While she sat with me and considered her rude behavior, her brother went on to play SUPERHEROES (!!!) with a group of kids. Now it should be no surprise that Pants chose to portray the mighty HULK. I mean, duh. But that decision led to a fateful encounter with another child of about 8 yrs-old.
"Hulk is a BOY. You can't be Hulk because you are a GIRL!"
Now this happens a lot. I would say that the vast majority of strangers assume that Pants is a girl. His long and luxurious locks confuse the masses. So much so that he and I developed a game plan for this very thing a looooong time ago. In fact, he had already had this conversation that afternoon with a stranger who assumed he was Plum's sister. So I sat back and did nothing. He can handle himself. He knows the drill.
"No, I'm a boy. My name is Pants*."
I gave him a silent slow clap from afar without interfering. But this girl wasn't buying it.
"No you're not! You're a girl!", she insisted.
Over and over again. And again. And then again. He'd counter with his script. She'd refuse to hear him. To say that my itch to go intervene was strong would be like calling hungry lion a sweet kitten. But he was holding his own. He was staying calm and just explaining to her that he was, in fact, a boy. Though his frustration grew. And now Plum, watching from the sidelines, was ready to rumble too. I summoned my inner Mickey and held my lil Rocky Balboa Jr. back from the ring to allow Pants the chance to get through this without his baby sister coming to pick a fight.
Eventually he grew finished with this back and forth, Pants simply said, "You are not nice. I'm not playing with you" and turned away. Well, ok, he didn't just turn away. As he turned he morphed into Hulk with a roar and a majestic leap away leaving the fight with straight up aplomb. And he may have roared several more times as he swung from a pole and jumped off to Hulk Smash the ground. He knows how to make an exit, that kid.
Don't get me wrong. I'm not mad at the girl. Kids can be buttholes. It happens. She's probably a sugar and, well, she's just a kid. Nah, I wasn't hating this kid even if I did want to have a little chat with her about manners, listening and personhood.
But, UGH, her mom. See, she was watching this go down, too. And you know? I'm not even mad that she didn't call her child away. I'm mad because she called her daughter over after and said, "Don't worry about that boy. You don't want to play with kids like that anyway. He's just a bully." and then with a toothy smile with the shine of a fresh turd, she added, "His mommy should cut his hair and then he would look like a boy". And oh they both just giggled and giggled because, HA! Ha! HAHAHAHA!!!
As I began my Don't Empty Your Milkshake on Her Head breathing exercises, I released Plum from her jail sentence with a whisper that she was not to fight or we would leave. Because I knew she wanted to go in guns a-blazin'. She's a fierce defender - especially where her brother is concerned. And she can go from zero to hell fire in a flash. I was grateful she listened. And all kiddos were once again playing.
All was well. Namaste.
Just kidding. I was breathing fire. There I was sitting next to this woman. So I spoke slowly. And with an smile on my face.
"You know? I don't cut his hair because he prefers it long."
Her look was kind of awesome as she realized that I was his mom. Me. The lady sitting right next to her. The one who had heard everything.
"And he's not a bully."
She fauxpologized, squirmed and then got up and moved to another section. A few minutes later she gathered up her kiddo and left while side-eyeing me the whole time.
As I sat there, all I could think of was how chapped my ass was. This lady had crawled up under my skin and camped out. I wish I could say that I harnessed my inner Unicorn and went Zen on the whole experience but I didn't. I was HOT. And then I did what all normal people do. I posted a status to Facebook about it.
But she was now gone. So I kicked my feet up and started to read. Ten minutes later another little boy arrived and joined in with the group of superheroes. A few minutes in this little boy referred to Pants as "she" and my ears perked up as they always do. Pants delivered his scripted response with a hint of frustration in his voice because, I mean, THREE TIMES IN ONE DAY? GOOD GRIEF! GTFOH!
"No. I'm a boy. My name is Pants*"
"Oh, ok! I'm Jake*"
"Did you not know that boys can have long hair?"
"Like THOR!", said Jake
"Yep. That's right."
And with that, they went off to play.
Bravo, Jake! Now if only she'd have stuck around long enough to see a 6 year-old show her how it's done...
I'm glad you are here. Thank you for reading. I'd love it if you came over to the Facebook page community and gave us a "like". There you'll be treated to the best conversations between Pants and Plum and a bunch of other stuff. If you prefer Twitter, you'll find me tweeting parenting shiz, my brand of humor and even the more serious stuff that gets me going.
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xoxo, Mama Pants