PARENTING: No such thing as “normal”

The other day, Anthony and I took Ro to breakfast. A very well-meaning man made a remark that we’d better “watch out,” because “in about 14 years, the boys will be lined up on your doorstep” for Ro.

Now, I’m not stupid; I 💯understand that this comment from a complete stranger was meant as a compliment. It roughly translates to, “your daughter is very pretty and she’ll definitely have a lot of suitors in the future,” which, is very nice and all, but, there’s still a few things about the comment that irk me.

First of all, she’s 9 months old. The fact that you, a complete stranger/grown man, are picturing her as a sexual being in the future, creeps me out. Dad wasn’t happy either.

Second of all, looks aren’t everything. In fact, it’s a disservice to girls everywhere to assume that their external beauty is what matters most in attracting a mate.

And perhaps most importantly, why are you assuming it’ll be boys lining up? So of course, I commented right back to the stranger, “maybe it’ll be girls lining up.” He looked utterly appalled and promptly walked away 🤷🏼‍♀️.

It’s important to us that Ro doesn’t think she has to fit in a box. That “normal” is simply a setting on the dryer, not a descriptor for human beings and their sexuality. If she continuously hears comments like the one the stranger made, what will that do to her understanding of her sexuality? If the groundwork is laid now that she “should” date boys, won’t that confuse her later if she’s not interested in them? Won’t she wonder what’s “wrong” with her and why she doesn’t fit in? That’s so not OK. In our book, there’s no “wrong” or “right” in the case of you who choose to date. And I’m tired of all the stereotypes that are placed on our children right from birth. When she’s ready to, she’ll make her own decisions. Until then, mind yo business and drop the assumptions.

Are there any comments you’ve gotten from strangers about your kids that bother you? How do you handle them?

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