girls will be boys
This year, the Bee’s class has a real gender imbalance. There are 14 boys and only 4 girls in her fourth grade class. She’s been coming home and complaining about the fact that ‘the boys’ are constantly getting the class in trouble–and knowing the energy of the 10-year-old boy, I don’t find it that hard to believe. For the most part, I think it’s been good for the Bee to be in this kind of environment, although there are some difficulties about it, from her perspective.
She’s gotten a lot jock-ier this year. She played soccer all fall, and she’s quite a good defensive player, very aggressive in her attempts to take the ball away from the other girls. She’s also gotten involved in a bunch of extra-curricular activities, including writing for the elementary school newspaper, and playing the drums in the band. I think it has definitely helped her to have the ‘norm’ in her class be the boy norm, not the girl norm. At least two of the other girls in her class are athletes as well–the Peony plays three sports a year, and the other girl is the daughter of the guy who coached softball last spring.
We’ve also not had a recurrence of the your-socks-don’t-match-your-outfit moment from last year. I’m happy to report that that girl moved away over the summer. The Bee has been wearing sweatpants and t-shirts every day, with the same pair of sneakers, and yes, the same stained sweater, every.single.day. She’s also refused to get a haircut for weeks, and just tonight I had to practically hold her down to cut her bangs, because I couldn’t stand to look at them for another minute.
I know that it’s just a matter of time before she gets all pre-pubescent, and starts preening herself for a half-hour every morning before school. I know that she and the other girls in her class will start to worry more about getting sweaty, than about how far they can kick the ball in the endless game of kickball that her class plays every single day at recess.
I’m pretty comfortable hanging on to my grubby, stained, awesome daughter for right now, though. If it takes a world of boys to keep her from acting like a girl, that’s okay with me.