A question that everyone asks when you are pregnant is whether it's a boy or a girl. The smart-aleck answer is "yes." We decided not to find out. Most people were really supportive of this idea, particularly older folks who had kids before finding out the sex was an option. A few people said they couldn't do it that way, and one cashier looked at me like I was nuts. Only one person asked why.
"So we don't get a bunch of pink crap if it's a girl," I answered without thinking. It was like one of those word association tests where the truth comes out. Previously, I had thought of this as just a bonus to not knowing, but honestly, it was my main reason. Instead of an avalanche of pink, people gave us a lot of neutral stuff. It was heavy on the yellows and green, most of it pastel. It seems like things fall in three categories - girl (pink, purple, frilly and delicate), neutral (yellow, green, or gray, generally animal themed and cutesie), and boy (everything else). So if you want bold colors with fun themes, look in the boy section. Maybe grumble about outdated gender norms while you're there, just for me.
A friend of mine took her step-daughter shopping for my baby shower and picked out some onesies that were gray and green and featured triceratops and apatosauruses (apatosauri?). Her step-daughter protested that those were for boys. Excuse me? This is why we need feminism - because eight-year-old girls think that liking dinosaurs is only for boys. Dinosaurs are for everybody.
Most of our clothes came from a friend of a friend, who passed along two giant bags of clothes used by her sons, so "boy" clothes. They had bold, bright colors and fun themes like sports or dump trucks or monsters. There was one item that had a treehouse that said "no girls allowed," and I threw that out on principle. The rest I happily put on my little girl.
Some people waited until after the baby was born to give us gifts, and that was when the pink started flowing. At that point, I discovered that I enjoyed dressing my daughter in the little girly things, too. I liked the flowers and the frills and the tiny bows. And the dresses! With the TINY BLOOMERS! I didn't even mind the things that said "princess" on them, because that makes me the queen. In fact, I liked the little girly things so much that I began to wonder if it wouldn't have been so bad to know ahead of time that we were having a daughter. It wasn't all pink stuff.
And then we went to a shower being thrown for Josh's cousin, who knows she is having a girl. She gave me a bag of stuff that people had given her; she said she wanted to spread the pink around and lamented that she had not yet received any camo babywear. There were some hats with giant bows and a set of footed pajamas with ladybugs. Finally, there was a hot pink onesie with a big gold crown on it and "Princess" in gold script. Attached was a tutu in zebra print of pink and pinker pink. It was awful. It went straight into the Goodwill pile with the no girls allowed onesie.
Now I think we did the right thing by not finding out. We avoided an onslaught of pink animal-print, and a little girl learned that dinosaurs are for everyone. I call that a win.