This weekend, while I was driving Sophie, Ava, and their friend back from an outing, I participated in the following conversation:
The Friend: (to Sophie) Charlie and Abe said you’re stupid and hairy.
Friend: Yeah! That’s what they said.
Sophie: Mom!! Charlie and Abe said I’m stupid and hairy!!
Sophie is super smart. No ifs, ands or buts about it. But here’s the problem:, she’s also very hairy. She was born with a pelt. When she came out, the doctor made a monkey joke, then he asked if my “milkman was Chinese” (unrelated to the hair, for the record).
Me: Stupid? No one could think you’re stupid.
Friend: (backpedaling) Well maybe they didn’t say stupid…just hairy.
Sophie: Mom!! Charlie and Abe said I’m hairy!
Me: Well…that’s true. But so am I. It’s no big deal.
This seemed to satisfy her, but she did come home later and tell my friend that two boys called her “stupid and hairy,” so I guess it was still on her mind. I don’t know. She is really hairy—especially on her back. We used to remove her back hair at the beginning of the summer in Seattle just to avoid the teasing. Conveniently, Seattle summers only last 4 days, so the removal did the trick. But now we live in Arizona and there’s a whole lot of tank-topping going on.
I don’t want to make a big deal of it, but I also want to spare her the peer torture. What’s a mom to do?