Before Baby was born, I was more or less indifferent as to whether I would have a boy or a girl. The things that I was wishing for in a child – beyond good health – were pretty gender-neutral: keen mind, lively imagination, free spirit, that sort of thing. That said, being a girl myself, there was a certain appeal to the idea of having a baby girl – pretty clothes! pretty nursery! pretty clothes! But I also very much liked the idea of a little miniature of the Husband running around – because, of course, I think the Husband is awesome and why not double the awesomeness? and because I think that little boys are just generally adorable. Plus, I have the examples of two stupendous nephews belonging to my sister, awesome little T and his super big brother Z who is growing into the most wonderful little man. And in addition to that, two other adorable little nephews and one big cool nephew on my husband’s side. And three mind-blowingly sweet and smart godsons who I love to pieces. Loads of phenomenal boys. I totally would have been more than happy with a little bit ‘o boy action.
But we discovered mid-way through the pregnancy that the little being that we were then calling the Peep was a little Peepette. When the ultrasound technician declared matter-of-factly that the blurry alien on her screen was in fact a girl, I burst into tears. My girl! My GIRL! The pretty frilly sugar-and-spice road ahead unfolded spectacularly in my mind’s eye and I. Was. Smitten.
(I have to interrupt this happy little revery for a parenthetical bitch note. When you’re pregnant, everyone asks whether you know if you are having a boy or a girl. Like it’s their business, but that’s not the focus of the bitch here. If you tell them – assuming, that is, that you know – most of them will do one of two things: tell you a horror story about the unique challenges of raising a girl or a boy, or – and FYI this is the focus of this parenthetical bitch note – they will tell you about how their sister/their cousin/their neighbour/the third cousin of their sister’s neighbour thought that she was having girl but then it turned out to be a boy and they had to redo their whole pink nursery and buy all new blue clothes and it cost a fortune and so they really hope that you haven’t decorated the nursery/bought the baby clothes/named the baby/pinned your precious baby hopes on a gendered idea of who that baby is ’cause odds are you’re mistaken and you don’t want to be crushed when a little boy appears instead of a little girl ha ha ha. Which makes you want to punch them in the face for ruining your day and the whole rest of your pregnancy.)
(The above bitch note goes hand-in-hand, BTW, with bitch notes about people who greet your pregnancy with their own or their sister’s neighbour’s third cousin’s labour horror story – in labour for three weeks! tore a new asshole! couldn’t walk for a year! – or with some comment on how absolutely massive you are – ohmigod are you carrying twins?!?! – or with cocktail party questions about your nether regions – are you dilated yet? has the doctor reached up there to feel baby’s head? What is it about pregnancy that makes people say things that make you want to punch them in the face?)
Back to our scheduled sugar-and-spice programming.
When WonderBaby Queen of the Known and Unknown Universe arrived, it must be said, she didn’t seem especially girly. (She was, however, a more attractive baby than I expected, having been well-primed for some larva-like creature by all the pregnancy book warnings about not expecting a Gerber baby.) She didn’t seem especially anything, gender-wise: babies, and especially newborns, tend to be pretty androgynous in their fetalness. Which is why I wasn’t perturbed by the gender-confusion part of the Ikea incident. And why for the first weeks of her life it didn’t seem all that urgent to girlify her with dresses and taped-on bows and all that.
But now, now that Baby is big enough to fit all the little dresses that have been coming her way and active enough to appreciate a good shopping excursion and savvy enough to realize that a little flirtin’ goes a long way… that girl thang is ON.
She dresses up in pretty dresses for parties…!
Why yes I DO think that pink is the new black.
She enjoys a nice relaxing bath…!
Thaaaat’s nice… ooooh yeah…
She goes shopping with the girls…!
Sugar and spice and everything nice doesn’t even begin to cover it.
WonderBaby Queen of the Known and Unknown Universe is a girly-girl, people, and she’s lovin’ every sugary minute of it.
But (oh that spice)…
Keep pointing that camera at me dude and I’m gonna go Sean Penn in YO FACE
… she’s still gonna be a little ass-kicker.