Friday, April 14, 2006

just tattoo an xy on his tiny forehead

Two of my favorite people, Chris "New Guy" and Katie (blogger extraordinaire had a baby. A 9lb 12oz little boy. Which is a lot of baby and just what happens when you mix the DNA of two rather tall (6'+) people.

Anyway, I wanted to get something for the littlest new guy, so I walked to a downtown department store during lunch today.

Shopping for babies is one of the areas that I come dangerously close to traditional straight womanhood. What's not to love? Everything is all miniature and shit. But it's been awhile since the last time I'd bought baby stuff. Or I have selective amnesia about the experience.

Babies are, on the genitalia-covered surface, essentially unisex. And to all those people who coo about their newborns being brawny all-boy or dainty all-girl, I say horseshit. I've seen those babies and gender is totally in the eye of the beholder. Cross-dress the little darlings and I promise you folks will swear that your little butch is the belle of the baby ball.

Nowhere does our gender-bias appear more rigid than in baby clothes (including the quantity aspect—there are 4 baby girl togs to every 1 baby boy outfit). The stereotyping is somewhat more inflexible for the male of the species than the female but that's just splitting baby-fine hairs. I found myself singing, "Mamas don't let your babies grow up to be homos;" so frantically heterosexual were the selections. Half the boy's outfits were ablaze with athletic, superhero or fireman symbols. The other half were shrunken versions of executive-wear...complete with the ubiquitous embroidered Ralph Lauren horse: oxford cloth crawlers, tiny khaki cargo shorts with coordinated Polo shirts, etc. Not a hint of the metrosexual here.

I find myself wondering why we don't beef up the "package" on infant boys' Pampers so they can wear snug onesies with pride. You half expect these tykes to rip the head off of Winnie-the-Pooh and perfect-spiral-throw Pooh's decapitated body into the endzone, all while highstepping those rubbery little legs to a Souza march. Or, crawl into an MBA seminar after napping on the yacht all morning and sucking down imported non-fat milk out of an ergonomic bottle picked up at The Sharper Image.

Okay, I bought the yacht outfit. Couldn't find any overalls that weren't bastardized by embroidered manliness. Furthermore, this one is just a blue & yellow striped shirt and plain white cotton pants...

I'd lose the faggy yellow belt, though.

Welcome to the world, Henry Todd. Sorry for the limited clothing selection.


hijo said...

the lives of children are so often pre-ordained. this is exactly what i've been studying in my human sexuality class: gender assignment. by the time we achieve sentient thought (some of us), we can't tell our asshole from a hole in the ground. keep up the good fight; it's a long march, but a march nonetheless. and i love you.

Katie said...

OMG! Before I even read this I said to Chris, "It's his cruise director outfit!" I kinda like the yellow belt...

Anyway, I was so excited to have a boy precisely because of a wardrobe issue. I hate pink. And when people have girls, there is nothing but a flood of pink. I'm looking very hard for some camo pants and a onesie that says "mommy is my homegirl."