Ella spent quite a lot of last Saturday with us - on a perfect August day; not a cloud in the sky and 19oC max.
We shared an early morning drive to her Gymnastics class (watch out Davey, more handstand demos coming up!) and a trip to Bunnings to buy some suitable lengths of (pink) rope for skipping tournaments. To burn off any remaining energy we walked to the local oval/community space so I could show Ella the beautiful playground in the grounds of our neighbourhood public school.
Ella adores Monkey Bars and has the calloused and blistered hands of an absolute devotee . She declared this play equipment (with its well maintained flying fox and climbing ropes in addition to "perfectly spaced" monkey bars) was so good she wanted to change schools!!
We had quite a few opportunities over the course of these activities to discuss matters of importance...namely...BOYS.
At one stage Ella informed me she was considering having a "boyfriend". I asked what it meant to have a boyfriend; she said boyfriends have to be nice to you and you (the girl) gets to clean up their desk for them!!! In return the boys keep the girls' shoes tidy (I presume this is at times when shoes are removed for Gross Motor etc).
Ella was far less concerned about the girls cleaning up the desks role than I was. On reflection I think she just meant that kind hearted girls tidy the pencils, glues and rulers on behalf of their less well organised male peers. I hope that's all she meant or else all that Feminism of the past forty years has achieved very little.
She also told me that a lot of the boys in her class are "gross" (picking noses etc). Their worst quality is the way they eat their macaroni cheese with their hands!
At one stage an older boy (grade four) in his Aussie Rules footie gear came over to the play equipment and I watched Ella engage him in conversation. She invited him to race her on a circuit of the monkey bars at one stage - so natural, so confident, such a strong young woman in the making. He responded quite enthusiastically and they ended up having fun together for a while!
Luckily he was a really nice boy and didn't engage in any of the dreaded boy-girl put downs - despite the fact she was so much younger than him (and a girl!).