Girls & Boys


You know those uncomfortable moments when your kids say innocently inappropriate things, like asking the old woman with the oxygen tank if she’s dying or the broken-out teenager what’s wrong with his skin?

We have a lot of those moments in this family.

Today, it was loudly referring to a little girl they’d just met at the park as “he”.

The girl was dressed in a Superman costume, so it was an understandable mistake. Her long blond hair trailed behind as they chased each other around the monkey bars. At one point, when she was far ahead, I quickly called them over and explained that she was, in fact, a girl. They shouldn’t assume she was a boy just because she was wearing a superhero costume. Girls can and should wear whatever they want, I proudly stated, high fiving Rosie the Riveter in my head as the mother looked on. Really? they asked, incredulously. Yes, I whispered, shooing them off. Go play with her. They nodded their heads and continued chasing happily.

A half hour later, the little girl’s mom called her to go home. Apparently, it was time for dinner.

(Michael’s dinner.)


Those kids can be so embarassing.


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  1. 4

    Meredith says

    Dang it, other parents! Help us out a little! Mouth your child’s gender to us over his/her head! Put a pink or blue bandana in their back pocket. Anything!

    Can you tell we’ve had the same problem?

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      • 6

        Meredith says

        Why yes, that is Danny Trejo. Thank you for noticing — I like you too. He is totally my imaginary best friend. I want to play jenga with him.

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    • 7

      Chris @ CleverFather says

      Even a bow or a freakin pink shirt isn’t enough for some people. I was at the mall with Little C in the stroller and a woman came up to us:

      “Wow, what an adorable little boy!”

      In my head I’m thinking:
      “Boy? Did you not see the pink, flowered shirt, sparkly soother, and Litty Kitty shoes?!”


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  2. 9

    Chelsea says

    Awkwarddd. My stepdaughter once asked if she could go “play with that little girl,” regarding a small child with a long blond braid, and the dad was standing there and said “he’s actually a little boy, he just has long hair.” He was very good-natured about it, thank goodness.

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  3. 11

    Kimberly Hosey | Arizona Writer says

    We haven’t had that yet, but not long ago at the park, my son came over to tell me in an agitated voice that “That guy won’t stop following me and watching everything I do, even after I told him not to!”

    I looked for the guy, ready to be all THIS IS SPARTA. I didn’t see him.

    “What guy?”

    “That guy!”

    The “guy” was a seven-year-old child. To be fair, he WAS kind of creepy.

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  4. 12

    Megan says

    But seriously, what do parents expect when they let their little boys grow long hair like that? Especially if the kid doesn’t have an obviously male facial structure – and let’s face it, some do, some don’t. I made the same mistake a couple weeks ago in the salon while getting my hair cut. I was nervous about getting bangs for the first time in like 27 years, a young child with long-very long-blonde hair was sitting in the chair next to me and I told the kid’s mom, “I haven’t had bangs since I was her age!” Well, I’ll be damned if it wasn’t boy. The kid had rather androgynous face and long blonde hair. The mom brushed it off and said she gets it all the time. I suppose that’s why she was having the kid’s hair cut. What really get’s me going is when parents put their baby boys with long hair in really “sweet” little gender neutral outfits and then get pissed when someone assumes they’re a girl. This is why my 2 year old boys have always been put in decidedly boy clothes and have always had boy hair cuts.

    Oh well, you did the right thing though, how were you to know?

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