Thursday, January 3, 2008

Gender Trouble

I continue to recover from New Year's Eve.

Christmas week stories to come later. New Year's stories not forthcoming.


E's ultrasound is next Tuesday. This one is the biggie, the "anatomy scan," which means this one will reveal lentil's sex.

I think I posted before about my deep faith in the Chinese Fertility Calendar. It doesn't lie. And it tells us lentil will be female, unless you calculate the "maternal age" as the egg donor's age, in which case it indicates that lentil will be male.

I think I'd rather have a boy, for reasons enumerated a few weeks ago. E has changed her mind and now also wants a boy. We were having a rare moment the other day, standing in the baby room and talking about lentil. People gave us a lot of baby shit for Christmas and we were looking at it with our usual disbelief.

We got some really fucking adorable stuff, btw. A tiny onesie with a guitar on it. A long and skinny hare clad in highwater jeans and a turtleneck sweater.

I used to have this t-shirt with "I'm Kind of a Big Deal" written across the front. Everyone loved it when I wore this shirt. The shirt has since been lost, but one of the shirt's biggest fans got us a pink onesie that says the same thing.

As we stood there looking at this stuff, I told E this pink onesie would be cutest on a boy. And -- like I knew she would -- she freaked out.

E: "A boy cannot wear this onesie."

GS: "What are you talking about? Because it's pink?"

E: "Yes, because it's pink. And the writing is in cursive."

GS: "Are you serious? Listen to yourself."

E: "Don't start with me."

GS: "He will wear it, and I will buy him a matching purse to carry if he wants to accessorize."

I enjoy tormenting E by telling her that if we have a son I will buy him a purse if he wants one. For some reason this really sets her off. This is odd behavior on her part, since I know for a fact that she doesn't have the same gendered ideas about a girl child.

For example, she has expressed a wish that if we have a girl, she hopes that she will take after daddy and be a little tomboy. I assume she'd prefer that to a daughter who takes after her young agoraphobic self.

Another thing I like to say to E is that I hope our child is intersexed. I think that the CFC's confusion about our child's sex could actually be the Chinese Fertility Fairy communicating to us that we're having an intersexed child. This REALLY gets E's goat.

You know what, though? I'd be a fantastic parent to an intersexed person.

If our child is intersexed, my small area of expertise will be utilized and I may begin to look forward to parenting a bit more. How useful would I be to an intersexed kid in this junked up world? Pretty useful. I predict that I would unleash some kickass parenting skills upon my intersexed child.

I was doing some thinking about my thoughts on our intersexed child. I wonder if this means I'm afraid I'll be a useless as a parent, and my hope for an intersexed child is me looking for ways in which I can be useful? Like, besides being a pair of hands to change an ol' crappy diaper.

So, whatever we have will be right. Male, female, intersexed. But if we have a boy, I will buy him a purse.

Because E is the one with the hang-ups.


Sara said...

Ever since I read Middlesex, I have thought about having an intersex baby (including coming up with a list of intersex baby names). I totally agree with you -- who better to parent an intersex child than gay parents?

Becky said...

The Chinese Fertility calender was totally wrong when it came to predicting Alex's sex. I was supposed to be having a girl, and yet, here I am, Supreme Dictator of The Sausage Factory.

(sighs dramatically)

Oh well.

I'm totally down with the purse idea. I used to paint Ben's toenails when he'd ask. If he weren't in school, I'd still do it.

Nana said...

I have SO MANY bags, e.g., "purses". Always looking for the right one and never finding it. He can have as many of mine as he wants. However, my instinct says "girl". She can have one too.

Anonymous said...

We swore that no child of ours would fall in to gender stereotypes. And if we had a girl, there would be NO pink. Not so for a boy, but I digress.

Also, we were certain up until the birth that our kiddo was a boy.

We were wrong wrong wrong. Our daughter does wear pink. Not exclusively, of course, but I must point out that it looks great with black. Very rockstar.

And the whole no-gender-stereotypes thing? It turns out that it's not entirely up to us. Our daughter seems to be her own person with her own preferences... go figure.

So we've got this quirky kid who likes playing babies, dollhouse, and wearing pink clothes. Where's the quirk, you ask? Oh yeah, the part where she will NOT wear dresses or skirts and isn't interested at all in the Disney Princesses. Or the part where she loves to play and watch sports, and fully plans to play in baseball in the MLB... she hasn't noticed the gender difference there at all.

Still though... brave new world. And if you have an intersex kiddo... really brave new world.

bleu said...

