It happens everywhere we go.
In the checkout line, at the grocery store, birthday parties, you name it. It will happen sometime today. I’m sure of it.
Someone will mistake my son for a girl and it’s starting to tick me off.
It used to only happen every once in awhile. At first it was no big deal and we’d just shrug it off, but now it’s just getting annoying.
I get it. He has long hair.
I’m sure it doesn’t help that he’s utterly adorable and positively cuddly. I know. I know. I make pretty babies.
But, still, people. He’s all boy!
He’s usually wearing camos and Minecraft T-shirts or board shorts and a rash guard. If he’s talking to you, it’s probably about Mario Kart or Pokemon.
Haven’t you ever seen a boy with long hair? It’s 2014.
I’m actually surprised that boys with long hair is even still a thing that people don’t get. Plenty of men (and boys) wear their hair long. I would have figured this to be a non-issue in today’s society compared to everything else that’s out there, but that’s really not the case.
Lots of people still have their nose up about boys with long hair. I’ve even been one of them. I’ve had my stages of nagging him to cut his hair, but I’ve learned to pick and choose my battles in motherhood and this one isn’t worth picking.
I allow my son to have long hair because that’s the style he likes.
I believe that we should let our kids express themselves in simple ways like hair styles if they want so they don’t feel the need to go crazy rebellious when they’re older. I have no idea if this is a winning parenting strategy, but it’s what I’m going with.
Sometimes I wonder if people just don’t realize at first?
One of my readers recently commented (and I’m paraphrasing here) on Facebook that it’s the age. He’s 9. That he’s at an age where gender characteristics aren’t really evident at this point in his life. For example, there aren’t any 9 year boys walking around with Adam’s apples, and I get that. That makes sense.
But, still. It’s annoying.
It’s annoying for my son to hear “she” or “her” everywhere we go.
It’s annoying to have to correct strangers at the grocery store.
I don’t really want to correct people. I’m not angry that they’re not really paying attention, but I can’t just have people calling my son a girl right in front of him and not correct them. That’s just wrong.
He’s a boy. People should know it.
He should be proud to say, “I’m a boy.” when someone mistakes him for a girl!
Some people will say that we’re bringing it on ourselves. That by allowing our son to wear his hair long, we’re encouraging the annoying strangers to mistake him for a girl.
Some people would say that it’s our fault and if we don’t want the headache of correcting people all the time, then we should just cut it off.
I’ve even been mistaken for the creepy mom who likes attention.
“Oh, I think you’re more worried about the hair than he is.”, a stylist recently told me at the salon when I gave the “just a trim” instructions.
I’m not that mom. He could shave it off for all I care. I’m not saying “just a trim” because I’m the long hair police, I’m just telling you what he wants, because he’s 9 and most 9 year old kids don’t order their own hair cuts.
My husband is convinced that some people know he’s a boy and it’s just their way of being assholes. I disagree. He’s just bitter from years of fighting his own long hair battle. I really do think that people are nicer than that and perhaps it’s just an honest mistake.
That doesn’t make it any less annoying though.
Another reader commented on Facebook that she’s fed up with this topic on the flip side.
I have the opposite problem – my basketball-shorts-loving, short-haired 14-year-old daughter, who happens to have a slender/not curvy build, is always called a boy. I hate it.
When all is said and done I think people just need to slow down.
If you’re going to talk to cute kids in the check out line then take time to think before you speak.
And there’s always my personal favorite: Mind your business.
I should have known this would be a problem.
This post is linked up at Pour Your Heart Out.