“WHY do girls care about how they look??’

“And WHY do they always have to mess with their hair? It’s annoying! And WHY are GIRLS so annoying?!?”

Lastnight my 10 year-old was bringing me up to speed on his and his big bro’s goings-on at their children’s theatre rehearsals. Things are busier than ever with performances for Peter Pan starting in two weeks, but apparently that doesn’t faze all the girls who have little crushes on them.

And Owen’s soooo sick of it.

They chase him, they tease him, they sit by him, they play Truth or Dare together and try to dare each other to hug him… “And WHY are they so buggy? They’re just SO annoying and they won’t leave me alone! They’re like possessed demons from heck and I can’t take it anymore!!”

One time he actually said that to a girl’s face — and made her cry. When Benj told on him later, we had (another) talk about how to treat girls and how to be a gentleman. We also talked (again) about how girls can act and that even if it might be annoying, you don’t be mean to them (as long as they aren’t being inappropriate or anything).

Mike told him he had to apologize to her, and the idea of it mortified him. Finally after thinking about it for a couple days, he agreed to apologize. I offered to go with him, but he had this look of horror in his eyes and said, “No, way — that’d be ten thousand times worse!”

Benjamin confirmed after play practice that day that he indeed apologized, and when I asked Owen about it, he said as soon as he was done saying, “I’m sorry I called you a possessed demon from heck,” she ran off telling all her friends about it and giggling.

He was REALLY annoyed.

But he didn’t call her mean names anymore.

A while passed and we realized that this same girl was kind of using Owen to get to Benjamin. Oh, the payback — Benj had teased Owen relentlessly (to the point of tears, naughty boy) beforehand, but now Owen was making it even. Big-time. Especially when Benj got his first note from a girl (her friend) — ohhhhhh boy.

I think they secretly kind of liked the attention, but they — especially Owen — complained about everything. One thing I really liked that he pointed out was when he was asking why girls care about how they look and why they think they have to be all perfect…so we had a discussion about image and how the world tries to tell girls they aren’t good enough or pretty enough or skinny enough, and how there are basically fake pictures all over magazines and the Internet and everything that girls think they are supposed to measure up to. He was like, “That’s dumb. Those pictures are fake — you can tell. They should just be happy with who they are and not try to be anyone else.”

BINGO.

The last bit was even better:

“I bet then they wouldn’t be so annoying.”

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