and the gender goes to…

So I was going to make you all writhe in suspense for a couple of days, wondering what the results of the gender-revelation ultrasound were. But then I thought that maybe not everyone likes suspense as much as I do, and anyway, why not? Dumpster find of the week can wait one more day. So, tum ta ta tum tum tuuuuum! It’s going to be a girl peanut.

Back at the very beginning of the pregnancy, I thought I might prefer to have a girl. But then I imagined a small giggly version of the Beard playing a little-kid version of hangover wrestling (a Beard patented invention) in bed and decided that I would like to have a boy too. In the waiting room at the doctor’s office yesterday afternoon, the Beard proposed a bet. “Whoever loses has to pay for an evening in the sauna for both of us.” He bet boy, and I bet girl. Sauna night here I come.*

And so the gender coding that Peanut will have to deal with for the rest of her life begins. I’ve already noticed it at the flea market among the shoppers. “Is this for a boy or a girl,” a woman will ask, holding up a white onie with a picture of a dog on the front. “For a boy,” the stand owner might answer. “Oh, well then never mind. She’s having a girl.” What exactly is so “boy” about pictures of animals and so “girl” about that hideous shade of pink is beyond my comprehension. But you can tell which flea market stands are which from a mile away. Whoever decided that that color pink was good for anybody of any gender has a hell of a lot to answer for.

To me, pictures of animals don’t say “boy” or “girl,” they just say “kid.” And because I did all of Peanut’s clothes shopping before we knew what Peanut’s biological gender was, she is going to have a lot of clothes with pictures of animals on them or in fun bright colors, that is to say “boys’ clothes.” Because the boys’ clothes tend to strike me as generally gender neutral, while most of of the girls’ clothes tend to strike me as offensively hideous. And does an infant need to wear a dress?! But you’ve probably already noticed that I don’t understand most of today’s infant fashions. Ha—infant fashions. What a time we live in.

An infant’s gender is an interesting thing to know. It’ll be relevant in the doctor’s office and during impromptu biology lessons. But otherwise, who cares? What gender person she chooses to have sex with, what gender she identifies as, what pronoun she wants to use, and how she chooses to dress herself are all questions that will come later, to be asked and answered by her. Why start asking them now?

*Fun facts for the culturally interested: All the American pregnancy books say not to ever, ever enter a sauna while pregnant, while all the German pregnancy books (and doctors—we’ve asked) say it’s not a problem at all. Which just goes to show you that a lot of pregnancy taboos are just cultural ticks.

**Other fun facts for those who like nitty-gritty details: Baby heads look like ghoulish demons on the ultrasound. All of Peanut’s organs are present and intact. No open back, heart wall, or lip. Mildly large head. Twenty-eight centimeters long in week 22 of water cave life. She’s up to 500 grams in weight, and I’m up to 66.8 kilos. And I really like being round, even though I’m already starting to walk like a constipated duck.

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0 Comments on “and the gender goes to…

  1. Yay! I have two girls. I did cry when I found out that I wasn’t having a boy with the second pregnancy. I shouldn’t have of course. My second one combines Barbies with dump trucks very well. I intentionally bought bright colors for my first child and she never looked good in pale “girly” colors. I kept most of her clothes for the second child. My second looked good in any color, but she especially looked great in the pale “girly” colors. Epic fail on my part…lol. My favorite picture taken is of my first girl in flannel shirt and overalls. But, hey I live in the Ozarks. I wanted to apologize for not being able to buy for peanut at the moment. My hubby unexpectantly ended up in the hospital. So, money that was just tight before has become strangling instead. I know that you, Beard, and Peanut will fare well, and am proud of the common sense approaches you are utilizing. Patty

  2. YAYYYYY!!! Yeah and I really have no explanation for why I was so invested in it being a girl =).

    I feel the same about the clothes, but most of ours were given to us so we have a lot of “non boy” stuff. I have to admit though I’m a sucker for over the top girl stuff, like a huge tutu or shoes covered on sparkles. (Even for myself)

    And yeah, the ultrasound 3-D pic, freaky!! We saw most of ours in the old fashioned grainy view, and then she said do you want to see it in 3-D? And I actually yelled “switch it back!” it was so scary.

