On Saturday we went to Babies R Us to pick up a few things on Em's coworker's baby registry for a shower we attended on Sunday. We focused our efforts, once we figured out where most things were located, on items for the bathtub. Sally and Isaac, Em's coworker and her husband, registered for a bunch of Aveeno baby products and I kind of insisted that we buy them because I, too, have sensitive skin and I think their products are pretty wonderful (the oatmeal bath has saved me through too many hive attacks). To complement them, we picked up the cute crab and whale hooded towels they registered for as well as washcloths and some cloth diapers. I insisted that we walk through the clothing section to see if there was anything cute for the baby that we might want to include. Specifically, I had heard through Em that Sally and Isaac were hoping for non-pink clothing and accessory options; Isaac was overwhelmed by the girlyness and wanted to give his daughter options and Sally understands a lot of the nuanced concepts surrounding gender, especially because she's a close friend of Em's, and wanted to keep the choices diverse. Awesome! I love awesome parents who don't want to oppress their infants with gender norms.
We walked down the center aisle which separated the boys' and girls' departments. On one side, pink and cuteness and butterflies and ruffles. On the other, trucks and dirt and insinuations of flirting and blue. I am not the first person to address this completely asinine reality, so I'll spare you from the gender lectures. I will say, however, that people are pretty close-minded...still...despite all of the social and cultural strides we've made to allow kids to just be the kids they want to be. As Sally and Isaac opened our gifts, two of which are pictured above, they were overjoyed to not see pink. I chose the lime green dress and bloomer outfit on the left and Em chose the gray and white bear-themed outfits on the right. When a guest at the party saw the bear-themed clothing, she immediately said (while holding her infant daughter in her arms, who was covered in pink butterflies, a hair bow and hot pink sandals), "those bear clothes are for boys, aren't you having a girl?" I whipped around and said, "Sally and Isaac requested non-pink, gender-neutral outfits if at all possible and there is nothing masculine about a bear". She shut up, and a few minutes later the soon-to-be parents opened up her gift, which was an entire gift set of pink girls' clothing. Sigh.
Let's try to respect the wishes of parents when they don't want to raise their kids in an unnecessarily color-coded/gendered world. Can that just be something that happens now that it's...2011?
Photos courtesy Carters.com