Tuesday, November 29, 2011

"When you're a boy..."

Have you heard of the Canadian couple that is raising their child gender-neutral? I’d imagine that if you found yourself in the elevator or the grocery store and innocently asked them, “boy or a girl?” you’d get an earful. It’s an easy story to joke about though. Mostly, it just seems like work to me. Parenting is a full enough experience without adding the extra complication of hiding a child’s identity.

On the other hand, I probably work equally hard to out Claire as a girl. I try to avoid the colors brown or blue altogether. We mainly have pink clothes anyway, but there is an occasional red or yellow mixed in there. If she wears one of these colors, I’m sure to signify her sisterhood with an accent of pink somewhere.

I didn’t expect to be this way. I didn’t expect to care. But there isn’t a day that goes by without someone referring to Claire in the masculine. Even when she’s screaming pink, people still think she’s a boy. Once when donning a dress, she got a “he” from someone! Maybe it’s because I’m privy to her private parts on a daily basis, but she just doesn’t look like a boy to me. It’s frustrating. George doesn’t like it either. When someone asks, “What’s his name?” George replies, “She’s named Claire” – with a distinct emphasis on the she bit.

I like boys just fine, and Claire doesn’t need to be girlie girl either. Toddlers and Tiaras isn’t in her future, and I’m sure Santa will put a toy truck or the like in her stocking this year. It’s just that I don’t want people to call her Bob, because that’s not her name. And I don’t want people to call her a boy, because she isn’t one. Unlike the Canadian couple, I am hoping that her true nature will become more outwardly apparent as she gets older. I’m really not a huge fan of pink anyway.

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