Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Boy oh boy

On any given day, L can be found wearing a combination of blue, brown, grey, dinosaurs, and superheros.

He has no less than 2 matchbox cars tucked away somewhere on his person at all times and his face is smudged with dirt.  He is constantly running, climbing, and blasting sound effects from spidey "web-slingas" to revving engines. 

He is all boy.

I don't mind when people make an honest mistake and call him a girl.  I know.  His hair is long. It's confusing. I understand.  We simply correct and move on.  No hard feelings.  Even L can take that.

I do mind when people won't let it go, insist that he must be a girl because his hair is that log, and then call over some third party and demand that they guess, and then triumphantly beam when the person says girl. "See?!" What happened to "Oops, my mistake"? Or even a non-committal, "Is that so?" 

What especially bugs me is that for all the unwelcome advice and lectures I've been given from perfect strangers regarding his hair once they find out he's a boy, I have never once been told off for letting my so-called "daughter" dress and act like a boy beforehand. Not once! 

People smile at the thought of a raggamuffin, rough-and-tumble little girl in her brother's hand-me-downs, I guess. As long as her hair meets their standard of length.

But a boy, who thinks like a boy and acts like a boy and dresses like a boy.  With long hair?  Unacceptable. 

I'm sick of strangers telling me to cut his hair.  I'm sick of the look we get when we kindly reply to compliments with, "Thank you, we think he is lovely, too."  I'm sick of busybodies threatening to, "...just check and see, then."

I realize that we could cut his hair, but come on.  It's glorious!  Who could cut off those locks just to appease the lemonade lady or the mailman?  We like it.  He likes it. 

Plus, we have!  When we cut his hair last year, even with short hair and boyish clothes, people still called him a girl. He just has a sweet face, what can I say!?

But really?  Does this look like a girl to you?


  1. I don't get it. First of all, Lennon doesn't look like a girl to me at all. Second of all, why do these random strangers think any of their comments are appropriate?? I would be furious if someone called their friend over to guess my child's sex. What the hell, Robin?? I'm so sorry and I don't know how you don't yell at them to mind their own business. Ugh. I don't think you should cut his hair (unless he wants you to, maybe?) either. It's beautiful.

    I'm really disappointed. I wrongly assumed Thailand would be more open minded to long hair (I don't know why I thought that).

  2. I sometimes do tell people that it hurts Lennon's feelings when they go on insisting like that. But other times I ignore it and remind Lennon that just because someone is an adult doesn't mean they act appropriately.

    The funny thing is that Thai people are SO accepting of gender fluidity in general. If he had a short haircut and dressed in girly clothes and acted girly and we told people he was a ladyboy, very few would bat an eye.

  3. I am with Tara. I don't think he looks like a girl at all, but really the sticking point here is that people feel entitled to share their opinions. Why? It is just simply SO rude. And I don't understand it all. For the record, he is adorable!-Ashley

    1. Thank you! It's a cultural difference that is harder to ignore when it feels like a slam against my kid or my parenting, In Thailand, elders always feel welcome to share their opinions.

  4. I have read your whole blog over a 3 day period. Your love and care for your boys shines through!

    I am a Kindergarten teacher of 29 years. I have a couple of ideas for the worries about about the wetting during a seizure. I know there is no way to tell if one is coming so............Would he go for wearing pull ups?

    I tend to get the kids with extra needs. I had a couple of them that wet themselves for different reason beyond their control. We just had them wear pull ups and they would quietly go into the bathroom to change if/when it happened. They would just take a new one (in a dark bag) and change. They would put the old one into the dark bag and put it in the trash can. The dark bag made it possible for the other kids to not have a clue what was going on. It worked for us.

    One thing we did was make sure their shirts were long enough and pants/shorts high enough so there was NO chance of the others seeing their "underwear".

    I do understand that it will be harder with what he goes through but the wetting seems to upset him more than anything so............this is one way to overcome this.

    HUGS to you and good luck!


    1. Thank you for the kind suggestion Kim. I have had the pleasure of finding a blog I like and reading it all in a few days. How fun to be on the other side.

      Right now, Lennon is not open to the idea of pull-ups. He feels like they are for babies. But he may feel differently if something happens at school, so I will keep it in mind.

  5. When I was six (and a girl), a waitress once asked my name. I said Katy. She said WHAT IS IT? I said Katy. She asked me to clarify that again. Then she said, "Oh, you're a girl? I thought you were saying Katy, but it didn't make sense, because I was listening for a boy's name." It took me YEARS to get over it! (Sort of.) I mean, I thought there must really be something wrong with me that an *adult* would INSIST that I must be a boy! (Now I know it was just a dumb person.) (Ay, but the memory!) Anyway, it gave little me some comfort knowing that the same thing happens to your long haired one.

    1. My entire summer before sixth grade could be summed up by me getting handed the boys bathroom key at the gas station. But I actually did look, dress, and act like a boy, so I can't really blame them.