My child is not a doll and how we handle gender questions

When A was a little over two months old, I posted this:
My child is not a dollThat sparked quite the conversation on Facebook. At the time, she was not at all interested in onesies. She fought J and I each time we tried to put one on her. Then after watching me pull a blown out onesie off over her feet, J discovered that we could also put the onesies on that way too. Let that sink in for a minute, because it was LIFE CHANGING for us. From then on we could dress her in onesies and she wouldn’t scream.

My daughter is not a doll

Fast forward four more months and A is now super mobile (rolling and army crawling and pulling herself to standing) J and I are even more aware of what we dress her in. If you haven’t read this post from Willow Mom, please do. It sums up how we feel in the most articulate way.

You won’t be seeing A in super frilly dresses, except for the occasional church outfit, like this one for Easter. She wore it for all of two hours and had three blow outs.
Frilly Dress

We, like Willow Mom, will follow this advice from The Bump and dress our daughter in outfits she can move in and that won’t be ruined if she has a blow out. As we are also nearing the summer months, we will be opting for outfits of breathable material that won’t stick to her. We will also be dressing her in ways that protect her skin. The carseat gets just as hot as a regular car seats and we don’t want her to get burned because she wore a backless sundress.

Which brings me to the most important part of this post: I am SO TIRED of clothing companies creating baby clothes for girls that inhibit movement, are pink-ified and glittery. It’s like the designers have never met a baby before. If it looks like it would get stuck on a slide or hurt to lay on, I walk right past it. If it’s covered in glitter that will only get in her eyes, I won’t even consider dressing her in it. I want her to know there are more colors than pink. And if she doesn’t want to like pink, she doesn’t have to. My favorite color is blue.

I rarely buy new items for A. We’ve been blessed with lots of hand me downs from friends who have littles bigger than A. That includes boy clothes. Actually, most of the outfits she seems happiest in are boy clothes and pants. (Since most “girl” pants have that stupid ruffle butt.) She does have a few “dresses” that she likes, but if she has a blow out the entire outfit has to change. So we reserve those for special occasions and rarely wear them to school.

With A dressed most often in boy clothes, we are always getting the question of whether she’s a boy or a girl. This doesn’t bother us in any way, but it does make other people uncomfortable. So I’ve developed a trick. When someone continuously refers to A as a boy, I find a way to add in something like, “silly girl! Where did your headband (or hair bow) go!” Most often, that does the trick.

It’s interesting to me how not knowing if she’s a boy or a girl by looking at her makes people uncomfortable. Then when some people find out she is a girl, they get irritated that we didn’t dress her to be easily identifiable as a girl. I’ve talked to moms of boys and somehow they don’t encounter the same thing. I’m sure there’s a psychology experiment to be done about this.

Where's your headband?

Now, don’t get me started on older ladies (and younger ones!) accosting me in the grocery store…