  3. Being about a year ahead of you on all of this, some of the recent posts on parenthood and commercialism are very “aktuell” for me as well. We’ve been so lucky with hand-me-downs and some very, very kind loans, that we didn’t wind up buying and we bought very little new, although we splurged on some things (both new and used.) Do want to point out that dresses are great for cloth diapers. I have had problems with getting pants to fit over diapers- the next size of pants up isn’t always much wider, but it is much longer and there is a limit on the amount of rolling up I want to do. Diaper bulk can be a problem.

  4. Patty: The way I figure, I’m going to think Peanut looks cute in any color. I just have a personal vendetta against that color pink. Just gets uglier the more washed out it gets too. Ech. Anyway, your mentioning a flannel shirt and overalls reminded me that I already got a flannel shirt for Peanut as well. The Beard wears a lot of flannel shirts with patches sewn on them from bands he likes, so I wanted to sew a patch from one of his bands on the back of Peanut’s shirt for some amusing crust family portraits. 🙂 Sorry to hear about your husband! No worries on not being able to buy us something! I’m flattered that you even considered it.

    FVM: Haha. Maybe someday Janey and Peanut can be play buddies (or exchange students, aha! now there’s a funny thought). I was just visiting a friend whose baby is three months old now, and she gave me some of that horrid pink stuff that her baby had grown out of. But I figure, hell, if everything else is dirty and it was a gift, it really doesn’t matter what color she’s in, does it? I have an occasional soft spot for things like sequined shoes and huge tutus too (glitter nail polish, love that stuff), I even like the color pink when it’s bright pink, it’s just this baby pink that kills me.

    Oh and I am kinda jealous that you got to see 3-D ultrasounds, creepy as they must have been. I don’t know if that was even an option for us, but the doctor didn’t mention it.

    Ann: Good point on the diaper bulk, though I doubt with the weather in February being what it usually is that they will be very practical for us at least until summer comes. Some folks I know put their 2 year old boy in dress-ish things a lot in the summer too. They are just more airy and comfortable sometimes! My only issue with them, especially for infants, is that so many gender stereotypes are wrapped up in them.

  5. Ah, the rather frightening world of girls clothes. I dressed Orla in bright colours rather than baby pink which I don’t particularly like, and I think my boyfriends family thought it was odd, esp. his brother who had a baby at the same time and was dressed solely in that colour for the first 2 years of her life. (But they thought she looked like a boy, so I guess they had their own issues about what other people thought). I have to say I also dislike all the brown and beige that boys are forced into wearing. I like children to be bright and colourful! Orla though around 3 got drawn to pink and it’s ok by me. She has some pink stuff and she’s happy. I figure she’ll either grow out of it or she won’t. My son, Hamish, also likes pink, and that’s also fine by me, what can you do, eh? They just like what they like.

  6. And congrats on your girl! Girls are nice. Boys are nice too, and I always thought I wouldn’t really want a boy, but whatever you get ends up being fantastic!

  7. I have two girls and one boy. I can honestly say that whichever you get will still mess up your kitchen, steal your chocolate and refuse to empty the trash!

  8. i love your take on the baby gender stuff… i completely agree. i run my farmers market booth selling organic baby diapers and i get interrogated repeatedly about whether an item is intended for a boy or a girl. customers are not often receptive to my “either” response. then i tell them about the pink hat my son picked out for himself, and they sort of glaze over…….

  9. Fiona: Good point on the brown. Girls get tortured with light pink, boys with brown. Though I have to admit I prefer the brown myself.

    mb: That must get…trying. Haha, I know exactly the glazed look you are talking about.

    That reminds me of a funny story. A friend of mine was getting tired of strangers asking what the gender of the baby was when cooing over the carriage. So one day a dude asked her “So is it a boy or a girl?” And she replied, “Oh gosh you know what, I totally forgot to check! Do you mind if I wait until I get home to look instead of checking now?” Ha. The dude was like, oh yeah, umm, check at home, of course, and turned red, and walked away really fast. Seems to be her believed her, and I bet he’s still telling people that story.

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