Today our family went to a popular independent restaurant for brunch. At one point, our very enthusiastic server said to Noah “Nice curls buddy! They’re going to be a pain in the butt for the rest of your life!” I kindly responded that I was pretty sure the grass is always greener on the other side, because I feel like having completely straight hair is sometimes a big, fat pain in the butt. She followed up by saying that it was even harder having two parents with straight hair who didn’t know what to do with curls…so they cut it off short. And then adds in “Yeah, it was no fun because everyone just thought I was a boy in a dress” and walks off. Mind you, she’s saying this to a not always so feminine woman with short hair and a skirt. ;o)
More often than not, when these moments arise, I take the time to politely respond back in a manner that let’s them (and Noah) know that boys in dresses are actually quite awesome, as are girls that look like “boys”. At that moment, however, I was exhausted, hungry and just plain not in the mood. She was busy, we were having a family meal and it just wasn’t a moment to open up a discussion about gender issues. I did make the comment at our table, to the family, that there’s obviously nothing wrong with boys in dresses. When comments like this are made to or around you and your little ones in public, how do you respond? I feel like it is my job to respond to comments like this (especially around Noah), and put a positive message out there that we really needn’t adhere to societal pressures to be “girly” girls and “manly” men. I’d love to hear about other experiences and open doors for discussion!