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