Z Blog: Barbecues and roses
The first question people ask when you tell them your wife is pregnant is “Is it a boy or a girl?”
When you tell them you’re waiting for the big surprise, they say “How cool. Good for you!” Then they tell you how they’d want to know the sex of their child as soon as technologically possible ” implying you and your wife are a pair of out-of-date stooges lost in some quaint world where birth is still a little mysterious.
I’m sure pregnancy seems very real to my wife. She’s had our child growing inside her since the fall, it’s been making her hungry and nauseous for months, and it’s been kicking and punching her organs since Christmas.
Despite the visits to the doctor and the birthing classes and even the ultrasound pictures, it still seems totally abstract to me ” knowing the sex and giving the baby a name might convince me there’s actually going to be a little person around the house come this summer.
When you don’t know the sex, some people get slightly annoyed because they don’t know what kind of present ” or what color present ” to buy your forthcoming human being.
A cuddly football? A doll? A tiny plastic back hoe? A sparkly unicorn? A toy Blackberry?
I guess some folks think it’s never to soon for an infant to start learning the role society has assigned its gender, particularly which programs he or she will eventually be expected to watch on TV and how well he or she will be expected to work a universal remote.
Go to any store that sells baby things and the gender divide is alive and well: There’s darker-colored bedding covered with race cars, dump trucks, tools and barbecues; or, you can bring home pink-bordered blankets inhabited by drowsy-eyed lambs, ballerinas, long-stemmed roses and princesses getting spa treatments.
Seems like the gender-typing can start as soon as the baby gets home from the hospital.
If you don’t know the sex, you can put a lot of green and orange merchandise on your baby registry. Let the baby’s first few months of life be stereotype free ” society will move in with its instructions soon enough, whether it’s via the Internet, school or behaviors the baby picks up on at home and in public.
Of course, I may be full of it when it comes to gender ” as a father expecting my first child in May, I’m fine with buying a little football regardless of whether my wife and I have a boy or a girl, but there’s no way I’m going to bring a son home in pink onesie with a duck on it.
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