Only little babies do that…

a blog by Emily\’s mother

Gender Bender

Posted by Caroline on October 25, 2006

Do I look like a little boy to you?For the most part, it’s pretty obvious that Emily is a baby girl – the majority of her clothes, for example, are pink (as are most of the baby girls’ clothes in the shops, it seems), she often wears skirts and dresses, and jeans embroidered with flowers and butterflies, and when she’s out in the pushchair is frequently covered with a pink blanket. 

The other day, however, I dressed Emily in an outfit that wasn’t pink but was still very pretty – a turquoise top and trousers, decorated with white polka dots, white lace trim and a dash of pink ribbon. Teamed with her butterfly print coat, matching flowery socks and a pink hat, she looked fantastic – and very much a baby girl.

So I was rather taken aback when, while having lunch in a café, a woman walked up to our table, looked at our daughter snoozing in her car seat, and said, “He looks very cosy, doesn’t he?”

Admittedly, she wasn’t wearing her pink hat at the time and was covered in a beige blanket, but it still surprised me that in that frilly little outfit – which was visible beneath her covers – anyone could possibly think she was a boy.

Although I have no sons myself, several friends and relatives have little boys and I’ve grown used to shopping for them – and I can honestly say that in all the time I’ve been buying them gifts I’ve never bought any of them a frilly turquoise two-piece. And if I did, it certainly wouldn’t have a pink ribbon trim.

I pointed out Emily’s hat and the woman realised her mistake. Interesting though, how we’re so used to seeing little boys in blue and little girls in pink that the slightest glimpse of blue clothing (irrespective of other details) can lead to such confusion. Maybe next time we go out I’ll dress Emily in something bright orange, just to keep everybody else guessing.

8 Responses to “Gender Bender”

  1. Eldragon said

    There you have it. It happens to every baby girl or boy at least once in their lifetime. No matter how much you dress the girl in pink or the boy in baseball uniforms, someone will refer to them as the wrong sex.

  2. katharina said

    🙂 Orange, now that *would* keep them guessing, wouldn’t it?! I’ll tell you what may be even worse than gender bending, though, and that’s when people refer to a baby as “it”… “oh isn’t it sweet?!” That drives me batty!

  3. tater03 said

    Yes, you are right. It seems to happen quite a bit. I would have to agree with you Katharina I also hate when people refer to a baby as “it”.

  4. Melanie said

    Agh… refering to someone’s child as “it” is horrid. If I’m unsure, I usually go for something like “Oh, what a cute baby!”

    Everyone thought my eldest was a girl constantly – because he had blonde curls and big blue eyes. Even though he’d be wearing a dark blue shirt with a big fire truck on it with not a drop of pink in sight 😉

  5. tater03 said

    I was talking to my mom yesterday about people who mistakenly get the sex of a baby wrong. And she was telling me I was completly bald when I was born and people used to always think I was a boy. It used to bother my Dad a lot so he would make my Mom constantly dress me in dresses hoping people would not keep thinking I was a boy.

  6. eldragon said

    There is an old famiy tale about what someone said when they first saw me as an infant. Apparently I was so ugly, the old woman just said.”Oh!”
    I really was a funny looking baby.

  7. Melanie said

    That is funny Eldragon. My first son happened to come out really cute – none of the mashed, red looking of the normal newborn baby. The nurse said to me “He is so cute! Really! We say that to everyone, but this time I really mean it.” My second son was weird looking though.

  8. LyricB said

    I once had my daughter dressed in a blue skirt…she was just starting to walk so I think she was around 10 months old…some lady at the mall ooohed and aaahed over her and then asked me what “his” name was.

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