Boot Camp —> Girl Coach

The other night when I went to pick Jessie up from gymnastics, I learned that she had done something to another girl in the class which horrified the other child’s father.  As best I can tell, my darling Jessie called his (less) darling daughter a “jerk”.  It seems that the other child (who shall remain nameless – mostly because I don’t know her name) assumed a position on the mat ahead of Jessie which Jessie considered to be unearned.   On the heels of an earlier incident of a similar nature, my little one got pissed and hurled the aforementioned epithet in her face with, as an added bonus, some spit.  (It has been confirmed that it was not a loogie type spit, rather a spraying of words which happens to the best of us when we are a little too excited and have a little too much saliva in our mouths).  I heard nothing of this until unnamed girl’s father gave a finger wagging and admonishing to my kid and then promptly left the building.  I will admit that my initial reaction was to run after and level this guy (in keeping with my long-held my mantra: “mess with me, don’t mess with my kid”) but he made sure to avoid handling this the way normal parents would.  Whatever.

I also admit to being a bit dumbfounded.  Big deal – she called her a jerk.  Was there blood?  Were there broken bones?  No – not even close.  It was, in my mind, anyway, a non-issue.  (Yes, it was inappropriate and an apology was certainly in order, but I would hardly call it an actionable offense.)  Upon reflection, I realized that I had my mom-of-a-boy brain on which, I have since learned, is made up of entirely different gray matter than the mom (or, in this case, dad)-of-a- girl brain.  This particular little princess, er, girl, was all bent out of shape over something that no boy would pay much attention to.  Oh, but wait, Jessie is now living as a girl and, as such, should probably be enrolled in a “girl boot camp” so that she can learn the ins, outs, yeas and nays of girl-dom.  (I wish I could take credit for this idea: props to Michelle, or more accurately, Sarah, for pointing it out!)

Since it was a joint realization and idea concocted by her and her mother, Jessie and I decided who better to be her “Girl Coach” than Sarah?  (Aside: Sarah privately told her mother that Jessie’s behavior was far from egregious…rather it was not the way in which a girl usually takes out another girl which, I concede, makes sense.)  Immediately before the start of the next gymnastics class, Jessie informed (yes, informed, did not suggest or even request, informed) Sarah that she would heretofore be known as Jessie’s “Girl Coach”.  Sarah responded by throwing her arms around Jessie’s neck in embrace and letting out a “woohoo” at the prospect.  I, from the sidelines, breathed a sigh of relief that I had found the perfect instructor.

In addition to feminizing her physically and socially, I am equally committed to helping Jessie become everything she wants to be – provided it doesn’t include being a mean girl.  That being said, her calling another little girl (who happens to be of the petite, teeny-weeny variety – which, um, Jessie is not) a “jerk” can serve as Lesson #1 in her boot camp adventure.  From my end, I told Jessie that girls don’t usually call one another jerks to which she suggested she call her a bitch instead.  Oh, my…we have our work cut out for us.

 Wishing everyone a very happy Passover and/or Easter.  See you on the other side when my Passover observers are clogged with Matzoh and my Easter observers are sugared up beyond recognition.  Whatever your holiday, have a wonderful weekend with family and friends…xo

36 thoughts on “Boot Camp —> Girl Coach

  1. B*&%$ is completely appropriate. jessie needs to hang out with Lulu. Lulu is mastering the fine line between being a mean girl and not.

    • Lulu has always been my idol…I think of her not as a mean girl, rather as a “don’t mess with me because I will always be right” girl. ❤

  2. Okay, I “Liked” this because there is a “Loved” button. I know I shouldn’t, but I laughed so hard reading this that I’m still wiping the tears away.
    I think the “Girl Coach” is such a wonderful idea, it’s always better when you cave have a friend who can help you through this crazy maze we call life.

    • I knew what you meant! If not for my friends and family I would have run away by now. I still consider it, but the aforementioned folk won’t let me!

