Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Insert Foot Here

Joey is a bit of a politician-- making friends with potential, future campaign donors everywhere he goes. Taking names, shaking hands, and looking soulfully into other's eyes with his own beautiful blue ones. Today, out of sheer lack of anything to do, I took him to get a donut. We had time to kill, and he kept asking, and I gave in. So there were are, sitting at our high table at Dunkin Donuts with two random children next to us.

"What's your name?" Joey asks.

One child answered with what I heard as Alex. The grown up corrected me. "Alice and this is Grace." Yes, I heard Alice. I was looking at a little blonde headed child with hair styled just like my own son's. And the said child was wearing a plain, grey sweatshirt. Similar to the sweatshirts I used to wear with hand me down camo pants with which I would put my long, brown hair up into a matching camo camp and ask if I could pass for a boy. So I heard the name Alice, yes, typically a girl name, but people, this is 2012 and no name is gender specific anymore.

"Are you two brother and sister?" I ask.

Grown up with them responds, "Oh, they are both girls."
Oh dear. I have not been quite this embarrassed since, working in retail, I thought that a customer with a new baby was the baby's grandmother and said so. Then, I was able to slip into the back room and hide in shame until she was gone. This time...uh....not so much.

The mother was quite kind explaining that Alice has two older brothers with short hair and she, herself, with short hair had to finally give in to her small daughter's pleas for short hair like everyone else. I get that. I have a son who often comes to the dinner table in a dress and demands that we call him Eleanor. But there are lessons to be learned here.

1. Alice is still just a girl name
2. If your daughter looks like a boy, people will think she is a boy.
3. Don't let your children eat donuts. Had stayed strong in my beliefs, none of this would have happened.

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