When I was pregnant we wanted a girl. I still want a girl, but that doesn’t mean anything about my level of delight over Gabe. It just is what it is. He’s my little man and I want a little lady.
Before we knew the gender we bought the big blue dresser/changing table because I really liked that color option. I was so tired of wood colored things. I like pizazz and color. MORE COLOR!
Before we knew gender we decided on a robots theme. And a yellow fishy mobile. And a our black stroller (that was supposed to be seagrass instead). I was not interested in pink and I was not interested in sports themes. I wanted fun and happy designs that made me feel fun and happy. And then we found out we were having a boy and I was annoyed with the blue dresser because everyone would think we got it because we were having a boy. And I was disappointed with our robots because they are so often seen as masculine play toys and that wasn’t my intention. Intentions are important… what other people think is not, but… I can only rise above so often.
I know that baby things matter and at the same time they don’t matter. A lot of girls like dolls no matter how many gender neutral toys you throw at them. A lot of boys love trucks no matter how many Disney coloring books you have at the ready. But I know that gender association is a real thing and kids grow up liking certain items because they are around them a lot or they are encouraged to because “that’s what girls/boys like.” I don’t want Gabe to love blue just because all of his toys, his clothes, and his dresser are blue. I don’t want him to play with toys because that’s a boy toy and that over there is a girl toy. I don’t want to dress my baby up in weirdly hetero-normative outfits.
I purposefully dress him in a ton of different colors and patterns because they are awesome.
Not because they are what boys SHOULD wear. Although, we do have blue. We also have orange and red and rainbow and green and patterns and stripes and stars and polka dots.
Gabe’s job is to be the most Gabe possible. My job is to support him in that. He’ll tell me who he is and I’ll give him every single option I can. He is a boy and he will be a lot of other things as well. He may be someone who loves purple, like his dad. Or someone who wants to play sports like his grandma or love painting and drawing like his aunt. Or, god forbid, he may surprise all of us and become an accountant, which would be awesome since no one in our family is all that great with numbers. And even though right now it is a small thing, his toys and his clothes, I want to start out not defining who he is by the little things.