Monday, April 25, 2011

the gender predicative

Since we've made the big announcement, there's been a lot of fear. Not about the impending birth, mind you. Nah, my fear is entirely bound with the level of gender role saturation which inevitably arises whenever either of us mention the forthcoming urchin.

The first thing I noticed is that it mattered not what we said...any observation/fact/detail about Mighty DuBose would invariably be interpreted as a sign we were going to have boy (50% of the time) or girl (50$ of the time). Tell someone that the heart rate was 150 at the last appointment, and you would hear "Oh, that means you're having a boy/girl." Spousal Unit tells someone she's been craving cinnamon, and that definitely means we're having a son. Tell someone she's also craved root beer, and that's a sign it will be a girl. It doesn't matter: how Spousal Unit is carrying, how much sleep she gets, how much and where exactly Mighty kicks, what time of day urchin was conceived, what phase of the moon, how urchin reacts in utero to zombie films, whatever you can imagine, it becomes a scientific marker of sex-to-be.

The absolute weirdest one so far? One co-worker told my spousal unit that if she uses the rest room and then pours Draino down the toilet before flushing, it will change color, and the resulting color will show either boy or girl...said co-worker didn't know what color would mean what, though, so this is one we didn't try. Plus, how did Draino's last reformulation affect its gender-prediction properties? No one is saying.

I've read a lot about how parents are supposed to react to pregnancy, and most sources say both parents will have strong preferences for either a boy or a girl, "I just want it to be healthy" claims to the contrary. Personally, though, I honestly had no real preferences...and I am most certainly an interested party. This makes everyone else's innate need for gender that much more puzzling. Co-workers and good friends both have made it their mission to trick us into saying one way or another. Why are they so invested as to resort to treachery?

The Spousal Unit had someone at work hold a baby shower for her. Spousal Unit told her co-workers that we weren't disclosing the sex of the kid, and that gender-neutral gifts would be best. Nevertheless, one coworker (convinced Mighty would be a boy) got blue clothes with race cars, while another (convinced Mighty would be a girl) got an array of pink outfits.

This weekend, I was telling these tales to a relative. Said relative looked at Spousal Unit for a minute and said, "But I know you're having a boy...I can tell by just looking at you...and I'm 95% accurate."


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