Should I be offended when someone calls my boy a girl?
You expect it when they are babies. Often our gorgeous children don’t look like a boy or a girl. Just these sweet smelling babies gurgling away in white baby grows with a little halo spinning around them. And that’s OK. I accepted it in the early days. Often the distinct lack of hair does make a difference. I get it.
As they grow older the white and lemon clothes disappear and quickly identities are formed. Pink and Blue. There are a growing number of brands just like one of my favourites, Little Bird by Jools Oliver that cater for gender neutral. Unisex clothing. Is this where we have been going wrong? Do clothes need to be gender specific in order for our children to be identified correctly? The answer is no. Is this where the confusion lies? The answer is no. Or at least it should be.
Maybe I’m being a tad melodramatic. Maybe I sound like I’m being precious. Maybe you agree with me. Or maybe I should just accept it and laugh about it. I have done so for so long. Enough is enough.
To me it’s not ok. It does bother me but more importantly it bothers my boy. Who, despite my feelings towards the subject is more important. His upset has enraged me. It has upset me. Our gorgeous boy is fast approaching 4-years old, in 30-days actually. Eek. He looks like a boy, he behaves like a little boy, he is a little dude.
So, why is it that my boy is mistaken for a girl? He doesn’t wear dresses, he doesn’t walk around talking about princesses, although he does like a fair few. He’s a little boy that loves trains, football, climbing, playing pirates, watching Toy Story, every possible super hero and let’s not forget dragons. Even if he played with dolls, which for the record is absolutely fine I still wouldn’t be happy with him being called a girl.
Until recently he has been oblivious to these comments. Hence my silence. It’s just something that I’ve ignored. That was until our recent holiday where he was referred to as a girl more than once. What is more upsetting is that he is aware of it now. It upset him. It upset me to hear him say… mummy why did that man call me a girl? I’m a boy. Why do they say that?
At the grand old age of 47 months, saying it that way makes me still feel like he’s my baby. I’ll save that for another post. What I was trying to say is that our gorgeous boy shouldn’t be concerned with this. It isn’t something which should be on his radar. He should be consumed with play. Nothing more. No worries. He shouldn’t be questioning himself.
And that’s when the mummy guilt hit me. Is it my fault? Our fault? It’s our choice for him to have long hair. On the whole we dress him. We pick out his clothes. We have to accept some responsibility, yes he has long hair but how many boys do these days? I think it’s because he’s just so pretty. With all that said, he does not look like a girl. Does he?
What do I do? What do we do? The last thing we want is for our boy to be upset! To me kid, you have cool hair. To me kid, you are amazing. Not to be questioned. Just to be loved. You are perfect.
I’m not going to cut his hair and I’m not going to change the way I dress him. I just wish people would think twice before making a judgement on the sex of a child. That second glance and you’d see he was a boy.