Girls go to college, boys go to Jupiter?

Awkward parenting moment of the week:

Oldest daughter comes sobbing off the soccer clinic practice field toward me.

“A boy kicked the soccer ball at me and hit me in the chest on purpose.”

In my best nonjudgmental voice: “Maybe he was just practicing hard. Did you tell him it hurt?”

“Yes, and he stuck out his tongue at me.”

“Next time you get the ball, kick it back at him as hard as you can.”

I tried to walk it back almost immediately. No, that’s not the right thing to do. You tell him that’s not nice. We shouldn’t respond in anger when we are hurt.

But really, part of me wanted to stick by my first, impulsive “Mama Bear”-style answer.

A couple of the other girls by then had come over, assuring me that the boys were doing it on purpose, playing “mean” in the coed skills clinic.

And clearly none of our girls were having it.

Maybe they were just playing hard and didn’t realize that the girls considered what they were doing too for beyond the pale of acceptable intensity for a practice.

“No way, Mrs. Nickinson,” one of the other girls told. “Because girls go to college to get more knowledge and boys go to Jupiter to get more stupider.”

Hard to argue with logic that sound, I guess.

The editor in me could not help but point out that “stupider” is not a word. The Good Mommy in me tried to point out that if it were a word, it would not be a nice one to call someone.

Which earned me what I imagine will be the first of many arched eyebrows in my parenting life.

When we got home from practice, the oldest reported this incident to her dad, who was a soccer player himself in his younger days.

And dad’s advice?

“Next time you get the ball, kick it back at him as hard as you can.”

And that is why I love that man. He backs me up even when we don’t previously rehearse. ;)