I had a funny one happen the other day. We were down at a place called Bagel King for breakfast, when C (our 4 year old) needed me to take him to the bathroom. We went to the restrooms, only to discover that they didn’t have the regular boy/girl pictures on the doors. Instead, each door had a cartoon of a bagel. On one door the bagel was wearing a dress, and on the other it was wearing pants.
C studied these doors for a second, and then pointed to the men’s room. “That’s the boy’s bathroom!”
“Yep,” he continued, “because that one is wearing a dress and girls wear dresses.”
As I’m still fighting the battle of the dresses, I decided to try to make this a teaching moment. “Yep,” I said, “boys don’t wear dresses. Girls do, but boys don’t.”
“Nope,” he agreed, “but some girls wear pants.”
I agreed with him.
“Yep,” he said, “and sometimes they even have short hair. And when they wear both,” he paused to make a big gesture with his hands, “when they wear both, it can be hard to tell if they’re a girl or a boy.”
“Oh yeah?” I asked.
“Yep,” he nodded. “Like miss G!”
No, I’m not going to tell you miss G’s real name.
And – just for the record – she actually doesn’t look like a boy at all.
And despite all those precautions I just took, I think she’s still going to smack me when she reads this.