A Manifesto of the Uninformed
Part 2: Boy or Girl
Some people have been looking at us strange when we tell them we’re not finding out Squatch’s gender ahead of time. In fact, there’s a chance you’re looking at the screen cockeyed right now because I just mentioned it.
In actuality, we get some of the same looks when we talk about breastfeeding or cloth diapers, but not nearly as much as when we say we’re not finding out the baby’s gender.
“Why wouldn’t you want to know?” you say. “It’s just so much easier! You have to plan!” Well, calm down, Imaginary Internet Reader (can I call you IIR?), and we’ll discuss that.
We were initially going to find out. Karli was set on it. But we had decided not to tell anyone the gender—IIR: “But WHY?” Me: “Calm your shit down. I’m getting to that. Don’t make me get the hose.”—and came to a realization. If we’re not broadcasting Squatch’s genitalia to the world (lesson to Squatch: don’t ever broadcast your genitalia to the world) and we’re not buying anything gender specific ourselves, then what’s the point of even finding out the gender? Why not leave us that little surprise? I’d be remiss—
IIR: “But why weren’t you telling anyone?”
If you don’t calm down, IIR, I swear I’m going to tase you. Now where was I? I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that we came to the decision after talking to people who didn’t find out—some friends of ours, the lady who does Karli’s hair, a few others—and they said that they loved having this surprise waiting for them at the end. We decided we liked the idea of a surprise. Karli never gets surprised. She always knows her birthday and Christmas presents ahead of time, so this will be a cool change-up. Maybe we’ll do some of those folk legend tests that are supposed to determine gender and I’ll post (like other people have done) about that later. Just for laughs. But we’re not having the doctor definitively tell us.
Now, the reason we weren’t going to tell anyone—You paying attention, IIR? This is the part you asked for—is actually a couple reasons. The first is something told to us by our friend who didn’t find out the sex of her son before he was born. She said that when you tell people the sex, like some of her friends had, everyone tends to buy you gender-specific clothes and other things covered with butterflies or trucks, most of it so tacky and ugly you wouldn’t put it on your dog. But when you don’t tell people the sex of the baby, they can’t get the gender specific clothes and crap, and they focus on giving you stuff you actually need.
IIR: “So it’s because you want people to buy you stuff.”
No, it’s because we don’t want people to buy us shit. You’re a troublemaking little asshole, aren’t you?
So the second reason, and what makes this part of my Manifesto of the Uninformed, is that we don’t care if it’s a boy or girl. No preference one way or the other. (Maybe I should say that I don’t care. I shouldn’t speak for Karli. But I’ve got the blog here, so…) Occasionally, Karli will be around a boy or group of boys for a while, then after we’ve left say “I really don’t want a boy.” Then, the next day we’ll be around girls and she’ll tell me “I really don’t want a girl.” So I don’t know. Maybe she’s hoping to give birth to gummi bears and a bag of Cheetos. Which wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.
But point being, I don’t have a preference. That’s why we’re focusing on gender neutral things in the first place. Because that philosophy will carry over after Squatch’s genitalia has been laid out for all the delivery room to see. We’re not too hung up on gender roles. (There I go saying we again, when I should be saying I. You know what I mean, though.) Neither of us has anything against pink or blue in and of themselves. We just don’t want to tell Squatch what it likes because “that’s what boys/girls are supposed to like.”
Yes, if we have a girl, it’ll probably wear a dress every once in a while. If we have a boy, there’s less likelihood of that. I’m just not going to get all worked up if Squatch starts taking interest in things that aren’t “normal” for the gender. It’s not a big deal.
IIR: “So you’re trying to raise a homo?”
One more interruption, you little troll, and I’m drowning you in my toilet. But no, I don’t think that has any connection to the kid’s sexual identity when it grows up anyway. There are probably more gay people who grew up being forced into gender roles anyway. And furthermore, I don’t care what the kid grows up to be, as long as it’s not a serial killer, rapist, child molester, TV talking head, or criminal.
Am I going to get bent out of shape when someone tells Squatch not to do something “because that’s for boys/girls”? Maybe. Maybe not. One isolated comment might get lost in the rest of what we’re teaching in our house, but you never know what kids latch onto. People might get a nice serving of shut-the-hell-up at some point.
Are gender roles really that big of a deal anymore? Do people still make a big deal out of that? I mean, I know some people who do, but outside of clothing and toys, are there a whole bunch of expectations placed on little kids these days?
I have to go hook IIR up to my car battery now.