school).
Paul: What do you like about her?
Evan: She's nice. She's funny. She likes me.
Me: But you don't JUST like her because she likes you, right?
Zayd: (sigh) This is when it all starts happening. Sixth grade.
Zach looks at him and bursts out laughing.
Zach: Yeah Zayd. You know alllll about it, don't you? You and your raging hormones.
Zayd gives his little snort laugh.
Zach: So what's her name?
Zach: Katie what. Did you manage to get a last name?
Evan: Yes. Katie Johnson.
Zach: Wasn't the other girl you liked a Johnson?
Evan: Yeah - I guess so.
Paul: Why don't we just take it easy on liking girls, okay.
Me: Right. No liking girls. You are not allowed. Tell the girls your mom said so. No girl-liking until you are in 8th grade.
Evan: Zach had a girlfriend in 7th grade!
Zach: NOW I'm in high school. It's totally appropriate and acceptable for me to have a girlfriend.
Me: Zach did not have a girlfriend in 7th grade. He had a friend that was a girl.
Actually - almost all his friends were girls. The girls love him. But there was one girl... yeah... kinda like a girlfriend I guess. Oh my God.
Zach: By the way - I LOVE being a 9th grader. The power is awesome. Today, when I got on the bus I saw this kid Devon picking on Evan. All I had to do was look at him. I have him this serious parental look - like, "What do you think you are doing." And I am NOT even kidding you! His lowered his eyes and head, and sank into his seat. It was just AWESOME.
Me: Well... I'm glad you stood up for your brother. I suppose it is like if anyone is going to pick on him, it's going to be you.
Zach: Yeah! Exactly! How did you know?
Me: 'Cause that's how I treated my younger sister.
Zach: Yeah! Well. Carter and I made a deal with Evan. We get to pick on him as much as we want, but we will protect him from all others. I mean - what a deal! When he is a freshman, we'll be seniors. He will have senior protection. I don't think it gets any better than that.
Me: I wonder if Evan will do the same for Zayd.
Evan and Zayd do not get along.
Zach: That should be interesting.
Zayd: Ethan will protect me!
Clearly (see previous post), Ethan feels responsible for protecting his older brother. Now we just have to channel that response to the appropriate people. Ethan will not be an effective protector if he continues to punch and pinch kids that sit next to the kids that pick on Zayd.