When I was pregnant my husband and I decided not to find out the sex of "Junior." We reasoned that there are so few true surprises in life that we wanted this to be one of them. Besides, I was convinced that I was carrying a boy anyway.
In retrospect, I think I had convinced myself I was carrying a boy so if one came out, I wouldn't be disappointed. You see, I really wanted a girl although I wasn't able to fully admit that to myself while pregnant. Of course, like all pregnant women, I wanted a healthy baby with ten fingers and ten toes but if I had been given a choice between a healthy boy or a healthy girl, I would have taken the girl without hesitation. I am sure I would have loved a boy as much as I love Vivi but I just didn't feel like I would have known what to do with a boy. After all, I have four sisters.
Well, be careful what you semi-subconsciously wish for. I've tried to be aware of how Vivi's sex might impact my interactions with her and the choices I make on her behalf. I don't believe that she should only be wearing pink, frilly things or playing with toy kitchen sets because she is girl. (Even though it does not go unnoticed that toy kitchens, vacuums, and tea sets almost always seem to be in "girl" colors or motifs.) I also try to praise her only on what she does and not how she looks. Still, there is something inherently girly about my girl and I don't think I have any control over it. Here are five recent examples:
- As I've posted, Vivi loves babies and dolls. I recently found her holding her baby close to her chest. When I asked her what she was doing, she said "Baby drinking milk from my boobies."
- Vivi loves to play dress-up but only with my clothes and my shoes. She particularly likes to wear my bras and underwear and high heels. The other day she refused to leave the house without my tank top on so we went to the park with my shirt tied around her waist. When I ask her what she wants to wear on any given day, she'll say, "How 'bout a pretty dress?" Vivi also loves to put on lotion and brush my hair which, along with the heels and pretty dresses, are all things I gave up once she came along.
- In the same vein, Vivi has been carrying a purse since she could walk. We can't go out on errands without one and it is usually stuffed full of accessories. (Give a woman a bag and she'll fill it...) Several times during the day, she'll put her baby in the stroller, throw her purse over her shoulder, and say, "Bye mama. I going shopping."
- Our daughter seems also to have a thing for vaginas. She is always inspecting hers and telling me if it has a rash or a boo boo. If I put a diaper on her, a frequent response is "No mama. I need some air for my jy-na." She talks about it a lot and just the other day in the middle of Target announced to the people in line next to us that she has one. Oh yeah and "mama naked in the shower too."
- Lastly, Vivi loves to use pantiliners as a prop in her pretend play. Sometimes one is a hat, sometimes another is a telephone. Since she seems to know what they are typically used for, she finds her acquisition of them and subsequent repurposing to be utterly hysterical.
Now tell me that's not a girl thing....