Officer friendly

Last night was the second time on this trip that a police officer approached us and called us over for the sake of giving the kids little “Junior Deputy” star stickers. The first was at our early morning Starbucks breakfast stop in Fresno, and the second was last night as I was herding the children to the van after a little community track meet. It is just funny how seeing a police car creates anxiety for me, and then to be called over honestly makes me sweat.

As we walked up to the officer’s open passenger window last night, he reached over and handed Mercy a big golden star sticker. Aaron, who had been clutching a very large pine cone he found on the way out of the stadium, reached up and dropped it onto the passenger seat of the police car. I think he thought he was giving the officer a gift.

“Is that your sister?’ the officer asked Mercy, and I confess that my first thought was that he was using that dumb line where you compliment an older woman by placing her in the younger generation, and I thought to myself, “I’m not old enough to need that kind of compliment!!!”

But then I realized that Aaron’s long hair made the officer think he was a girl. Aaron got his sticker and we left, all the while having the officer refer to my son using feminine pronouns. I think it might be time for that haircut.


  1. When our now 19 year old second son was little, he had long blonde hair. He kept being told what a cute little girl he was. His indignant three year old response, “I not yoodle girl, I boy!” (He had a problem with “l’s”.) He then demanded we cut his hair.

    Your post brought back fond memories…and yes, we cut his hair.

  2. I made an appointment for tomorrow (not because of last night), though I think I will keep it a longer style still. We’ll see 🙂

  3. poor aaron 🙂 my little brother got called a “cute little girl” one Halloween when we all dressed up as clowns.

  4. Rich had to get a haircut after one of his family vacations too. Though he had to wait until they returned home because his grandma wouldn’t have any of those curly red locks cut in her presence.

  5. Well, we did it. He got it cut this afternoon. He is totally adorable, and it only took three jelly beans to get him to sit still through it.

  6. Goodness, why is using the “right” pronouns such a big deal? We spend so much time creating such rigid gender binaries…all a social and historical construction anyway. I think a little more ambiguity in the world would do us all some good – help us in blurring our rigid “us” vs. “them” divisions! Gender being only one of those…

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