Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Long Haired Hippie Freak

That's #2. He has long hair. He doesn't just have long hair, it's long, thick, blonde and wavy. Basically, it's the kind of hair that if your best friend had it, you'd want to cut it off in her sleep.

Come to think of it, I'd actually like to cut his off in his sleep.

His interest in having long hair started in 2nd grade (he's a 6th grader now). That's when he first grew it out. Which was fine and kind of cute. And the rule is that he has to keep it clean and combed. Which, again, is fine. Except his idea of combing and mine are quite different. He thinks brushing his hair means waving the brush NEAR it rather than through it. And he seems to think that one should only brush one's hair ONCE a day. And it requires a special brush. If said brush doesn't end up in the suitcase when we travel? Well, I'd rather not discuss that. Let's just say there's a couple people who've had hotel rooms next door to us who, I'm sure, were about to dial 911.

He also has a name that, when shortened, could also be a nickname for a girl.

The first time he was mistaken for a girl was in 2nd grade and it was a substitute teacher. He complained a little when he came home because his classmates thought it was a hoot. I told him that if he was going to choose to have a different "look", he was going to have to live with the consequences. I mean, if he wants to live the rock star life, he's gonna have to roll with it.

He's cut it off now and then through the years. Usually he grows it out and then one day just decided to whack it all off. You should see the looks on the stylists faces when he says "CUT IT OFF", they always look at me. I roll my and tell 'em it's just hair.

What cracks me up is the frequency with which he's mistaken for a girl at retail establishments.

Some of my favorites are:
(at restaurants)

"What would you like, baby girl?"
"How about you, sis?"
"Can your daughter have more _________?"

First, the whole notion of calling my child "baby girl" (even if he WAS a she) bothers me. Second, the first rule in customer service to not assume anything. I've waited tables, I know these things. But there's a weird thing here in the Peoria area where all sorts of people assume some sort of familiarity that they shouldn't. I freakin' HATE the way everyone behind a register calls me f-in' "Hon".

Whew...that was a tangent.

Anyway, #2 is totally nonplussed by the mistaken identity issue. He says "It's just who I am, Mom. I can deal with it." He always responds with "I'm a boy"...at least he responds that way if his little brother doesn't beat him to it. Trust me, his little brother LOVES to holler "HE'S A BOY" loud and clear. And then laugh hilariously.

I thought it was a phase. I thought he'd get tired of it. That's not happening. I keep telling myself that by letting him rebel and express himself in this harmless way, I'm pre-empting any serious rebellion at age 16.

That's my story and I'm sticking with it, Hon.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

My best friend's son has the same thing going on. Beautiful, long blond hair. He is 14 and often still gets mistaken for a girl. To me, it seems crazy. He has a masculine looking face, and, while he's a handsome boy, well, he'd make one ugly girl. Luckily, he also handles the mistaken gender issue with aplomb.