Truly was the first baby we let sex be a complete surprise. No ultrasounds, no pre-birth shopping trips for adorable outfits. All of Tennyson’s baby gear was saved and we had plenty of white onesies; I felt satisfied that we had what we needed for either a boy or girl.
Why does all this blue bother me? I mean, in this day and age, of all things, does it really matter what your baby wears? Why, if we’re so free with gender identification, does it mean anything at all what color you put your baby in?
“I don’t want people thinking she’s a boy.”
“I don’t want her to develop a complex.”
When she looks back on her baby pictures I don’t want her to think that we were too cheap to go buy a whole wardrobe of girl clothes just because they represented something that the boy clothes didn’t. But, at the same time, remember those old photographs of your grandfather and great-grandfather? They’re wearing dresses as babies. Full on dresses -with lace and bows, my friends. Because that’s what babies wore back then. Talk about gender neutral.
I still feel conflicted.
When I was nearly 6 months pregnant I had this amazing rush of intuition that overcame me, “You’re having a girl.” I had a vision of this baby surrounded by huge, billowy blossoms -big roses and peonies with soft, abundant petals surrounding her in a wreath. When I look at her I just have this feeling that she will love feminine things, whereas Waverley was a tomboy until age 5 and loved nothing more than wearing her big brother’s clothes. We were never sure we’d see her in a dress -and that’s okay. Yes, she eventually expressed interest in “girl” clothes and she’s still happily rough and tumble, but we didn’t force her or shame her into wearing what was “appropriate” for her sex.
It’s odd that despite the shake up of gender issues, we still have hard-wired feelings of what babies should wear.
Until a child can make their own decisions about what they like and who they are, it’s the parents’ choice. I say there’s a compromise that can be made and I declare this baby can be super colorful. And that’s that.