Bliss wore pink from birth. But, I also refused to find out the gender before birth because it is the ONLY time in a persons life they get to truly be gender neutral and I felt strongly about not knowing.
He also got his first drag photos taken before he turned one, email if you want copies. For a time around 2 he loves dresses and picked out 2 adorable ones at Target. I used to laugh so hard when we would be out, his long hair up in a ponytail pebbles style and cute orange and pink dress and some big burly he-man would say how pretty my daughter was and I would inform him it was a boy. They would get so bent.

Bliss no longer wants to wear dresses and he informs me ponytails of any placement are for girls. This from a child who has never been babysat or to daycare. It is infuriating. He also once informed me only a boy and girl could marry. I spent a long time discussing all of them but it is so crazy how much influence there is that I cannot seem to filter.

Thanks for a post, FINALLY.

Much love.

Becky said...

Yup, tried that one just now to recheck (it's been ages, and my brain she is fuzzy), and it said Alex was a girl.

Weird, eh?

starrhillgirl said...

So, back in the day, that is, the 70's, when I was born, my dad was in grad school and had this very, very cool kick-ass adviser who been kicked out of Reed College for being a Lesbian. I think my parents were the first people she was really close to who were progressive in terms of gender roles and were having a child. So she was all psyched to watch a kid get raised in as close to a non-gendered fashion as she could imagine. I had boy clothes and "boy" toys in addition to "girl" ones and a gender neutral name, etc. And? My very, very dear, totally 70's era feminist, don't box our kid in with gender roles parents ended up with a daughter who wants to be a lesbian housewife.

I second the thanks for the post - some of us were *dying* over here.

owl said...

Chinese gender predictor told us our girl was a girl. I always thought she would be a girl too.
We were adamant there would be no pink on our girl, there wasn't until after she turned one. its really expensive to avoid pink! now she just wears a little bit. I don't know wy but i worry about girlyfying a boy. i am not sure why. we find boys names harder, for some reason we go for 'butch' names. girls names we pick are both girly and butch. neither of us have a thing about gender and have dressed our daughter in boys overalls and very 'boyish' colours. until she grew hair everybody thought she was a boy even with a dress on. but we wouldn't put a boy in a dress and i don't know if we would do pink, not without a little bit of hesitation before walking out the door!
its weird, if we get a boy this time going to have to try to change it i think, i don't like it!

charlotte said...

i totally agree. our son, in fact, has a purse. and his favorite color is pink, which is all about him because S and I hate pink. his purse is a tin lunchbox with a pink pearly handle with a sparkly fairy on the front. whatev, dude. he likes that crap. and i secretly love that he does, just as i will when our daughter loves buses, or whatever boys are supposed to like.

Pixie said...

Wow... I tried SO HARD to not genderalize Baby Godzilla. He would be able to wear/play with what he wanted (except- of course guns)and lo, and behold, the kid LOVES trucks. And... his favorite color is... Pink. So- a pink hummer? Yes- he's in heaven. He only went through wanting to wear dresses for a second- but he still, at 5, wants to wear makeup. I tell him he can wear it when he's older...
I have a rule against saying anything in my house that sounds like "That's for girls..." so on and so forth. Geez. He's gonna get enough of that as he grows.
He has recently informed me that its gross for two girls to kiss and I went - blink blink..."Gross?"
Like that's something new to him.
Anyway- I love love love your blog- your wit and sarcasm delight me!!
Thanks for updating!!

Anonymous said...

Chinese gender predicion also said jasper was a girl... I was a little bit horrified to find out he was a boy, to be honest. Australian men are 90% awful; I'mnot exaggerating.

Then someone pointed out that no child of mine would be allowed to grow up and suck, and I felt better.

Dis said...

Oh golly. :0)
I work for a children's clothing store and see SOOOOO many different situations in regards to how parent dress their children, what they will and will not allow them to wear.
I see lots of moms (okay occasionally dads but about 90% of the time its moms) who avoid pink like the plague but I've had a few who are on kid number two or three and mention that they've given up trying to avoid pink. lol
Conversely, I have moms that are mortified when I suggest an item from the boys department that we may not carry in in the girls department.(i.e. chinos, plain turtleneck, plain sweatpants.)
The worst is the occasion that we have a little boy who *really* wants a pink shirt or sparkly shoes and the parent get mean with them, making the kid feel bad about what they like. It makes me sad and want to slip the kid a butterfly sticker or something. :o)