(this conversation was originally in Portuguese but translated entirely for convenience)
Shopteller: Good afternoon, young man.
Hank: Good afternoon.
Shopteller: Did you find everything you were looking for?
Me: Yes we did, thank you.
Shopteller: (holding up a T-Rex t-shirt up to fold it) Well isn’t this cool, but it is much too small for you, young man.
Hank: It is for my sister.
Shopteller: It can’t be for your sister. This is a boy’s t-shirt.
Hank: It is for my sister. She loves dinosaurs.
Shopteller: But I don’t believe she would want to wear this shirt.
Hank: Oh, yes she will! She is going to love it. I am serious she loves dinosaurs.
Shopteller: (holding up a small pair of Super Man hightop sneakers) But these, these must be for a little boy. Your cousin? Shall I wrap them for a gift?
Hank: Those are also for my sister.
Shopteller: But I don’t believe it. These are boys shoes.
Shopteller: (to me, accusatory) And you dress your daughter in these things?
Me: (with an air of breezy fabulousness) I can tell you’d have no problem if we were buying princess items.
Shopteller: Of course not. Princesses are for girls and superheroes are for boys. That is just the way it is.
Hank: I am sorry no one read comics with you when you were young because they are very interesting. I don’t like them as much as my sister does. I don’t like dinosaurs, that much either. My sister loves superheroes and these things will make her happy.
Shopteller: Well, I don’t believe it. I have never heard of a girl liking these things.
Hank: She can like whatever she likes. We are equal. There is no difference in boys and girls.
Shopteller: (not listening to him) Who is your favorite superhero then?
Hank: Black Widow.
Shopteller: I have never heard of that one. Who is he?
Hank: She is a girl and she is an Avenger.
Shopteller: I don’t believe it. I didn’t know there were girl superheroes.
Hank: She is Russian and is so smart and can do everything the other Avengers do except she is the only one that Hulk will listen to so that means she is very important to the team and not just because she can save the world and speak two languages.
Shopteller: (not listening) Well, I just don’t believe it.
Me: (paying, picking up our bag with a light airy tone) Believe it.
Hank: Thank you.
Shopteller: I don’t know what I would think if I saw your little princess walking down the street in boys clothes.
Me: (deeply annoyed sigh with a courteous smile on my face, taking Hank’s hand to leave) You would think she was incredibly loved and happy. Believe me that we have one very happy two year old.
Hank: (while we were walking out the door) That was weird.
Hank: I mean… She didn’t believe it because she wasn’t ready to believe, right mama?
Me: (putting on my sunglasses, damn proud) No one ever called you dumb. Not one day.