This weekend I learned that my little girl is not the sole member of our family to say the most embarrasing things at the worst times. I wish that I could blame the latest feux pas on my husband, unfortunately it was me! We were at a friend's house for a first birthday party filled with all of their friends and family. One of the many children there was an adorable little boy about 7-8 years old. He had a unique name that I've only heard once or twice before but generally thought of as a feminine name. His family was from a culture that I do not know much about so I just figured that in their culture it was a masculine name. Throughout the party Madison followed this little boy all over the place and whenever he was not in sight Madison would ask "Where did the little boy go?". I thought it was so cute that she had her first little crush that I went up to the host and asked him who the little boy belonged to because Madison had such a crush on him. Bad Move!!!!!!!! The host's response was, "That is my niece" (I wanted to melt into the carpet and never again reappear). Our friend (the host) could not have been more gracious and then went on to explain why I could have made a mistake. His niece has always been as he described "a tom boy". She always preferred to climb trees and play sports over baby dolls and house. Her boyish tendencies went much further than just being a tom boy though. She insists on having her hair cut very short and only wearing clothes from the boy department. She has also referred to herself as a boy. Once before a party our friends took her shopping for an outfit. She left the store with a plaid shirt and corduroy pants.
Could this be a stage that she is going through? Absolutely! I'm not a psychiatrist or a person that knows this child very well so I'm not saying that it is anyhting more than that. However, between the whole pregnant man thing, having a family member recently out himself as a transvestite and now this it made me want to learn more about Gender Identity Disorder. The definition of Gender Identity Disorder from Psychology Today is the "strong, persistant feelings of indentification with the opposite gender and discomfort with one's own assigned sex". This disorder does currently have diagnosis criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV) although some people in the transgender community are trying to have the criteria removed from the manual. To learn more about Gender Identity Disorder check out Gender Identity Disorder Sanctuary or "Born with the Wrong Body"