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My 6-year-old already doubts me, all because of a toy bat

October 5, 2012 - Betsy Bethel
My daughter is already starting to doubt me. How is that possible? I didn't start doubting my mother until I was in college! And even then, it was more of the "Wow I never thought of it that way before" variety than the "Mom, you're wrong" type.

(I know, I'm not normal. But that's why I'm so shocked about my daughter. She's MY daughter, so why should SHE be normal?!?)

OK, it's not a big deal, really, but sometimes it's just plain fun to be overly dramatic about these things.

So here's what has me freaked: There's a first-grader in my daughter's class whom my daughter thinks is the be-all and end-all. She loves everything her friend loves. She talks like her, she likes what she likes, etc. Their personalities are a little different, but it doesn't matter because despite their differences they are determined to be the Bobsey twins, or perhaps that's too dated a reference. The Osmond twins? No? I know, the Olsen twins! (To my 40 and up readers, it doesn't have quite the same ring as the Bobsey twins, does it? The Olsen twins puts me in mind of two girls becoming anorexic together, and thank God that's not where this is going!)

Anyway ...

So, I have noticed, especially in the past week, the tendency of my daughter to take her friend's word over mine, especially when it comes to a certain line of dolls they are totally into right now. Last night, she begged me to go online to find out the gender of the one doll's pet bat. I found pictures of the bat dressed in a pink and white polka dotted dress with a pink bow perched on top of its head. "It's a girl," I declared confidently. She looked at me blankly. "What?" I said, wondering why she wasn't peppering me with kisses for solving the mystery. "It's not a girl," she said. O-kaaayyyyy. "Um, I'm pretty sure boys don't wear dresses and put pink bows in their hair." But these days, who knows?

She asked me to go back to the page, so she could see it again. I did. She wanted more pictures. I found them and showed her. We couldn't find a name for the bat so that wasn't going to be any help. I couldn't figure out why she was so reluctant to accept the obvious fact the bat was a female. Then she laid it on me: "But so-and-so says it's a boy. It's a boy." "No, it's not," I said. She tried to argue but I decided it wasn't worth it, and that was the end of it.

Until this morning, when she woke up. Five minutes later, as we were walking down the steps to breakfast, she said: "So, Mom, when you get a chance, I want you to go back on the 'puter and type in ..." And she told me exactly how she thought I could find the REAL answer to the bat gender question. The search would have been 16 words long. I told her that was too long. Then she got mad. And that was the end of it.

Today, just for fun, I went online and typed in five key words. I found out the bat's name and I now understand the problem. Emma couldn't remember the name and, as I said, we never found it last night. But the bat has been dubbed "Count Fabulous." Her friend obviously knows a "count" is a boy. If it were a girl, it would have to be "countess." And I'm sure when I tell her, Emma will agree with her friend, that it must be a boy. And the doll just dresses her pet bat as a girl.

But it IS a girl.

Oh, all right, I'll drop it.


ADDENDUM 10-08-12 Guess what? Emma was right. It's a boy bat but his mistress (a teenage vampire) "just can't help" dressing him in those cute little pink clothes and a bow. When I told Emma she was right — yes, I told her — she laughed a perfect Dracula laugh: Mwah, hah, hah, hah! But seriously, a cross-dressing bat? Now that's a whole other blog.


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Count Fabulous – androgynous? Or just a misnomer? Either way, the little flying rodent has placed the seeds of doubt about me in my daughter's mind. Curse you, bat!