It Begins Early, Apparently

This past weekend, I took the girls to a pumpkin patch. It was not our usual pumpkin patch, a fact which dismayed and horrified the oldest of the girls because OMG CHANGE IS HARD. The youngest, however, was all sorts of cool with the change in venues, mostly because there was corn, pumpkins, and maze. That's the extent of her requirements for a fall outing, so WIN.


While the corn maze was the site of a whole lot of joy, it was also the site of ... well, I guess I should just tell the story.

Alexis is well past the age of caring about corn mazes, so upon entering, I instantly informed Mila that she was the boss. She was in charge of deciding which direction we should travel in. We would follow her, no matter what, because we had confidence in her ability to lead us. The moment that she fully realized that I had entrusted her with such an important task was one of those moments that will forever be etched in my brain. There was pure pride in those moments, even as that pride was weighted with responsibility and a desire to get it right. As we came to each intersection, Mila carefully weighed her options before making a suggestion and saying, "Let's go this way!"

She was SO confident. And happy.

And then he showed up.

A little boy, perhaps a year or two older than Mila, went running up to her and told her she was going the wrong way. With much confidence and assertiveness, he informed Mila that she should follow him because he knew the right way to go. At first Mila ignored him, but then it happened. I watched in real time as the fierce little girl began to question if she was as competent as her male counterpart. He followed her, shouting that she was wrong, and at one point grabbed her hand to try to drag her his way. She started to surrender and let him lead.

I stepped in, of course, because DON'T TOUCH MY KID, YOU CREEP. I perhaps stepped in a bit more harshly than I should have, but COME ON, WHITE MALES. KNOCK THAT CRAP OFF. Ahem. Let's just say it had already been a week filled with overconfident white guys telling me that I was wrong when clearly I was not. By that point I was completely out of patience for mansplaining. I was especially out of patience for a little kid mansplaining my kid at a time when she was learning how to be a leader and enjoying every second of it.

So, if that was your kid I told, "Go boss around your own family and leave us alone," I'm ... not sorry. I'm not sorry at all because please teach your kid that leadership is not walking around demanding that people follow you.

Mila ended up leading us all the way through the maze, by the way. She did just fine without some boy's help.



Pure Joy