  3. Tell Jessie that “bitch” is indeed the appropriate verbiage *and* it should be followed immediately by hair pulling. Problem solved.

  4. Having gone through childhood as a girl (even if I was no good at it, I got to witness things from the inside) and as a parent of boys, I have to say generally, girls are much more cruel to each other. I wish your daughter the best in navigating this side of womanhood. At least she has a good, strong role model in her mom.

    • I have to agree – girls are wayyyyy meaner than boys. (I would also argue that many women never outgrow that meanness and carry it into their adulthood, too) I hope to be a good role model, but it ain’t easy. That said, thanks for the kudos!

  5. I don’t know if girls are meaner, actually, but I do think the meanness of girls is more subtle and crafty (hard to figure out) and the meanness of boys is overt and straightforward (easier to figure out).

    We had a recent dinner time conversation about how to confront an older (7th grade) mean girl at school. The take-aways? (1) Don’t involve the teacher and (2) Enlist help from your friends.

    • As for the older mean girl in 7th grade…don’t tell me who it is, or I will personally take her out. No one can be mean to my Graciepoo!

  6. I don’t think that girls are meaner than boys, actually, but I do think that girls’ meanness is more subtle and crafty and boys’ meanness is more straightforward and raw. It’s harder to figure out what to do with girls’ meanness because it seems rather sneaky and therefore hard to address, and when a boy is physically bullying someone, for example, it’s easy to say: Don’t hit him.

    • You are correct about the differentiation. We used to tell Harrison that he could not throw the first punch, but if he is hit — hit ’em back!

  7. Well, “Princess Bitch” would certainly produce more spittle than “Jerk”. What is the feminine form of the word, Jerk? Jerkette? Jerkina? And, so now Jessie is enrolled in GymNasty class, as well? 🙂

    On a more serious note, have you considered the possibility that the father handled the situation that way because he may have been unwilling or afraid to deal with the transgender issue? Men can be jerks, ya know. Also, in an all-out cat fight, Jessie should be prepared for the transgender card to be played at her at some time. Nothing hurts more – I know. As a “mature” woman, and armed with a fairly quick wit, I’ve been able to handle such situations. I’m not sure what a child could do. It’s something to consider, though.

    Connie Comeback

    • No one at gymnastics (other than the teachers and my friend Michelle) have any idea that Jessie is transgender…else I would have thought the same thing!

  8. Jessie having a “coach” is a great idea and will certainly help to “blend her into womanhood” over the coming years. You are doing great! Rogina

  9. Happy Passover!

    And your post is hilarious! Soo funny! Gender socialization is interesting. Girls are taught to be pretty and nice, while boys are encouraged to get downright physical (hence, spittooning). One of the downsides of course, is that well, girls also learn passive aggression as a result too. While this may not be in the immediate future, this might help your darling daughter too one day in the work world: “Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office” by Lois Frankel, Heck, I’m only learning it now. 😀

    Wishing you all the best,


      • HAHA… me too! You know it’s funny, in Native cultures, being two spirited is an advantage, seen as more wise than those with only one. I remember watching a documentary on this in my Social Cultural Anthropology class. It really made us think about North American biases and stigmas. The Natives believe having both perspectives truly adds to the wisdom of the individual.

        Corner office no doubt. 😀


  10. When I just somehow know the appropriate level of dressiness for a party, or what kind of shoes would be right with that length of skirt, or somesuch bit of girliness, my wife and I (we are both women born as women) joke that I went to “girl school” and she somehow skipped out. When I read this post to her, she pointed out that Jessie is now going to girl school. Good luck, Jessie!

    • Funny, I did not realize that I missed a few girl school classes myself. Good thing I have Jess around when it comes time to get dressed!

  11. “she suggested she call her a bitch instead.”
    Well, if the name fits…and JERK could go to the dad for admonishing someone else’s child…

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