Friday, 22 June 2012

She's a girl!

Shopping has never been my favourite activity.  Along with millions of other men, I dreaded a shopping trip and would spend the entire time making snide comments about anything and everything.  Being a father has not really changed my feelings towards shopping, it has, however, ramped up my dread for these occasions.

I first noticed a real change in the shopping experience when people suddenly started stopping us to look at the Buglet and chat to us.  This caught me totally by surprise, it was not a practice in which I had engaged before having the child and I was just not expecting complete strangers to strike up a conversation amongst the processed meats.  For a start, why couldn’t they have picked a more exotic aisle to examine my child in?

These were always lovely encounters, and early on they were quite a treat.  I have mentioned before that I was worried when our daughter was born, and for a while afterwards, that she could grow up to be the first person to play a main character in Wind in the Willows without any form of prosthesis.

Although, she would need stage glasses.

Having people come up and say how beautiful she was at least began to calm that fear of mine, especially as it was an entirely unsolicited opinion.  Having people come up and say how handsome he looked was not what we were looking for however.  I began to give serious consideration to having a label that she could hang around her neck, or maybe a neon sign that flipped up out of the back of the pushchair.

Bright enough?

Whatever we actually did, in terms of putting her in some incredibly gender stereotypical clothing there were always a smattering of people that would ask what his name was. As we didn’t give her a boy’s name, or a name that could pass for a boy’s name,  this could get quite embarrassing, although I’m sure there were still some people who went away thinking that that little boy is going to struggle in life being shackled with a name like that.  Having a girl's name didn’t hold John Wayne back though, so perhaps its a shame that they don’t make as many Westerns as they used to.

It was worse with people who didn’t ask and persisted in calling her a him.  Once you have gone past the first time and they do it again it feels very awkward stepping in and explaining that she is actually a girl, or even just subtly rearranging her pram so the bow in her hair is staring them straight in the face.

I suppose that if the worst we have to deal with when we go shopping is people calling our daughter a boy then we have got off quite lightly, especially as she is becoming more and more girly as time goes on and those comments are coming less and less.  Shopping is certainly a more interesting experience with N around, but perhaps a sign might be a good idea if we have another, just to prevent confusion.


  1. If you have another kid and that kid turns out to be a boy, I suggest you call him Sue!

  2. Ha! Brilliant. Covers all bases

  3. On one occasion when our daughter was 3 weeks old and wearing a frilly pink concoction and little lacy socks, a stranger told her Dad he (my daughter) was a handsome chap!! I guess it's just something we do, people refer to our egg laying chickens as 'he' - astonishing really.

  4. I don't mind if people can't tell if my daughter is a boy or girl, but why don't people read the signs?! If it's dressed in pink, assume it's a girl. I am also surprised how many people stop to talk to you when you have a child in tow. t
    The first time we took her to the supermarket she was 11days old and it took forever to get round!

  5. My little girl didn't have any hair until she was 2 and people consistently called her a boy, no matter what she was wearing! Found it tended to be the older generation though strangely, have never worked out why! Now have a girl and a boy and was shocked when a lady commented a few weeks ago "how nice to have two girls"...that was a first for me!!

  6. I've never had anyone suspect my boys of being girls but I was asked by an acquaintance "Oh, you've had the baby then?", when I was nine and a half months pregnant with a boy who, when he finally decided to put in an appearance, weighed over 11lbs. I was so big, I wasn't able to stand sideways in some small supermarkets! I wasn't really sure what to think when she said that - I'm still not.

    1. At least it was that way round, although it seems very odd! I have a friend who had asked someone (at the hospital) when their baby was due, but it turned out they'd already had it. Once I'd had my first daughter I could easily see how that could happen!

  7. Ha ha! Yes, that would be worse. Whilst we're telling tales on friends - My friend was once ushered to the front of a very long line of ladies waiting to use a public toilet, with "Ooh, I know what it's like when you're pregnant, you have to go". Her child was at school!!!!!!! I was with her and had to go back to the car without using the facilities because I was laughing so much! Still, it was the incentive she needed to diet! :)